Slough defeated at Westleigh Park

Havant & Waterlooville

Havant & Waterlooville

McCarthy (53), Kealy (66)
Slough Town

Slough Town

Ogbonna (45)
Slough Town left the South Coast empty-handed against relegation-threatened Havant & Waterlooville on Wednesday night, writes Joey Gargini.

The game started well for the Rebels with the first chance falling the way of Scott Davies in the 19th minute. He received the ball from David Ogbonna and saw his long-distance strike well parried by Hawks goalkeeper Ross Warner.

Slough applied further pressure with a 22nd-minute chance, Slavi Spasov seeing his close-range effort denied by Warner from point-blank range. The Rebels continued to cause problems with strong link-up play in the 37th minute between Josh Jackman and Spasov leading to a close-range effort from Jackman, which was well stopped by a sliding Hawks challenge.

Matt Lench came close to giving the Rebels the lead in the 43rd minute with an attempt from distance flying just narrowly right of the Hawks' goal. Only a minute later, Slough grabbed the lead just before halftime through a David Ogbonna goal. New recruit Trae Cook-Appiah received a long ball and drove powerfully into open space on the right side of the box, precisely squaring a ball to Ogbonna, who tapped home from point-blank range.

After a sluggish start to the game, the hosts emerged into the second half a different team. Their first meaningful attack of the half came in the 53rd minute when Hawks' captain Jake McCarthy expertly placed his shot into the bottom left corner from outside the box, bringing the game to one apiece. Havant & Waterlooville had another attempt a minute later when full-back Kwaku Donkor found himself in open space inside the box and rocketed a shot towards goal, which was kept out by the feet of Dan Lincoln.

The hosts continued to threaten with Hawks' second-half substitute Callum Kealy rattling the post in the 64th minute. Receiving the ball to his feet inside the box, his strike beat Lincoln but was denied by the woodwork. Kealy went on to make amends for that miss only a moment later. Connecting with a McCarthy through ball, the attacker poked the ball beyond Lincoln into the bottom corner to put the Hawks in the driving seat.

Determined to not leave empty-handed, Ogbonna charged down the wing and delivered a low cross to Leon Chambers-Parillon, who was unmarked in the Hawks' 18-yard box, but he saw his effort fly over the bar in the 78th minute. With the clock ticking down, a huge chance for Slough to equalise came in the 82nd minute. Substitute Nathan Minhas worked space and unleashed a strong, low shot which was well cleared, but only as far as Dan Bayliss who followed up with a strike of his own, only for Worner to save again.

With all Slough players committed forward, the Hawks almost snatched a third goal in stoppage time. Harry Jewitt-White found himself clean through on goal and took a chance from just outside the area, but Dan Lincoln saved well. The luck wasn’t to be for the Rebels with a golden opportunity not taken right at the death. In the fifth minute of additional time, Minhas won the ball on the left side of the box from Joe McNerney and drilled a low pass across the face, finding the feet of a returning Gary Abisogun, but the winger could not get the ball out of his feet and saw the ball snatched from his toes by Worner.

Despite the loss, the result sees Slough remain in 10th place and seven points off the playoffs. Next up is a clash against league leaders Yeovil Town with Scott Davies’ men looking to return to winning ways and make it 19 games unbeaten at home.

Havant & Waterlooville Lineup

Worner, Stanley, Innocent, Donkor (Mukuna 75), McNerney, McCarthy (c), Carlyle (Willson 75), Seager (Kealy 46), Jewitt-White, Whittingham, Roberts. Unused substitutes: Beckford, Woolston.


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