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Saligoi marks debut for Slough HC with goal in draw with Sevenoaks

Dave Wright

Olivia Saligoi

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Olivia Saligoi marked her debut for Slough Ladies with a goal as they opened their Division 1 South season by drawing 1-1 with Sevenoaks at Upton Court Park on Saturday.

It was a good point for them as they found themselves trailing at the interval after a rather sluggish first half.

The youthful visiting team - coached by South African Olympian Jen Wilson who also coaches the Scotland women’s squad - were quicker into their stride and by the ninth minute had taken the lead through Lily Elliott's penalty corner.

Neither side managed to produce many clear-cut chances, but at the interval, Sevenoaks looked more likely to go on to win.

However, Slough coach Kali Takher's inspirational half-time talk saw his team raise their game, upping their pace and not giving their opponents as much space as they had earlier.

It took them just three minutes to draw level through Saligoi, their new signing from league rivals Reading, who was on hand to finish off a penalty-corner routine from close range.

Another newcomer, Shona McNab, caught the eye with some strong drives through the midfield, while Betsy Ommala produced some strong challenges to break up Sevenoaks attacks, while defender Harriet Ward was named her side's player of the match.

Becky Ross had a good chance to put Slough ahead when she found herself in space but was foiled by keeper Robyn Thompson.

At the other end, a period of pressure on their goal led them conceding two penalty corners in quick succession, but new keeper Daisy Hacking and her defence managed to clear their lines and the Pink 'n' Blacks' secured the point they deserved.

Their next game is a Berkshire derby at Reading next Saturday (4.30pm pushback). The hosts were runners-up in the league last season and are strongly fancied to go one better this time around.

Slough 2nds won 3-2 at Hampstead & Westminster 3rds in the South Clubs' Women's League Division 3A and this Saturday they are home to West Hampstead 1sts.

Slough Men slumped to a 3-0 home defeat at the hands of Bournemouth on the opening day of the Premier Division 2 West season, conceding goals to Charlie Cooper, Alex Messenger and Matt Squires.

They are away to Woking this coming Saturday.

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