07:08PM, Saturday 10 March 2018
Slough Town 2, Frome Town 1
It took them 45 minutes to get going, but Slough Town were back to their brilliant best against Frome Town this afternoon.
The Rebels hadn’t beaten Frome since they were promoted back to the Southern League Premier Division four seasons ago, and it looked very much like that run would continue when George Miller headed the visitors in front from their first real attack.
But, for a side that’s received their fair share of – some may say unwarranted - criticism in recent weeks, Slough made it 10 points from four matches thanks to second half goals from Chris Flood and Simon Dunn.
In truth they should have scored more in a one-sided second period, and only the excellent keeping of Kyle Phillips and some wasteful finishing denied the home side a far more convincing win.
They began well enough at Arbour Park, threatening from some early corners, but Slough were up against it from the 11th minute when Jon Davies swept a cross in from the right and Miller rose well to plant a firm header past Jack Turner.
The home side huffed and puffed in the remainder of the half, with Manny Williams at the centre of much of their best attacks. He lifted an acrobatic effort over the bar from Nathan Smart’s cross in the 16th minute before heading George Wells’ fine left-wing cross straight at Phillips, when either side would have likely resulted in a leveller.
Joe Raynes should have given the visitors a cushion midway through the half, but inexplicably slid Mitchell Page’s cross wide, with Turner in no man’s land.
Slough’s final ball let them down throughout the first 45 minutes, with Williams failing to pick out strike partner Flood after outmuscling his marker to get into a good position. Similarly promising opportunities also went begging and the Arbour Park crowd restlessness seemed to be passing to the players as a niggly first half ended with the home side trailing.
What Neil Baker and Jon Underwood said at half-time should be bottled and sold to football managers the length and breadth of the country, because the home side looked a different team after the interval. They took the game to Frome from the off with Dunn lunging to volley wide just a couple of minutes in.
Their first goal followed a minute later when Dobson’s corner from the right was met by Flood who flicked a header past the sprawling Phillips.
The Rebels were only just getting started. Williams raced onto Flood’s throughball but was denied by Phillips. He then stabbed a chance wide at the far post, after another good delivery from Dobson. Williams must have known it wouldn’t be his day in front of goal when a deflected effort from the edge of the box in the 57th minute was gathered in by Phillips.
Guy Hollis was the next to test the visiting keeper with a fearsome drive from distance, but the goal their overall pressure merited did eventually materialise when Dunn controlled a low cross from the left and drilled a low shot beyond Phillips at his near post in the 66th minute.
Connor Roberts very nearly diverted the ball past his own keeper as the visitors continued to be at sixes and sevens in defence, and Frome only created one more chance of note in the 86th minute, when Turner went walkabout in his area and Hollis cleared off the line to deny Chas Hemmings.
Dobson might have wrapped up the points, but lofted a chipped effort over the bar, while Matt Lench was denied by excellent low save to his right by Phillips. But Slough saw out five minutes of injury time in relative comfort for a third win in four matches.
The Rebels, who have games in hand over their rivals above them, remain in fifth place on 64 points. They visit second placed Kings Lynn Town – 2-0 winners over leaders Hereford today – on Tuesday night.
Slough Town: Turner, Smart, Wells, Hollis, Nisbet, Togwell, Dobson, Dunn, Williams (Coles), Flood, Lench. Subs not used: Fraser, Inns, Harris.
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