06:39PM, Saturday 31 August 2019
Slough Town vs Dorking WanderersArbour Park, Stoke Rd, Slough.
Slough Town 1, St Albans City 1
Slough Town failed to take their chances as they were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw at home by St Albans City this afternoon.
The result felt about right in the end, but the Rebels shaded this in terms of clear cut chances and should have put their rivals to the sword with the opportunities they carved out just before and just after the break.
Slough came into the clash chasing a third straight league win - after beating both Bath City and Dulwich Hamlet 3-2 over the bank holiday weekend. But after taking a deserved lead through Matty Lench's fearsome strike shortly before the break, they were pegged back by Guiseppe Laciofano's close range finish midway through the second half.
The Rebels best spell to kill off their visitors, and take a stranglehold of the game, came in the minutes after half-time when Max Worsfold and Dan Roberts were denied by goalkeeper Dean Snedker while Warren Harris headed over unmarked from a corner kick when it looked easier to score.
You felt the Rebels might just live to regret those chances and so it proved when Bobson Bawling escaped the clutches of George Wells down the right and delivered a low cross from which Laciofano side-footed home.
Both sides had chances to win it as the game opened up in the aftermath of St Alban's leveller, with Laciofano guiding a shot into the side-netting, after Slough keeper Jack Turner had gone walkabout, and Robert's being presented with a gift of an opportunity from a poorly directed back-pass which he failed to accept, curling wide when everyone inside Arbour Park expected the net to bulge.
Slough were sloppy in the opening exchanges of this contest, giving up possession far too cheaply which led joint boss Jon Underwood to cry out 'sharpen up' in exasperation.
They eventually complied but not before Laciofano had rolled the first real good chance of the match against the post in the 15th minute after being sent clean through.
Gradually Slough gained control of the match and they went close on a number of occasions before Lench fired them in front in the 38th minute. Worsfold had whipped in a great cross that Warren Harris just failed to get his head on in the 20th minute while Wells, up from the back for a corner, nodded wide after Sam Togwell headed the ball back into the danger area in the 32nd minute. Lench had already had a sight of Snedker's goal when his low shot had the power taken from it by a deflection in the 35th minute. But there was no such let off for the visitors three minutes later when the midfielder took aim from the edge of the box, firing the ball low and true into the bottom corner of Snedker's net.
The Rebels nearly doubled their advantage from the move of the match a few minutes later as Roberts drove just wide of the post after a sweeping move upfield involving several Slough players.
Two crucial saves from Snedker at the start of the second half gave St Albans a lifeline that they managed to grasp hold of. First he denied Worsfold's side-footed effort with his feet before turning Robert's left-footed drive behind for a corner. The resulting set piece created a third opening for the Rebels but Harris got underneath his header from inside the six yard box and it flew over the bar.
Laciofano's goal put the outcome firmly back in the balance and St Albans will believe they could have nicked all three points and built on their 2-1 win over Concord Rangers on Monday. Bawling was sent clean through on the hour mark but opted to cross instead of shooting and the Rebels defence scrambled clear before substitute Albert Adudongina curled a wonderful effort against the crossbar with Turner well beaten.
In between times Roberts could have won it for Slough, but, on an afternoon to forget for the young striker, he placed his shot into the side-netting with only Snedker to beat. There was a hint of late drama when Ben Harris appeared to be pushed over in the area by James Kaloczi but the referee overlooked his claims and those vociferously made by the Rebels' crowd.
A draw felt about right in the end, but the Rebels shaded this in terms of clear cut chances and should have put their rivals to the sword with the chances they carved out just before and just after the break.
Slough Town: Turner, Jackman, Wells, S Togwell, L Togwell, Worsfold, Lench, W Harris (Grant 79'), Davies, Roberts (Williams 85'), Dunn (B Harris 69'). Subs not used: Nisbet, Bird.
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