07:11PM, Saturday 04 January 2020
Slough Town's Sam Togwell in a recent match against Wealdstone
Slough Town 1, Eastbourne Borough 1
Jaded by their busy Christmas and New Year fixture list, an injury and illness-hit Slough Town were held at home by Eastbourne Borough in a game that was far from a classic - aside from the two goals on show.
The contest, which came at the end of a busy and draining schedule of football for both sides, won't live long in the memory, but Scott Davies' outrageous strike from inside his own half, and Kane Wills' magnificent equaliser, drilled low into the corner of the net beyond Jack Turner, will do.
The home side, who came into the clash off the back of a 2-1 defeat at leaders Wealdstone FC, were only able to name three substitutes, with one of those, Max Worsfold, also suffering from an illness that has spread through the camp. Dan Roberts was also unavailable because of it, limiting the home side's options off the bench to Joe Grant and Sean Fraser.
With Mark Nisbet missing through injury and Guy Hollis out through suspension, Ryan Bird once again played at centre half alongside Sam Togwell.
They began reasonably brightly with Manny Williams unfortunate not to play in Warren Harris after seven minutes, the ball just squirming away from the attacker when he looked to be in on goal.
The best chance in the opening 20 minutes fell for Francis Amartey, however, who robbed Manny Adebowale of possession before getting in on goal, only to be denied by goalkeeper Franco Ravizzoli. Inexplicably the referee Mark Howes pointed for a goal kick.
Five minutes later and the Rebels were in front thanks to a wonderful piece of opportunism from Davies. Ravizzoli raced out of goal to make a clearance which fell kindly for the Slough midfielder just inside his own half. Reacting instinctively the player half-volleyed it over the back-pedalling keeper and into the net to make it 1-0.
Halfway line club for the fourth time in life ✌ pic.twitter.com/YN8zCHH3i5— Scott Davies (@scottdavies1988) January 4, 2020
Moments before that Davies had been in the right place at the right time to keep out Dean Cox's volley for Eastbourne.
If the Rebels were to have won this game they could have done with taking one of the chances they created in the 10 minutes after scoring. One of their best moves saw Manny Williams and George Wells combine well on the left only for the left-back's low cross to miss everyone in yellow and blue in the 35th minute.
However, they were somewhat fortunate to go in at the interval with their lead intact. Charlie Walker did brilliantly to strike the inside of Slough's post from an angle after the ball was deflected to him in the area in the 45th minute.
The start to the second half was as forgettable as the first, until Wills thumped Eastbourne level in the 57th minute. Running onto a simple ball over the top, Wills was a long way out when he let fly, the ball flashing past Turner and bouncing into the net off the keeper's right hand post.
After that it was anyone's game and, although Slough's work-rate never dipped, Eastbourne probably shaded the half in terms of chances.
Lee Togwell lashed over the bar in the 63rd minute when he might have done better, while substitute Gregory Luer forced a save from Turner five minutes later. From the resulting corner Adebowale sent a downward header bouncing just wide of the post.
The closest Slough came to a winner was in the 75th minute when Harris collected Davies' pass on the right side of the box but, drifting wide of the goal, he pulled his shot a whisker wide of the opposite post. Matt Lench, who had a quiet game by his high standards, nearly forced a late winner which would have been harsh on the visitors. Taking the ball into the box in the 86th minute his cross flashed across the Eastbourne goalline but no one was there to tap home for the hosts.
The draw takes the Rebels back above Dorking into fourth place on 42 points. But they're now four points behind Bath City, who beat Billericay 2-1. While leaders Wealdstone also slipped up, losing 3-2 away at Oxford City.
Slough Town: Turner, Jackman, Bird, S Togwell, Wells, L Togwell, Davies, Harris, Lench, Williams (Fraser 67'), Amartey (Grant 75')
With injuries and illness in the camp @sloughtownfc’s joint boss @JonUnders wasn’t expecting a classic at Arbour Park this afternoon. Here are his thoughts on the Rebels’ 1-1 draw with @EBFCTheSports. @ExpressSeries pic.twitter.com/WUfTMRfRnq— Daniel Darlington (@Darlington10) January 4, 2020
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