Match Report: St. Neots Town (away)
Late penalty drama sees points shared at St. Neots
0 - 1 (Dunn, 19 min); 1 - 1 (Brown, 88 min, pen)
Man of Match: Simon Dunn
There was late penalty drama at St Neots on Tuesday evening as James Dobson missed the chance to hand Slough all three points after the hosts had pulled level with a late spot-kick of their own.
Dobson stepped up in the fifth minute of stoppage time at the end of the second half after being felled in the box, but struck the ball too hard and it sailed over the crossbar, leaving Slough to settle for just a point after not being at their best.
Just a few minutes earlier, St Neots were handed the chance to score from the spot themselves, and take a point from a game in which they had worked hard, enjoyed good spells and created chances. The decision however was highly controversial – Declan Rogers went to ground easily under pressure from Guy Hollis, and the incident also looked to be outside the penalty area, but the referee’s decision allowed in-form Jevani Brown to tuck the kick beyond Alan Walker-Harris.
Joint manager Neil Baker conceded afterwards that the Rebels’ already slim hopes of winning the league title had evaporated, with the main aim now to secure a playoff spot and home advantage in the semi-final if at all possible.
St Neots had the first chance of the game as Fernando Bell-Toxtle saw his shot blocked for a corner, and Slough broke away dangerously with Gavin James crossing for Chris Flood, who also had an effort blocked.
The ever-dangerous Brown went free down the left on 14 minutes but failed to get his shot on target, and a minute later James’ deflected shot rebounded back off a post with the returning Manny Williams’ follow-up saved.
Shortly after though, Slough took the lead with Simon Dunn scuffing a shot into the bottom corner after St Neots failed to clear the danger.
The hosts almost responded quickly, with Lee Togwell forced to head the ball off the line from a Saints corner.
The two sides traded shots from outside the box, with Brown off target and Williams forcing Alex Archer into a save, but the first half ended with no further chances, the visitors continuing to work hard to close down the Rebels.
Williams’ night was to end prematurely early in the second period as he was carried off with an ankle injury before being replaced by Dobson.
Dobson was soon involved in an attacking sense, as his cross from deep was headed wide by Flood with Archer beaten, and shortly after, the Slough top scorer fired wide after a surging run through midfield.
Flood brought a save from Archer as he struck from a tight angle and Dunn curled an effort wide as Slough continued to have half-chances to seal the game, knowing that their slender one goal advantage may not be enough.
Warren Harris emerged from the bench in place of Nathan Webb as Slough altered their style, and the Rebels were looking likely to hold on for all three points before the 86th minute penalty decision for the hosts, which also saw Nathan Smart yellow-carded and Jon Underwood sent from the visitors’ dugout.
Unbelievably, Slough had one final golden chance, but Dobson’s penalty was wayward and the points were shared.
Match Report courtesy of Slough Town FC website