Match Report - Gosport Borough (Home, League)
A Brad Wadkins hat-trick keeps Rebels in pole position
1 - 0 (Wadkins, 14m); 2 - 0 (Wadkins, 24m); 2 - 1 (Onwuachu, 36m); 3 - 1 (Williams, 40m); 4 - 1 (Wadkins, 72m); 5 - 1 (Williams, 81m)
ManofMatch: Brad Wadkins
Slough Town remained top of the league on goal difference after a comprehensive win over bottom side Gosport Borough.
Despite the result, the visitors came away from Arbour Park with a lot of credit after a determined display, with several of their young squad putting their bodies on the line to block numerous goalbound efforts and prevent the margin of defeat from being even greater.
Neil Baker and Jon Underwood opted for an attacking partnership of Brad Wadkins and Manny Williams with Chris Flood not risked due to a hamstring injury, and the two forwards combined well throughout, sharing all five goals between them.
Slough could have opened the scoring with just five minutes gone, but goalkeeper Lewis Watch twice saved his side, first from Wadkins and then from Williams after Matt Lench had also seen an effort blocked.
The home side continued their pressure on the Gosport goal with Watch twice saving from Williams, but he could do nothing to prevent Wadkins opening the scoring on 14 minutes as the big striker capitalised on a deflection before turning and firing the loose ball into the corner. Lench again went close and Watch produced a spectacular save from Williams as Slough went in search of a second goal, which duly arrived on 34 minutes. Wadkins again was the man on target, this time placing the ball past Watch with his left foot after being played in on goal by Williams. Two minutes later, Gosport surprised the home side by pulling a goal back. It came as a result of a poor clearance from Jack Turner after George Wells’ heavy back pass, and Iffanyi Onnuachu capitalised in style, striking a volley past the Slough keeper from outside the box.
The Rebels’ two-goal lead was restored on 41 minutes through Williams, who got free of his marker and appeared to aim a cross to the far post, only to see the ball float over the head of Watch and just inside the goal.
Simon Dunn made a welcome return to the first team as he replaced Nathan Webb at half time, and the home side were quick to pick up where they left off.
Early in the second half, James Dobson’s thunderous effort was pushed up and onto the bar by Watch, and moments later Lench connected with a cross from Dobson, but the ball was cleared off the line.
Slough introduced Sean Fraser in place of Alan Inns, who picked up an injury, as a precaution but this did not affect the Rebels’ momentum as they went in search of further goals.
Harry Medway heroically cleared off the line from another fierce Dobson strike, and from the resulting corner the winger saw a header produce another last-ditch clearance, this time from Jack Breed.
Wadkins completed his hat-trick on 74 minutes to make it 4-1, coolly lifting the ball past Watch after being released by Williams once again. The striker was then almost immediately replaced by Warren Harris to a great ovation.
More desperate Gosport defending followed, with Watch saving from Josh Jackman before Harris and Dunn were both denied by blocks.
But Slough added one further goal, Manny Williams scoring his second on 81 minutes with an exquisite chip over Watch from just outside the box.
Williams was denied a hat-trick of his own by yet another goalmouth block a minute from the end.
The result means Slough remain top of the EVO-STIK South Premier table ahead of their trips to Kidlington and Gainsborough Trinity in the FA Trophy and FA Cup respectively.
Slough Town: Jack Turner, Josh Jackson, George Wells, Nathan Smart, Alan Inns (Sean Fraser), Lee Togwell, James Dobson, Nathan Webb (Simon Dunn), Manny Williams, Brad Wadkins (Warren Harris), Matthew Lench
Gosport Borough: Lewis Watch, Frankie Page, Harry Medway, Alfie Liss (Liam Kimber 28), Eddie Wakley, Ed Saunders (c), Ethan Miller (Billy Connor 63), Jack Breed, Iffanyi Onnuachu, Matthew Sinclair, Dale Mason (Kurt Watts HT).