Match Report - Hereford (Home, League)
added time misery for Rebels yet again
1 - 0 (Flood, 45m); 2 - 0 (Ben Harris, 50m); 2 - 1 (Oates, 90+3m); 2 - 2 (Reffell, 90+6m)
Man of Match: Chris Flood
Slough let a two-goal lead slip in stoppage time as Hereford dramatically rescued a point and maintained their long unbeaten run away from home.
The Bulls looked destined for a rare defeat after goals from the Slough strike duo of Chris Flood and Ben Harris, but two brilliant finishes from captain Jimmy Oates and Keyon Reffell in the third and sixth minutes of added time respectively left the Rebels feeling sickened.
Slough joint manager Neil Baker had gone as far as saying it would be important not to lose if his side had such aspirations. But after watching the Rebels throw away two points late on – after doing the same at Chesham the previous Monday and having done the same at Banbury in November – his counterpart Jon Underwood conceded that his side has a ‘weak mentality’ at present and that their chances of winning the league had all but gone.
There was nothing between the two sides in a tight first half.
Hereford’s Eliot Richards fired well off target on eight minutes, and James Dobson put a free kick attempt wide.
Slough were forced into a change on 27 minutes as Simon Dunn failed to recover from an injury sustained in a tackle, and he was replaced by Nathan Webb. Three minutes later, Hereford’s Mike Symons sized up a half-volley 25 yards out, but his effort was also well wide.
It took a full 37 minutes for the first attempt at goal to arrive – a free kick attempt which Jack Turner held easily – as the two sides continued to cancel each other out.
Then came drama – four minutes before half time referee Paul Johnson pulled up with an injury, and despite treatment could not continue. A qualified official was quickly found to run the line in the form of Slough Town’s Pan-Disability team manager Alan Meredith, and when play resumed after a 15-minute delay, Slough went straight on the attack.
George Wells thundered a shot over the bar after driving into the box, and then on the stroke of half time, Warren Harris crossed in for Flood to bury a header past Hereford keeper Martin Horsell.
And Slough were quick to double that lead early in the second half. Turner played the ball out to Wells, who strode forward and launched an inch-perfect cross into the box for Flood’s strike partner Ben Harris, who watched the ball and superbly planted a header past the despairing dive of Horsell in front of the large travelling Hereford support.
The home side remained on top and almost scored a third with James Dobson whipping in a shot which clipped the top of the bar.
Turner needed to be alert on 76 minutes to push behind a free kick delivery from Richards, with the ball looking to be sneaking inside the far post.
After this, it looked as if the home side would hold on comfortably, particularly as Hereford were forced to see the game out with ten men due to an injury for Richards.
But three minutes into the seven added on for stoppages, Webb lost possession on the edge of his own box instead of clearing the danger, and full-back Oates produced a fierce shot which took a slight nick off a Slough player and beat Turner’s dive.
This spurred his side on, and when Slough again failed to clear, the ball dropped to Reffell who was able to fire into the bottom corner for an improbable equaliser.
Slough Town: Jack Turner, Sean Fraser, George Wells, Alan Inns, Mark Nisbet, Lee Togwell, James Dobson (Nathan Smart); Simon Dunn (Nathan Webb, yellow), Ben Harris (Brad Wadkins), Chris Flood, Warren Harris.
Hereford: Martin Horsell, Jimmy Oates (C), Cameron Pring, Keyon Reffell, Dan Preston (Ryan Green 56), Jack Deaman (Rob Purdie 70), Garyn Preen (Lance Smith 62), Eliot Richards, John Mills, Pablo Haysham, Mike Symons.