Saturday 8th March 2014 – The Calor League Division One (Central)
Slough Town 1 St Ives Town 0
Man of the Match: Nick Bennion (St Ives Town)
The Rebels ran out 1-0 winners in a tight affair at Holloways Park
by Simon Clark
This match was decided by the single goal from Johnnie Dyer as the Rebels kept up the pressure on the top two for the automatic promotion place as the season nears a conclusion, especially after Rubgy Town and Dunstable Town played out a 0-0 draw.
The Saints were under no illusions that this was going to be a tough match as Slough have been in good form throughout the season. With the pace of Matty Waters and the trickery of Avelino Vieira the back four of the home side were tested on several occasions. Will Fordham stood firm on two occasions with two excellent blocks from Jake Parsons and Leigh Rumbold. George Short ran the Rebels midfield and his 20 yard volley sailed over Nick Bennion’s cross bar on 14 minutes.
On 17 minutes, Waters’ effort was the first on target for the Saints as he cut inside and drove a low left footed effort but Jake Somerville was equal to the effort at the second attempt. Shortly before the half hour mark, Bennion was called into action when George Short’s bullet header from 6 yards was met with both hands as Bennion tipped over. The Saints started to apply some excellent pressure before half time but failed to capitalise on the advantage. Dan Newman tested Somerville’s agility on 40 minutes when his 25 yard strike was tipped over. Both sides were restricted to long range efforts as the first half finished goalless.
Five minutes into the second half, the referee waived away the Rebels claims of a handball inside the penalty area much to the frustration of the players and the 200 supporters behind Nick Bennion’s goal.
It was in the 69th minute when the deadlock was broken. Johnnie Dyer combined well with Rumbold on the edge of the Saints penalty area and when Dyer made space his effort let Bennion no chance as it clipped in off the post to make it 1-0. Bennion was on hand once again within 60 seconds of the restart when Dyer thought he had doubled his tally.
Bennion earned his man of the match accolade and on 75 minutes he advanced quickly from his line to deny Warren Harris who looked destined to score. George Short also saw his effort rising over Bennion’s cross bar on 80 minutes. The best chance of the secnd half for the Saints came on 81 minutes when Dan Banister toe poked effort through a crowd of players missed the far post of Somerville’s goal. In the last minute of the game, Ed Smith rounded Nick Bennion and with the goal gaping for the striker, Bennion managed to reclaim his ground and stick out an arm to block Smith’s effort.
The Rebels remain in third place and still in contention for the automatic promotion place with the Saints dropping to 13th but with games in hand over Uxbridge.