06:42PM, Saturday 13 April 2019
Jon Underwood and Neil Baker are excited about Slough's prospects this season. Photo: Horsham Rebel Photography
Slough Town 1-0 Welling United
A Billy Clifford stunner saw Slough edge out promotion chasing Welling United 1-0 to stretch the Rebels unbeaten run to seven games and move them to within three points of the National League South play-off spots.
Clifford’s 72nd minute strike proved to be the difference in the end, after he collected a half-cleared corner to rifle the ball low and hard through a number of bodies past Daniel Wilks in the Welling net.
The Arbour Park clash between the two, saw Welling’s nine-match unbeaten run take on Sloughs’ six – and the game showed just why both teams were enjoying such a fine run, with neither giving anything away.
The cagey affair meant for few first half chances, but Slough started the brighter in the glowing sun. Wilks was on hand to save his captains blushes as he held well after David Ijaha sliced Matt Lench’s cross goalward.
The visitors were content to let the Rebels have the ball, as Josh Jackman tested Wilks after some good work down the Slough right, but his effort was tame and straight at the ‘keeper.
Chances were few and far between in the opening 45 minutes as neither side looked to be the first to blink.
The Rebels came out of the break quickest and after some good build up play a fortunate deflection saw Lench free on the right-hand side of the box, but the midfielder could only find the side netting.
You’d have done well to tell which side was third in the table as the Rebels coped well with Welling’s offence, although the towering Danny Mills did force a save from Jack Turner in the Slough goal.
With the game still in the balance – Jon Underwood and Neil Baker made a double switch, adding more fire power up top with the experienced Manny Williams and Hellenic League top scorer Dan Roberts coming on.
But it was Clifford who broke the deadlock soon after. Lench’s corner was only half cleared and the midfielder took a touch to set himself before firing low and hard through a crowded penalty box past Wilks.
The goal pushed Welling forward, but the visitors found in difficult to break down a resolute Slough defence with Mark Nisbet making a goal saving tackle on Brendan Kiernan, who looked to pull the trigger from 8-yards out.
Turner was called into action late on as Mills found space in the box, but the striker could only find the hands of the Slough stopper, when really, he should have scored.
Rooney then found the roof of the net with a late free-kick as Slough held on to snap the Wings unbeaten streak, stretch their own to seven and move within three points of the play-offs after Wealdstone, Dartford and Concord Rangers all lost.
Elsewhere, Maidenhead United’s National League safety was confirmed despite losing 3-0 in the days early kick off against Salford City.
The Magpies travelled to Salford for the game live on BT Sport, but despite starting well found themselves 1-0 down after 10 minutes, when Mani Dieseruvwe slotted home on the counter.
The league’s second-placed side doubled their lead before the half hour mark through Ibou Touray when he thumped home Adam Rooney’s lay off.
And the striker added a goal to his two assists, netting a penalty just before the break to make it 3-0.
A spirited second half display from Maidenhead was not enough to turn things around, but despite the loss, Alan Devonshire was given the perfect birthday present as the Magpies secured safety with three games to go.
Windsor FC produced another high-quality home performance as they beat fellow high flyers Bishops Cleeve 2-0 thanks to goals from Jack Gibson and George Gould.
The Royalists took the lead inside 12 minutes through Gibson before Gould bagged his 51st goal for the club in the 21st minute.
Mick Woodham’s men stayed strong throughout the rest of the match to pick up their fourth clean sheet in a row and stretch their winning run to five matches.
Holyport FC kept up the hunt for a top three finish in the Hellenic League One east as they beat third-placed Aldermaston 4-2.
Fabian Driffill kept up his fine goal scoring season by opening the scoring away from home, but the hosts pegged Port back to level things up at half time through Sid Gbla.
The second half saw more of the same Josh Lowthers made it 2-1, but again Gbla hit back to level the scores.
But Derek Sweetmans’ men were not to be pegged back a third time as Andy Forisky made it 3-2 before Driffill added his second of the game to give Holyport an important win.
Port now sit four points behind Aldermaston with a game in hand over the third placed side.
Burnham FC wrapped up the league title as they produced a champions performance to win 4-0 against Chinnor at the Gore.
Lucas Sinclair got the ball rolling as the Blues took a narrow 1-0 lead into the break.
But second half goals from Ryan Tackley, Aiden Higgins and Sinclair saw Burnham end the season on a high.
Marlow FC produced a professional performance to keep the pressure on Bracknell Town in second place with a 2-0 win over FC Romania.
The game was decided with two penalties as Kameron English scored his first half spot kick before Marcus Mealing wrapped up the points in the 68th minute with one of his own.
The result keeps Marlow in third, two points behind Bracknell.
Marlow United picked up a 2-0 win over Burghfield as they continued their hunt of league leaders Cookham Dean in the Thames Valley Premier.
The Flying Blues opened the scoring in the 56th minute through Liam Bushay before Felix Prudden doubled lead 10 minutes later.
The win was made even more important after Cookham Dean ended their season with a 4-1 loss to Woodcote Stoke Row meaning United sit three points behind the leaders with two games left to play.
Flackwell Heath produced a stunning performance to beat title chasing Wantage Town 2-1 at Wilks Park.
The Heathens opened the scoring through Mo Cessay in the 27th minute and doubled that in the second half after Simeon Weekes lifted the ball over the Wantage ‘keeper.
Wantage halved the deficit with 17 minutes to go after Nick Thorne fired home but the Heathens hung on to claim a memorable victory.
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