The result left the Rebels’ joint managers delighted, with Neil Baker praising his side’s “very professional performance” and Jon Underwood praising his players for their bravery on the ball in the first half and their work rate and desire not to concede in the second half, in the face of heavy pressure from the Clarets.
It had been a busy week off the pitch, with the news that James Dobson had completed a move to Sutton United and then that Matthew Lench, who played in 51 games during the club’s promotion campaign last season, re-joining on Thursday.
The match also marked Chris Flood’s 100th appearance for the Rebels, with the striker having scored 42 goals. He would come into the starting eleven to replace Ben Harris, suspended following his red card at Torquay.
The first chance of the match came Flood’s way early on, but the striker’s glancing header from George Wells’ cross flew wide of the goal.
Slough had started the match well, putting together some excellent passing play and forcing the visitors to commit fouls in order to break up the play. Scott Davies struck one free kick goalward but it took a slight deflection off Sam Togwell to take it wide of the goal.
On the half hour mark Chelmsford could well have taken the lead with what proved to be their best opportunity of the match. Joe Anderson swung in a free kick which was headed back across goal where Scott Fenwick was arriving, but he missed his chance at the back post.
Following this, Chelmsford started to get themselves back in the game but other than winning a few corners they failed to apply much pressure to the Slough goal.
And it was Slough who took the lead five minutes before the interval. Soares played a forward pass to Warren Harris in space, and he managed to win the ball back after initially being tackled before bringing it into the box. His low cross into the box was met by Dunn, who had embarked on a lung-bursting run to get ahead of his marker, with the ball finding the back of the net via a hand from Chelmsford goalkeeper Nathan McDonald, who could only help it into the goal.
Half time arrived with Slough supporters impressed with their team’s performance and pleased to have seen a first goal of 2019. The Rebels started the second half in positive fashion too, with Flood having another headed chance directly from Guy Hollis’s throw in. Unfortunately, whilst headed with power, it was straight into the arms of McDonald.
From then on, Slough’s defensive capabilities came to the fore. Maintaining their shape, Slough set about building an impenetrable wall in front of Jack Turner who found himself with little to do.
Chelmsford started to dominate possession but could do little with it, with the formidable Guy Hollis and Sam Togwell magnificent in returning the ball from whence it came as the visitors launched it forward.
The best chances were still being produced by Slough. George Wells brought the ball forward before unleashing one of his long range efforts, forcing McDonald into a save.
On 58 minutes Slough should really have doubled their lead. A through ball found Flood through one-on-one with McDonald, but as he attempted to drag the ball around the keeper, he couldn’t get the touch he was looking for and McDonald was relieved to gather the ball at his feet.
From then on it was very much all about Slough seeing out the game and being resolute in defence to ensure they came away with the three points they deserved, completing a double over the Essex side in the process, with two clean sheets to boot.
Report: Will Tuck
Chelmsford City Line up
Nathan McDonald, Elliot Omozusi (Jazzi Barnum-Bobb 45), Michael Spillane, Adrian Cascaval, Joe Anderson, Chris Whelpdale, Anthony Church (c), Chez Isaac, Tom Wraight, Mikhail Kennedy (Aaron Cosgrave 59), Scott Fenwick (Jonny Giles 67). Unused substitutes: Max Porter, Matthew Young.