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The Vanarama National League South
8th
18pts

Pre-season: Rebels defeated by strong Sutton United

| Friendly
Att: 412
Slough Town
0 - 3
Sutton United
Ajiboye (14), Jarvis (25), Wabu (90)
Unknown
Slough Town ended their second pre-season friendly with a defeat against National League Sutton United at Arbour Park, writes Jakub Wojtasik.

Sutton’s new manager Matt Gray began his reign with a 3-0 win, with new signings David Ajiboye and Aaron Jarvis impressing in their first game, collecting a goal each in the opening 45 minutes.

For Slough, half time substitute Dan Roberts came close to giving the Rebels hope but was denied by Ben Dudzinski.

Sutton looked in great shape to start their new campaign and tested Rebels goalkeeper Jack Tuner throughout the game. Despite creating good chances, Slough were unable to match their opponents’ efforts and looked vulnerable in defence. Chances came in the second half but the Rebels weren’t able to get the better of United’s defence.

Slough were dealt with an early blow when centre back Mark Nisbet picked up an injury in the warm-up, with Lee Togwell taking his place.

Sutton debutant Ajiboye opened the scoring for the visitors after a skilful run past two Slough defenders, before poking past goalkeeper Jack Turner from close range with 20 minutes played.

Six minutes later the visitors doubled their lead when Jarvis took advantage of a misplaced Matt Lench back header which allowed him to drive his shot across Turner’s goal and into the bottom corner.

Slough introduced Francis Amartey and Dan Roberts at the break, who partnered up to try and get the Rebels on the scoresheet. They certainly put in plenty of effort, but saw their efforts denied by a well-oiled and organised United defence.

Neil Baker and Jon Underwood used the second half as an opportunity to experiment, with a number of players playing in unfamiliar positions – Ryan Bird dropped in to the centre of defence, Simon Dunn slotted in at left-back, whilst Lench and Manny Williams played in deeper positions.

Despite Slough pressing for a goal, the visitors kept the pressure on and forced Turner to pull off a series of great saves to keep his team in the game.

With an hour played, Sutton also made six changes and late on, sealed their win. It was a gift, as Slough lost possession at the edge of their penalty area, which allowed substitute Wabu to slot United’s third goal with the last kick of the game.

“We expected and wanted this sort of game. Sutton kept pressing and made us work hard”, said joint manager Neil Baker after the game.

Baker added that although the second half was better, Slough lost to a side who will do well in the upcoming season. “We played a very good side with great players. We made mistakes and conceded a frustrating late goal but it’s something that happens in pre-season.

Baker was also asked about Mark Nisbet’s injury and the depth of the squad.

“Mark felt tight, so we wanted him to rest after he played a full 90 against Eastleigh. Today we missed the experience of Nisbet, Sam Togwell and Warren Harris but when fit we have a good team to play with.”

Slough will continue their pre-season preparations and will welcome AFC Bournemouth Under 23s to Arbour Park next Tuesday evening.

Slough Town Line up

Jack Turner, Sean Fraser, George Wells, Guy Hollis, Lee Togwell, Joe Grant, Matthew Lench, Simon Dunn, Max Worsfold, Ben Harris and Ryan Bird. Substitutes (all used): Manny Williams, Dan Roberts, Francis Amartey, Andy Forth.

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