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Slabber fires City back into play-offs

By Essex Chronicle  |  Posted: April 18, 2013

  • GOAL HERO: Jamie Slabber

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JAMIE SLABBER reflected on his stunning second goal in Monday night's win over Tonbridge Angels by saying: "I just closed my eyes and hit it".

Chelmsford City's top scorer had already put the Clarets ahead with a deft header from Aiden Palmer's cross when a Justin Miller shot was blocked and looped up towards him in the box.

He let it bounce before unleashing a great half-volley in off the crossbar to put the Clarets 2-0 up.

It was a strike which led manager Glenn Pennyfather to label his top scorer as "the best finisher in the division" and was hailed as "Van Basten-esque" by his opposite number Tommy Warrilow.

And Slabber, who made it 28 for the season with the brace, was happy with his efforts.

"It was really pleasing," he told the Chronicle. "It's always hard playing Saturday then Monday, but to get two good goals and to get them early was really good. It put us in good stead.

"I think there was a deflection on the cross for the first goal.

"To be fair, I just ran towards the near post and got a little nick on it. It ended up luckily on my head which was nice.

"For the second, I just closed my eyes and hit it!

"It was nice to get those two and I desperately wanted that third, but it doesn't matter because we got the three points in the end."

Tonbridge came back at the home side in the second half, and in the end the Clarets were hanging on for the points which took them back up to fourth in Blue Square Bet South – and in pole position for a play-off spot.

Slabber was taken off late on without getting the chance to complete his hat-trick – and needed some treatment on his right knee.

But he insists there is no problem and he will be fighting fit for Saturday's visit of Basingstoke.

He added: "I think the game was sort of dead and buried and the gaffer knows I'm getting on a bit so it was nice to have a a rest.

"It's just a precaution, I took a bit of a whack on it and it's just a bit of ice but I'm fine."

While the Clarets are marching towards the top five, it has been a difficult few weeks for the club, with some players not being paid on time last month.

And Slabber – a painter and decorator by trade – admits it has been a tough time for him and his team-mates.

"It's been hard," he said. "I know a lot has been said about the money situation and we're still waiting on money from March.

"It plays on the players and it does get to us. But we've got to do what we do on the pitch and if we keep winning then hopefully we'll get our money at the end of it.

"All we can do is keep winning, keep doing what we're doing on the pitch and hopefully higher up in the club it'll sort of unfold and it stands us in good stead.

"It does take a while to get used to working and playing but it's what you've got to do.

"It's your full-time job and you earn your money that way and get a bit of money from football too, and you do rely on it. It's hard but you have to keep going and get on with it."

Slabber missed a penalty in the Easter Monday defeat to Dover, and with things getting tense towards the end of the season, he may be needed to step up again from 12 yards.

But he insists he will have no problems taking another spot-kick. "I'll definitely take one," he said.

"That doesn't faze me, anyone can miss a pen. "I've got 28 goals this season, I want 38 so I'll carry on."

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