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Bracknell Town

Palmer (11, 90), Crittenden (44), Smith (84)

4
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Slough Town

Boot (22, 90)

2

Date: Saturday, March 6th 2004 | Competition: League | Attendance: 311

Man Of Match: Tony Boot

Slough travelled to Larges Lane, Bracknell looking to extend their unbeaten run to nine games.

Unfortunately for everyone involved with Slough, the dream of continuing the good form turned into a nightmare as Slough failed to match Bracknell's work ethic and succumbed to a heavy defeat.

The starting line up was identical to that which drew with Walton & Hersham at Stag Meadow on Tuesday, despite the fact that Darron Wilkinson seemed to suffer an injury in the warm up.

The home side started much the brighter, although the first keeper in action was Bracknell's Martin Hutt, who easily kept out a free kick from the in-form Glen Harris.

Bracknell's early pressure brought rewards for the mid-table outfit who scored the opening goal after eleven minutes. Danny Hayward slipped a ball in behind Michael Murphy on the left of the Slough area and Jon Palmer slid in to tap home before Alan Foster could get near the ball.

Bracknell continued to knock on the door of the Slough backline and could have doubled their lead when Adam Crittenden, the outstanding player of the match, ran at the defence before unleashing a shot which drifted just wide.

Slough's early efforts were disrupted further when the warm up injury to Wilkinson seemed to flare up again and the midfielder had to be replaced by Alex Haddow.

Just as it seemed the match was going all Bracknell's way, Slough found a route back into the match. While Gavin Smith lay prone on the floor, Veli Hakki took advantage of the space and slipped a delightful ball into the run of Tony Boot. The striker, having missed a similar chance on Tuesday, made no mistake on this occasion, curling the ball past Hutt and into the corner.

Hakki was starting to impose himself on the match and had two further chances in the following ten minutes. Firstly his run past four players gave him a free route to goal, but inexplicably Boot took the ball off his foot, and with the striker being in an offside position the chance was lost. Then Hakki was slid in by Harris but Ben Edwards' well-timed challenge diverted the ball back to a grateful Hutt.

After an extended period of Slough pressure, Bracknell took control of the match again as first Stuart Hammonds went close with a header from a Palmer free kick, before Palmer himself shot just over after a terrible mix-up between Lee Riddell and Haddow.

With a minute to go before the break, Bracknell regained the lead in rather fortuitous circumstances. With both Steve Daly and Murphy going to clear the ball, the two centre backs - who have been in great form - seemed to leave the ball for each other and Crittenden stepped in between the two to easily pass the ball past Foster.

The second half started slowly until nine minutes in came the moment which had a big hand in deciding the match. Boot was slipped in by Ryan Williams, and although his first effort was parried by Hutt, the striker looked favourite to tuck the loose ball into the open goal. However, just as he was about to tap home his legs were taken from behind by Edwards.

The referee awarded a penalty and red-carded the defender for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity. But given the chance to bring the sides level, Boot's penalty was too weak and once Hutt dived the correct way, it was the easiest of penalty saves.

Boot had a chance to make amends just five minutes later but his curling effort from the edge of the area once again lacked power and was easily held by Hutt.

As the clock ticked down, Slough were finding chances hard to come by and with fifteen minutes left replaced right back Riddell with an extra striker in Matt Miller.

However, it was Bracknell who continued to have the better chances as Palmer once again went close from a good ball by Reece White. This led Eddie Denton to add a fourth striker to the game, this time bringing on Andy Deaner to replace Hakki.

Then, with six minutes to go the game was put beyond reasonable doubt as Gavin Smith got himself on the scoresheet. A free kick was awarded on the Bracknell left and Gavin Smith's low delivery was missed by Daly's attempted clearance, sending Foster the wrong way and allowing the ball to curl into the far corner.

Denton's substitutions could have given him some kind of reward quickly after, as Harris' free kick was flicked on by Deaner and headed home by Miller. However, the referee had already blown his whistle, awarding a foul against Deaner for backing in on Hutt - a decision which even those on the terraces couldn't decide was right or wrong.

As Slough pushed forward, Bracknell took advantage and should have added a fourth as Foster pulled off a wonderful double save on the edge of his area, first denying Crittenden and then White before Paul Barrowcliff managed to hook the ball clear. Bracknell didn't have to wait long for their next chance though, and this time they made no mistake as Palmer drilled across Foster into the corner after yet another mix up between Daly and Murphy.

With the game moving into injury time, and Slough fans heading for the exits, the Rebels did manage to grab a consolation as Miller's header was tipped over by Hutt and from the resulting corner and Deaner's volley, Boot managed to direct his header home.

Overall, it was a very poor day at the office for all the players involved, but with the team still sitting in fifth place, the fight for the top six is still well and truly on and hopefully Slough fans will once again show up in their numbers at next weeks match against Croydon Athletic at Stag Meadow.

Fans may also be interested to note that the reserves will be at home on Wednesday night against Woking, with the kick off expected to be 7:30pm, although please continue to check the website for confirmation.




Match Highlights


The Evo-Stik League South

Saturday, 21st April

vs Dorchester Town

Won 1-0 (Away)

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Top Goalscorers [Full Stats]

Pos Name Goals
1 Chris Flood 23
2 James Dobson 21
3 Manny Williams 15
4 Matthew Lench 15
5 Perry Coles 10
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