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Sat Sep 21
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The Vanarama National League South
8th
18pts

Russell goals keep Town on road to Wembley

| FA Trophy
Att: 1701
Slough Town
Russell (23, 70)
2 - 0
Morecambe
Dave Russell
SLOUGH Town's brave warriors collected another Northern scalp as they continued along the Wembley warpath on Saturday, with Dave Russell's two goals taking them into the F.A. Trophy semi-finals for the first time.

Russell's goals were both gems in a glittering display against a disappointing Morecambe side and underlining why the young striker has attracted a host of Football League scouts to Wexham Road this season.

Arsenal's representative was particularly impressed by Russell and midfield dynamo Roy Davies, while Russell's fellow striker Paul Lee, having defied a back injury to play, is still attracting the attentions of Southampton.

Manager Joe Arpino was delighted after seeing Slough stretch their unbeaten run to nine games. He said: "We gave a very professional display. We could have played better but we always looked likely to score whereas they never did."

Morecambe contributed to their own downfall by relying on a defensive 4-4-2 formation. And a 'special' plan to take care of Slough backfired.

The visitors announced that 22-goal top scorer Rod Thomas was wearing the No. 10 shirt and John Williamson the No. 2. No. 10 played at centre-back, with No. 2 in attack, but Mr. Arpino claimed afterwards: "I feel certain that the No. 2 in attack was Thomas. I saw him against Staines and I don't forget players easily."

Regardless of the numbers game, Morecambe's No. 1 priority was trying to stop the twin threat of Russell and Lee. Player-manager John Johnson was lectured for chopping down Russell in the opening minutes and then followed two amazing let offs. In the eighth minute Street turned a right wing cross from Turl against his own post. Almost immediately afterwards keeper Maclachlan fumbled a Lee shot and Shaw had to boot the ball off the line.

Morecambe continued to show signs of cup jitters as first Reardon and then Lee fired inches over the bar. Eventually Morecambe counter attacked and Williamson also shot narrowly over.

But there was no stopping Slough and they deservedly took the lead in the 23rd minute thanks to the quick-thinking of Reardon, Lee and Russell. Lee crossed perfectly from the left and Russell's header was so powerful that Maclachlan could only touch the hall as it flashed into the roof of the net.

It could have been 2-0 in the 31st minute but Maclachlan made a fine diving save to stop Russell's low shot.

Morecambe were getting nowhere with their 4-4-2 system because they were too slow and inaccurate in their build-ups. In contrast, Slough were always a menace, with orthodox crosses coming over from the left and deep, high balls being floated in from the right to test the uncertain Maclachlan.

Davies produced the first activity of the second-half, making a 20-yard run before firing the wrong side of the far post in the 53rd minute.

The atmosphere created by a 1,701 crowd was telling on both sides as they made several misplaced passes and Davies tried to relieve the tension by pretending to wipe his nose on the half-way line.

Davies then proved his worth in a more positive manner by helping to create the vital second goal in the 70th minute. His cross from the left was headed down by Somers and Russell pounced to volley the ball in.

At last Morecambe pushed men forward. They almost replied when a fierce drive from Scott rebounded off the bar and the ball hit Malley before being cleared.

Despite the good behaviour on the pitch, the fans failed to follow the players' example. Fighting broke out behind one goal 10 minutes from the end and a beer crate was thrown before police could get the situation under control.

Morecambe made a late attempt to reduce the arrears but Porter ended their hopes when he tipped over Street's header.

Morecambe Line up

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