Town go down after brave fight

| League
Slough Town
0 - 2
Enfield
Harding (71), Bishop (84)
John Beyer
SLOUGH Town, with six regular players ruled out of action, put up a brave fight before being crushed by two goals in the last 19 minutes of their opening Isthmian League fixture on Saturday.

Old rivals Enfield, twice humbled by Slough last season, fully deserved this revenge victory.

Slough lacked nothing in determination and work rate, but they failed to match Enfield's creative passing and sharp finishing.

Although Enfield had only three mid-field men to Slough's four, they dominated this area, with Ron Howell and former Slough player Micky O'Sullivan supplying penetrating passes which far exceeded anything produced by their Slough counterparts Alan Gane and Ian Cooke.

Slough's two 'wide' mid-field men, Dave Russell and Barry Friend, were also disappointing. Friend often wasted possession by either running into trouble or failing to cross accurately, while Russell slightly overdid his mazy dribbles and at tames faded out of the picture. Full-backs Graham Maskell and Richard Strong seemed to lack confidence, and it was just as well that central defenders Eric Young and John Beyer were at their best.

But the big difference between the two sides was in attack. Enfield, already regarded as favourites to regain the title they won in 1976, 1977 and 1978, were by far the most dangerous side in the penalty area, particularly in the early stages. Bobby Harding dived to head inches wide, while efforts from Keith Elley and John Bishop also flashed a shade the wrong side of the woodwork.

But Slough's injury weakened side was fighting for everything and although they were fielding a cautious 4-4-2 line-up they produced some good breaks. These usually involved the lively Rowan Dodds, playing only because four more experienced forwards were unavailable. But Slough's finishing was nowhere near as crisp as Enfield's and their only worthwhile shot in the first 30 minutes was a 35 yard drive from Cooke which was well wide.

Slough simply could not take advantage of the fine runs of Dodds and Russell, both of whom were beating left-back John Tone with sheer pace. Eventually, Tone could no longer stand Russell's jinking runs and committed a blatant foul. Russell retaliated with a push and both players were booked with 63 minutes gone. Two minutes later O'Sullivan was also cautioned after Beyer went down holding his head.

Slough had now lost their rhythm and Enfield had almost taken the lead in between these two incidents. But after Harding had rounded advancing keeper Teale, he sent the ball across the face of an open goal.

When Harding got a second chance in the 71st minute he made no mistake. A long ball from Howell put him through and, with Strong delaying his challenge, the ex-Ilford striker lobbed the ball over Teale into the top of the net.

This stung Slough into frantic action and Gane's deflected shot seemed a certain equaliser until keeper Moore got across to claw the ball around the post.

But as the minutes ticked away Town lost their composure and resorted to long balls which didn't give their front runners a chance. Enfield took full advantage of the excessive possession they were now enjoying and grabbed a second goal six minutes from the end. This time Harding turned chance maker and Bishop beat Teale in a race for the ball to knock it home off the post as Maskell made a vain attempt to clear.

Enfield Line up

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