Harrowing, but Rebels can put this behind them

Harrow Borough

Harrow Borough

Pierce (69), Harris (74)
Slough Town

Slough Town

League John Beyer
TWO clearly-defined avenues of opinion emerged among those who saw Slough Town sink to their first league defeat of the season at chilly Harrow on Monday evening.

Theory one - encouraged by Slough's least effective display of the season - is that the bubble has burst and that having been beaten, Slough will now find themselves slipping gradually out of contention, as has happened in past seasons.

Theory two is that this defeat, although emphatic, can be hastily forgotten as was the FA Cup reverse against Barton a month ago, and that Slough can go on to re-emphasise their strongest bid for the title in several seasons.

Most side strongly with the latter theory, not because of unsubstantiated optimism, but, because they have been the most consistent team in the league not only since the start of the season, but since Laurie Churchill took over as manager 10 months ago. Churchill, despite a stream of injury problems that would have reduced most managers to howling self-pity, has in his own quiet and determined way, put together a team with true championship potential.

He has not one, but two of the best goalkeepers in non-league football in Parsons and Teale, two tigerish and adventurous full-backs in Yerby and Akers, the league's best centre-half in Eric Young, a resolute defender in John Beyer, a midfielder of great quality in Pat Morrissey and one of undying energy in Micky O'Sullivan, and one of the game's most undervalued but most effective strikers in Micky Kiely.

Then there are Russell, Friend, James and White, players who have only to add a shade more consistency to their games to help complete Churchill's formula. And that's not to mention the class of his most important back-up player, Terry Reardon, nor the better qualities of emerging young players like Steve Norman and Micky Cumber.

If anything is lacking from the Slough side at present, it is a little bit of flair - the kind Chris Kelly will provide for Leatherhead at Wexham Park on Saturday, the kind with which Eddie Stein helped to destroy the Rebels proud unbeaten record at Earlsmead on Monday night. Stein was not only the most graceful player on view, he was also the most effective and it was his brilliant right-wing run and cross, superbly headed in by Harris, which finally had Slough admitting defeat for the first time in the league this season - in the 74th minute of their 15th game.

That made it 2-0 and Slough, who had struggled to make chances without the vision of the injured Morrissey, were never likely to come back. They had fallen behind just five minutes earlier when an unfortunate bounce beat Beyer and Yerby, and David Pierce, after having missed three good chances, at last bagged one with a fierce 15-yard shot.

At that stage Slough had a chance of a draw but they made the mistake of allowing Stein too much room and it was inevitable that sooner or later, they would be punished. It was a night when little went right for Slough, and but for the purpose of Young and Beyer in defence and the goalkeeping of Richard Teale, Harrow might have won much more comfortably.
This Harrow are a fair side, having already beaten Dulwich and Enfield at their neat Earlsmead ground this season, and with a steadier defence they could be one of the sides battling for honours come next April.

Slough, meanwhile, can bounce right back when they entertain Leatherhead on Saturday, and the good news is that Pat Morrissey is almost certain to play. In fact, he would have been fit to face Harrow had the match been played later in the midweek. Then it's off to Woking on Tuesday night, the first of three consecutive away league games which continue with matches at Sutton on Saturday 15th, and Croydon on the 22nd.

Harrow Borough Lineup


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