Entertaining Goalless Draw At Wexham Park

Slough Town

Slough Town



League Eggie James
There can have been few better goalless draws ever seen at Wexham Park than the eagerly awaited clash between Slough Town and Woking, now managed by former Windsor and Eton boss Brian Caterer and including 10 of the Royals from last season, at Wexham Park on Tuesday evening.

For the full 90 minutes this Berger Isthmian League, Premier Division clash was a pulsating encounter played in a real cup-tie atmosphere and although it lacked goals it had every other ingredient to make it a memorable match.

After the game both managers agreed that the draw was a fair result although deep down they must still be thinking about the number of near misses and wasted opportunities that could have produced a hatful of goals and a definite result.

For the Rebels, Eggie James hit the crossbar, Micky Kiely saw a header brilliantly saved and Micky O'Sullivan had a header cleared off the line. And at the other end Ross McCulloch blasted over from five yards, Ian Beckett had an effort disallowed for offside and Lyndon Lynch went desperately close with a superb swerving volley.

It was obvious from the start that both sides were in determined mood and with 10 former Windsor players in the Woking side a great rivalry clearly existed between the two teams.
The game was played at a furious pace and it was certainly not one for the faint hearted with the tackles coming in thick and fast.

With 15 minutes gone a corner from Keith White found the head of James and his powerful header cracked against the crossbar, and then with little time to re-position himself he put the rebound just wide.

Two minutes later Woking missed a golden opportunity when a deep corner to the far post was headed back by Beckett and with the Slough defence in total disarray McCulloch blasted over the bar from five yards out.

Neither side was given any time to settle on the ball and consequently most of the chances were created when defences were put under pressure. A moments hesitation by Neil Pettifer allowed the lively Lynch through and it took a good save from Frank Parsons to foil the former Hoddesdon striker.

Slough, fielding the same side which had beaten Carshalton on Saturday, suffered a blow after 23 minutes when Dave Russell limped off injured and was replaced by Steve Norman. But Norman quickly adjusted to his midfield role and within minutes James twice came close to breaking the deadlock.

The only time the ball entered the net was after 37 minutes when the Rebels' defence were again thrown into confusion following a long free kick by Ian Howard. Parsons failed to win the ball and McCulloch knocked it back across the face of the goal and Beckett headed home from close range. However, Woking's joy was short lived as the effort was disallowed for offside.

In the closing minutes of the half Slough twice came close. First James shot wide when put through by Kiely and then following a splendid run and cross on the left by Les Barrett, Kiely's header was magnificently tipped over by Kevin Mitchell.

The second half followed much the same pattern as the first with play rapidly switching from one end to the other and chances always being created.

It was from another fine run and cross by Barrett that Slough's best chance of the match came with 65 minutes gone. But the unmarked O'Sullivan at the far post tried to direct his header downwards rather than straight at the virtually empty net and it was cleared on the line by Chapman.

And then at the other end a long clearance set Lynch free of the Slough defence and a fine swerving shot on the volley from some 25 yards was desperately clawed away for a corner by Parsons.
But the excitement did not finish there and in the closing minutes it took a fine stretching save from Parsons to prevent a back pass from Pettifer beating him, while Akers fired over from close range after James and Joe Moloney had put pressure on the Woking defence.

Once again James and Kiely were in superb form for Slough and a constant threat to the Woking defence and their speed and direct running came close on numerous occasions to breaking the deadlock. Often they fought a lone battle, until in the later stages when Keith White was pushed more forward, and afterwards manager Laurie Churchill was full of praise for their tremendous efforts.

On the evidence of this performance Caterer's policy of bringing with him almost the entire Windsor squad from last season to Woking and adopting the same tactics which made the Royals so successful over the past two seasons seems to have paid handsome dividends.

He said he felt Woking were capable of coming to Wexham Park and taking at least a point off "the champions" and on the night they certainly deserved that. It was also refreshing to see a visiting team adopt such an attacking policy which contributed to a highly entertaining game for the good sized crowd.

Although the match was at times rather physical the only booking came when Bob King was booked for a foul on Kiely in the first half.

Woking Lineup


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