Leyton Wingate

Leyton Wingate

Lane (2)
Slough Town

Slough Town

Brown (5 pen)
League Trevor Bunting
Slough made a hasty exit from the hell-hole of Leyton Wingate knowing that they could easily have come away pointless. Set among the back yards of an area of the East End that makes Albert Square look like Hanover Square, Wingate Leyton Stadium is the kind of decrepit, outdated slum that America would not condemn an under-eight girls team to play in.

The stand has no roof, which meant mopping up seats before you could get settled for Saturday's game; the home club have only a handful of supporters, which meant the loudest noise heard all afternoon came from down the road when Leyton Orient scored; the pitch was bumpy and narrow to the point of eliminating wing play almost totally; and the clubhouse is so uninviting that there was a mad rush for the team coach after the game.

The only thing I can recommend about the place is the steak and kidney pie I had before the match. Slough manager Alan Davies commented after the game: "It is a bloody horrible place to come. The pitch isn't that big and the state of it didn't help either team play football. I am glad we haven't got to come here again and other teams have. It was one of those games when it was a battle. It goes against the grain to say it, but it wasn't a day to play football and that didn't suit us. At the end of the day we were happy we didn't lose."

The home side took just over a minute to warn Slough that points weren't going to be easy to come by, taking the lead from their first attack. Steve Hamberger got up to head Briar Taylor's cross against the bar and Steve Lane was lurking on the line to head in the rebound.
Slough were level only three minutes later wher Kenny Wilson broke down the left and his cross was blocked by Andy Mavin's arm. After Wingate's protests that the contact was unavoidable had died down, Jimmy Brown scored hit 21st goal of the season with a less than perfect penalty.

For the rest of the half it was the hosts who looked more likely to add to the score. Colin Keys struggled in the injured Tony Knight's sweeper position as Wingate continually got behind the Rebels' defence, where right back Dennis Powell was also having an off day.

Trevor Bunting did well to block a Lane effort at the near post and then turned a shot from the dangerous Sean Baker round the post. After 16 minutes Lane got round the back again to lob the ball to the far post where Baker dived to head against the upright. Wingate's early bursts began to peter out and only Wayne Wanklyn's booking for a late challenge on Tony Welsh was worthy of note until the closing minute of the half when Powell and Jeff Bateman had to defend their line stoutly during a goalmouth scramble.

Slough were rarely able to get wide men Wilson and Paul Waites into the game on a pitch which Nas badly wider than the penalty area, but they did begin to dictate for a spell after the break. Neal Stanley, who looked the Rebels' most threatening player, nudged the ball through or Brown to challenge keeper Peter Mills, and as the ball rolled towards the line the covering John O'Hehir almost put it into his own net as he stumbled while ushering he ball to safety.

Baker shot wide after Bateman lost the ball in his own area and Bunting made his finest save to hold on to a close range shot from the same forward. Wilson was presented with Slough's best second half chance after the ball ricocheted to him from Brown's clash with Mills, but he miscontrolled the ball and it rolled harmlessly to the keeper. The final 15 minutes revolved mainly around Slough's area, but the Rebels made sure they had something to take home from Wingate Leyton Stadium with them other than bad impressions.

Leyton Wingate Lineup

Mills, Fiore, O'Hehir, Mavin, Hamberger, Taylor, Campbell, Welsh, Lane, Baker, Bee. Subs: Marshall, Robinson (not used).


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