JUST NOT GOOD ENOUGH

| League
Slough Town
0 - 1
Carshalton Ath
Riley (21 pen)
Lee Sanderson
When the home supporters start drifting off still home with ten minutes still remaining you know that their favourites are not performing and when they start leaving with half-an-hour to go you know how bad things are. Unfortunately, things were so bad at Wexham Park on Saturday that most of the home supporters were drifting home with thirty minutes remaining.

Manager Alan Davies was well aware of the poor nature of the Rebels display. "At the end of the day we were not very good. We got what we deserved" he said. With a resigned air he added: "We have no excuses. I don't like losing, but if you have got to lose you want to go down fighting and for the first time this season we just didn't do that. We were second all round and it's not good enough."

Not since the relegation haunted days of 1984-85 have the Rebels performed so abysmally as they did against mid-table Carshalton Athletic to slip to their second home league defeat of the season. Although manager Alan Davies is sure to make encouraging noises in public about the Rebels championship chances, he must surely accept now that their chances are over for another season at least.

So dominant were the visitors throughout, they restricted the Rebels to only one shot on target throughout the 90 minutes, and if they'd been able to finish some of the chances they created they'd have been celebrating a four goal win bonus by the end of the game. Slough looked ragged and the defensive partnership of Jeff Bateman and Trevor How, who both looked ill at ease with each other throughout.

The reshuffle which allowed the two to come together included Kenny Wilson replacing the recently ineffective Des McMahon, Jimmy Jacobs returning to right-back and Tony Knight moving up to centre-half, presumably to add some of the much needed steel that has been missing since injury has kept Wayne Wanklyn out.

Unfortunately, Knight was unable to add this steel, except for a couple of crunching late tackles which would probably have earned him an early bath with a less forgiving referee than Mr. Maile.

From the outset the visitors were able to overrun the Rebels and should have taken the lead after only 15 minutes when Lee Sanderson's weak kick fell to Jon Warden. Fortuitously for the Slough keeper, the Carshalton striker shot weakly when faced with only Sanderson to beat from 12 yards.

Steve White came closer five minutes later with a well struck drive from 20 yards that had Sanderson scrambling across to his goal to save at the foot of the post. Sixty seconds later the keeper could do nothing as Warden powered a header from Chris Dibble's free-kick against the crossbar before the Rebels defence scrambled the ball into touch. From the resultant throw-in Gary Dodd pushed Gary Wilgross just inside the area and Andy Riley squeezed the penalty home via the inside of the post.

Dodd had the chance to make amends in the 31st minute when Neal Stanley's excellent cross picked him out at the far post, but he could only steer his header wide from three yards, a feat that Carshalton's John Raffington repeated at the other end four minutes later.

The Rebels appeared still to be digesting their halftime cup of tea when Keith White was caught in possession by Wilgross in the 47th minute. Conrad Kane was the quickest to react from Wilgross' delightful through ball, but was unable to finish as Sanderson smothered his first shot and How hoofed his follow up effort from the line.

The effervescent Dibble fired a shot inches wide two minutes later before a sixty second spell in the 70th minute summed up Slough's afternoon of despair. First, Dodd missed his kick when faced with an open goal after Curtis Warmington had inexplicably stepped over Tony Dennis' low cross. And then when Riley tried to clear the ball, he only succeeded in running the ball straight to Dennis on the edge of the goal area. Dennis somehow managed to lose his footing and put the golden opportunity behind for a goal-kick.

Carshalton showed that they could be just as wasteful in the 71st minute when both Wilgross and Raffington miskicked from Riley's cross with the Slough defence admiringly ball watching before Sanderson was able to gather the loose ball.

A frantic last 15 minutes saw the skipper White clip the visitors bar with a 20 yard free-kick and sub Stephen Playle force keeper Les Cleevely into his only save of the afternoon in the 85th minute. Meanwhile Warden continued to fire blanks at the other end for Carshalton, forcing Sanderson to a save from six yards.

Carshalton Ath Line up

Cleevely, Warmington, Riley, Raffington, Croad, White, Dibble, Gaston, Warden, Wilgross, Kane Subs: Cleaver (not used), James (not used)

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