Robins' nest proves stiff test

Carshalton Ath

Carshalton Ath

Slough Town

Slough Town

A moment's hesitation just 15 minutes from time by Gary Dodd could have given Slough the vital three championship points - but the lash wide summed up a frustrating, albeit hard-fought draw for the Rebels on Saturday.

Goalless draws can so often be dismissed as boring affairs, but on the odd occasion they can be enthralling....and this game at Carshalton was one of them.

The Robins had just completed eight victories on the trot including wins at Stortford and Barking, so for Slough it was always going to be a testing afternoon.

It could well have been five all with both sides clearing their lines more than once, but after a buzzing affair full of twists and turns a draw was a fair result.

Slough boss Alan Davies said "We could have nicked it on half chances. Jeff had one cleared off the line and one very good header that went close to the post. They worked hard for one another and provided the tough match that we expected and at the end of the day we can't complain".

With Greenaway still not match fit after a shoulder injury Tony Dennis held onto his hard earned place and was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet.

Two minutes after Ray Duffy had saved Slough by taking the ball off Russell's toe, a Dennis blast was headed clear by Raffington with Carshalton 'keeper Les Cleevely rooted to the spot.

Dennis used his quick turn of pace to good effect but was stopped on at least two occasions by the superb tackling of Curtis Warmington, a supreme full back whose defensive skills provided a highlight of the afternoon.

The second of Dennis's forays resulted in Slough's seventh corner midway through the first half. Adams swung the ball across the goalmouth but Steve Thompson couldn't guide the ball into the net.

If Slough thought that they were unlucky their turn to breathe a sigh of relief came shortly afterwards when John Warden hit a tremendous shot against the crossbar with Bunting just an interested spectator.

It was important for Slough to capitalise down the slope, and Steve Thompson looked likely to score when his well directed shot towards the corner of the goal was again stopped on the line by Warmington.

Then Cleevely rushing out just managed to block a snap shot from Dennis. With the slope in their favour after the break, Carshalton began to pressurise Slough with some long balls that were cleared with some difficulty, but Bateman and Knight looked pretty sure in the centre of defence.

The Rebels suffered one scare when Bunting, who had swooped low to save was kicked in a tender part of his anatomy by Murray Jones,but the young 'keeper was able to continue after treatment.

Slough then produced a corner at the top end which almost ended with success, Bateman meeting the the flag kick powered the ball past the upright with the home defence statuesque.

Down at the other end John Warden saw his low drive blocked on the line by Duffy, and almost immediately Steve Russell, shooting low, saw Keith White make a last ditch clearance.

With 20 minutes remaining Andy Rogers shot towards the far side of the goal beyond Bunting and Murray Jones volleyed high over the bar when just a touch would have done the trick.

Slough's best chance of the second half came when clever approach work from Mark Adams saw the ball laid at the feet of Gary Dodd. The Slough midfielder , having a bit of a off day side footed the ball past Cleevely and the far post.

At the end of the day this was a well earned point, although it meant that Slough slipped into second place following Farnborough's 4-1 win over Marlow. The importance of the league match between the two leading clubs at Wexham Park on December 27 (KO 7.30pm) should provide something well worth watching.

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