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Sat Sep 23 15:00
The Vanarama National League South

Ducks Rob Rebels

| League
Att: 1103
Slough Town
Thompson (26)
1 - 2
Aylesbury United
Hutter (22), Cox (29, pen)
Steve Thompson
Slough were mugged by their Vauxhall League championship rivals Aylesbury in football's equivalent of daylight robbery at Wexham Park Stadium on Saturday.

The Ducks stopped the Rebels from going level on points with them and ended a run of 15 matches without defeat in the Premier Division.

A controversial penalty award in the 29th minute proved decisive. Slough boss Alan Davies was left seething at referee Clive Andrews who adjudged Jeff Bateman to have tripped Cliff Hercules when the Aylesbury striker appeared to have trod on the ball.

An angry Davies was so upset by the decision that he even refused a radio interview request after the match in case he said something that would land him in hot-water with the Football Association.

"The referee was very poor," he said through gritted teeth after he had calmed down. "Everyone will say it's sour grapes because we lost. But throughout the 90 minutes he disappointed me and I thought that both sides had reason to complain about him. "The penalty would have been a joke if it hadn't been so serious. Not only did their lad fall over when no-one was near him, but it was outside the penalty-area as well."

League championship favourites Aylesbury seemed to want to turn the match into a street brawl. Their over-physical approach spoiled the game for the biggest Vauxhall League crowd of the season, although their huge contingent of supporters didn't seem to mind too much.

Peter Welsh and Graham Reed were both booked in a match that Slough's star-man, Steve Thompson, was forced to leave after 80 minutes ¬the victim of a concerted second-half campaign to kick him out of the action.

The Rebels rode Aylesbury's aggressive approach to dominate the second-half, turning the game into a procession as they strove to break down a magnificently organized defence.

The Ducks won't be the best side Slough play in the Premier Division this season, but they will certainly be the most professional ¬something that Davies acknowledged afterwards.

"You may not like everything they do, but they were so professional in their approach. When they had to clear their lines they made sure the ball went far enough so they had time to re-organise themselves. "It's little things like that that we will have to learn if we are to ever compete at the highest level."

All the goals came in a crazy seven minute spell mid-way through the first-half. Peter Hutter started the drama in the 22nd minute when he scrambled the ball over the line from six-yards after the Rebels keeper Trevor Bunting had misjudged a Steve Ketteridge corner.

Slough's reply was instantaneous. Four minutes later Thompson clipped a free-kick over Aylesbury's five-man wall and into the bottom corner of the net before keeper Nick Taylor even had a chance to move.

Wexham Park was still buzzing when Hercules, playing his first match since August after a knee operation, tumbled down in the penalty-area and referee Andrews pointed to the spot.

Steve Cox, the League's leading goalscorer, confidently stroked the kick past Bunting to restore Aylesbury's lead. The Ducks then weathered tremendous second-half pressure from the Rebels which penned them back in their own half.

Mark Hill, Mark Adams, Jeff Bateman and Tony Knight all went close to equalising and it looked certain that Tommy Langley had forced the ball over the line in injury time, only for Taylor to claw his shot away.

Said Davies: "I don't quite know how we didn't score towards the end and I think Aylesbury realise they've sneaked away with the points. "At the end of the day, though, I don't think we have too much to fear for the rest of the season."

Aylesbury United Line up

Taylor, Wilson, Cox, Day, Flutter, Pluckrose, Donegan, Hercules, Reed, Ketteridge, Welsh. Subs: Mason (for Welsh), Phillips (for Cox).


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