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Sat Jul 27
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Hartley Wintney (H)
Sat Jul 27 13:00
The Vanarama National League South
17th
0pts

Dodds Dominates New Years Duel

| League
Att: 1202
Slough Town
Thompson (5)
1 - 1
Windsor & Eton
Dodds (73)
Tommy Langley
Rowan Dodds starred for Windsor as they took a point from Wexham Park on New Year's Day. But it could have been all three had not Gary Lester showed lightning reactions in the dying seconds.

Slough, sitting pretty at the top of the league, started 1990 where they left off in the eighties, with a bright opening, but it was Windsor who made the play as the game drew to its final third.
Slough were deprived of the services of Gary Dodd, who had been a kingpin in their recent run of form, and Tony Knight stepped into his place. Windsor replaced own goal victim of the previous encounter Paul Waites with Eddie Hutchinson — normally a full back — in a move that helped stem the Rebel's flow down the right.

Had Michael Banton been there to witness Dodds's performance, then he would be seriously worried about regaining his place. The tall striker was in his element on his old hunting ground, and his equalising goal was worth the entrance fee itself. He left his manager enthusing: "It was an excellent performance from a more than capable player."

Alf Coulton then moved on to credit his team: "Slough are a good side, and it was a courageous performance to come here and go for it, and I thought we put some pride back into the club. "We fought well, battled well and didn't give any space away," he added. Slough boss Alan Davies wasn't too despondent after he had seen his side fail to capitalise: "You must give credit to Windsor who came and battled and got a point they deserved. "A few players didn't perform as well as they could, and we didn't create that many chances. But a lot of games are going to be difficult and from now on we will see what we are made of."

Mick Barnes went close for Windsor when his header looped onto the bar from Richard Evans's throw, but Slough were in the lead after only five minutes. Byron Walton mis-controlled Neal Stanley's cross, and Steve Thompson nipped in to fire home. Despite the early setback, Windsor looked far more positive than on Boxing Day, and decided to play on Jeff Bateman as the Slough weak link.
Rowan Dodds stayed with him, acting as target man, and troubled the tall central defender greatly with his speed and size. The Royalists were also looking to get the ball up from the back as quickly as possible.

Slough were creating more, though the sides were evenly matched, and Kevin Mitchell pulled off a diving save from Barry Rake's shot. Kevin Parkins was denied by the cross bar when he superbly volleyed the loose ball goalwards. The confidence in the Rebels game after the following weeks showed, players refusing to be harried, and making a determined effort to control the ball before releasing. Windsor got the bit between the teeth and gradually became the first to the ball, and as the half grew on were dictating the pace.

The second half started with a lively display from both sides. Rake's error let in Hutchinson, and his ball almost set up Dodds, but he ran the ball out. Tommy Langley was laying off some incredible passes upfront for the Rebels and one such move allowed Mark Adams to cross, Stanley rising high to head against the cross bar with Mitchell stranded. Both left backs went into the book, Walters for a strong challenge on Rake and Johnson for time wasting, but Windsor were moving nearly. Parkins was assigned to shadow Thompson and got in well to hustle the inspirational midfielder off his game.

Mark Woods made a vital clearance after Langley nodded the ball into Bobby Dell's path, but soon Windsor were looking lethal. Dodds looked like he could do anything asked, and that he came up trumps with 73 minutes gone. Evans won the ball in Windsor's last third, and picked out Dodds in the centre circle. Dodds picked up the ball and left Tony Knight for dead, streaked down the Slough left, closed in on the Slough goal, and while Bateman watched, and Lester stood guard, Dodds unleashed an unstoppable shot low in at the near post.

Steve Norman replaced Barnes, suffering from an ankle knock, and Windsor's powerful second half performance nearly reaped the reward in the last minute. Dodds was again down the right, and this time his cross hit the bar and landed at the feet of Walton — six yards out with no one to beat. But it all happened too quickly for Walton, and his hopeful prod was too soft, Lester diving across the goal held the ball on the line. Rowan Dodds lifted his arms in triumph after the game, having scored a vital morale booster for Windsor, and put a dent in Slough's title hopes.

Windsor & Eton Line up

Mitchell, Araguez, Walters, Richards, Barnes, Woods, Walton, Parkins, Evans, Dodds, Hutchinson. Subs: Gilman, Norman (for Barnes 81 mins)

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