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Fri Jul 5

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Fri Jul 5 19:45
The Vanarama National League South

Not A Point More, Not A Point Less

Slough Town

Slough Town

Langley 19, Rake 89, Hubbick (og) 90


League Attendance: 1253 Trevor Bunting
It was another, big hot afternoon in which Slough took on near neighbours Marlow when nothing more than a win would do. The pressure was on, Wokingham marching hard on Slough's shoulder, and only 180 minutes left to decide the destiny of the title.

The Rebels ultimately were the better organised and more positive team, though the final score flattered to deceive. A worrying factor though is that Slough looked slightly stretched by a mediocre side as the heavy demands of this season looked to be taking toll.

Marlow raised their game significantly, and battled all the way, holding Slough to the single goal margin until the last two minutes.

Wexham Park, developing rapidly, saw its last game of the season in the bright sun and heat, and the playing surface was still in the excellent shape that it was in August. Over 1200 people packed in for this vital game, and it looks as though the hard work put in is proving fruitful as the club out-did top crowd pullers Aylesbury for by far the biggest attendance of the day.

The only change to the line-up was the appearance of Robbie Johnson at left back for Mark Mallinson - an attacking move from the start that underlined the Rebels intentions. Slough were early on the attack, and a great run by Steve Thompson which ended in setting up Neal Stanley was wasted with a poor effort.

Trevor How leaped to see his effort blocked from a corner and Barry Rake was just over from the rebound. Marlow's tactical change began to cause problems for the home side, doing away with both wingers they planted centre back Kevin Davies up front on Jeff Bateman, his height realising quite a duel between the two. His flick-ons had good effect at stages, and sucked out Bateman, with Marlow beginning to get the better of things.

Bateman made a vital tackle when he slid in to block Dave Lay's effort in front of goal, and just as it looked as though Marlow would do something Slough grabbed the lead.

On 19 minutes , Steve Thompson found Rake with a fine ball. Rake's shot was parried but Tommy Langley raced in to slide home well from an acute angle. This seemed to settle Slough and they pushed forward confidently without producing the final touch.

Langley was intelligent and encouraging at the front, but the Rebels again failed to hold possession long enough to take the initiative.

Trevor Bunting- who did some good handling all afternoon, was forced to tip over Davies's deep ball, and then produced a fine save from Mark Watkins.

He started the second half the same way, pulling off good stops from both Watkins and Harman. Slough struggled to flow, and with Rake firing over from outside the box, panic seemed to be setting in with long range efforts the norm.

Mark Adams, disappointing over the past few weeks, failed to provide the spark in getting around the defence and whipping in the crosses that were so natural during the season.

Marlow still looked as though they might do something when they pushed forward, finding alarming space in the midfield, but the Rebels began to hold the majority of possession.

Pressure came in fits and starts for both teams, but Slough were slowly wearing away at the visitors and looked in command the longer it went on. Stanley fired just wide with a good effort, and Langley made a fine run to cut in from the right and have his low effort saved.

Steve Thompson did well when he nipped in only to see Stanley's effort go wide, but with Slough breaking often, the support to the front was slow and opportunities were wasted.

Tony Dell was lucky to get away with handling the ball in the box, raising his hands to deflect the ball out for a corner, and then clutching his face in mock protection.

No penalty - and perhaps justice for a disallowed goal against the same team earlier this season. Bunting made a good save from Watkins who was given a ridiculous amount of time and space on the ball.

A well worked free kick between Thompson and Rake ended by flashing across goal only a touch from the net.

With 89 minutes gone, Barry Rake picked up the ball in midfield, eluded a challenge and ran on to keep his head and finish superbly. That sealed the points, and there was time for one more.

Billy Hubbick answering the keepers call blindly and chipping him from the edge of the box with a few seconds left.

Marlow Lineup


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