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Sat Sep 23

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Sat Sep 23 15:00
The Vanarama National League South

Rebels Slump To Poppies Defeat

| League
Att: 1710
Slough Town
0 - 3
Kettering Town
Brown (17), Graham (64, 88),
Sean Lahiff
It's going to take something special to lift Slough out of the doldrums and into thick of things this season. Right now, they just cannot compete.

True, they were playing the runaway leaders of the Vauxhall Conference when they entertained Kettering Town on Tuesday night, but the Rebels were made to look so ordinary, so out of touch for so long in the match, manager Alan Davies must be wondering if it was such a good idea to get promoted after all.

He'll tell you it's early days to start worrying whether Slough Town have got what it takes to stay up at this level. He'll be right as well, but even with the extensive squad shuffling he made going into this clash, the Rebels look at least three players short of a competent outfit.

For the Poppies of Kettering, well it's a different story. Riding high and already five points clear of second placed Barnet, they look a good bet for promotion to the Football League and on this showing, they could equip themselves quite well there too.

For the first half, they left the Rebels chasing shadows, restricting Slough to just one effort on target when Tony Dell's looping header bounced on top of the crossbar and over. The menacing Poppies had things pretty much their own way and there was an air of inevitability about it when Phil Brown placed a bullet of a header past Sean Lahiff to open the scoring on 17 minutes.

Lahiff, who has had a torrid time between the sticks since signing two weeks ago, went some way to proving his worth on this night of misery. This was by far his best performance as he made several telling saves and punches but, all too often, he was left cruelly exposed by his defenders as Kettering found space at will.

Slough had their best spell of the game after the restart. Tommy Langley, Mark Mallinson and Dave Howells all went close in one five minute spell as the Rebels roused themselves to the task at hand.

On loan striker Frank Murphy was proving to be a real handful for the Kettering defenders but just when an equaliser looked on the cards, the Poppies killed off the match with a second strike. A long goalkeeping clearance was flicked on towards the edge of :he Rebel's box and sweeper Trevor How looked to have everything under control with the ball at his feet.but he was caught napping by substitute John Graham who dispossessed him and fired past Lahiff on 64 minutes.

Graham could have struck again three minutes later but for the agility of Sean Lahiff who made a superb dive to deflect his goal-bound header. It was Graham who had the last laugh though. Two minutes from time he crashed home an unstoppable drive to make it 3-0 and send the large expectant, Kettering support home happy with three points well deserved.

Kettering Town Line up


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