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The Vanarama National League South

Injuries hit Rebels hard at Redbridge Crisis

Redbridge Forest

Redbridge Forest

Cavell (17, 65, 81), Walsh (21)
Slough Town

Slough Town

League Attendance: 673
Slough's injury crisis reached an all time high for this vital Vauxhall Conference fixture at high flying Redbridge on Saturday.

And it got even worse for the Rebels when Darren Anderson was replaced after limping off after only a few minutes. Seven first team players were missing, Mark Hill, Francis Joseph, Paul McKinnon, Guy Donnellan and Anderson all injured, with Mark Mallinson and Allan Pluckrose both touring with the Combined Services.

Slough were so tightly stretched that they had to call on the services of ex-Rebel Jimmy Brown who is currently without a club.

But Slough boss Alan Davies wasn't complaining: "All the goals were down to sloppy defending from individuals. I spoke to the players for half an hour after the game to look at the goals and our mistakes. I'm fed up with talking about injuries," he said. "With all respect to the lads coming in, those missing are all regular first team players. The players coming in at the moment have the problem that they haven't been playing regularly."

After physiotherapist changes during the season Davies said there was no problem there: "The situation arose because at the end of the season we have to have a fully qualified FA physio." On the return of Jimmy Brown he added: "Jimmy is non-contract and he asked a week ago if he could come back and play in the Capital League. I told him he might be needed for Saturday and he signed temporary forms on Saturday morning."

As far as the performance went Davies said: "At the end of the day I thought we played quite well. For the first 20 minutes we had a good start and were unlucky that Thommo didn't score. There were times when we got the ball down and began to play."

With a full strength side Slough would have been up against it, against a side that had won nine out of 11 of their previous games and were fourth.

But with their side weakened so much it was little more than a valiant display that went unrewarded as Rebels battled against the odds.

Redbridge moved forward quickly and effectively and found space on the left where normal right back, Phil Stacey, had been forced to play.

A swift move ended with Marcus Ebdon hitting the bar from close range and soon after Anderson jarred his hip in a tackle, got booked and then had to go off to be replaced by Mick Putnam.

But it wasn't all Redbridge. The Rebels were finding space going forward and Steve Thompson showed pace and skill.

But the home side took the lead after 17 minutes when Paul Cavell had time to control a long throw at the near post and turn and blast home.

Four minutes later it was 2-0 and the Rebels followers would have been excused thoughts of a humiliating score line. Cavell found plenty of space on the left and thumped in a cross which Walsh converted.

But Slough bravely came back and suddenly found Redbridge all too willing to sit back and let them come at them.

Thompson had a fine effort when he turned at the near post and shot across the face of the goal but there was no support.

More Thompson magic resulted in a useful ball into the box but the struggling Steve Scott blasted wildly wide with the goal yawning.

At the other end Bunting saved well from Cavell who was too quick for the normally pacy Tony Knight.

The second half saw Bunting pull off a fine save from Walsh who had been put clean through from Stanley's dreadful pass but Slough kept working hard with Tony Dell performing well in midfield.

With 57 minutes gone Forest keeper Ian Bennett handled outside the box, an offence which should earn a sending off, but with the shot going wide referee Mr Monk let him off with a booking.

With 65 minutes gone Cavell scored again and he scored with a flick in front of goal after Gary Blackford's cross and slowly Redbridge got on top.

Brown replaced Scott with 20 minutes left and got through some hard work and showed some good touches as he battled away. Slough still confronted a lost cause with some determined football and neat passing though the forwards got a buffeting and little protection from the referee.

Knight was caught cold with nine minutes left after a free kick which came straight back and picked out Cavell in space with Knight stranded. Cavell raced on to complete his hat-trick.

Redbridge Forest Lineup


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