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Sat Jul 1

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Sat Jul 1 17:30
The Vanarama National League South

Woking's magic man seals sad fate for unfortunate Rebels

| League
Att: 2480
Slough Town
0 - 1
Biggins (13)
Slough Town suffered a setback to their Conference aspirations when they went down to a single goal defeat against their near neighbours Woking at Wexham Park on Saturday.

The Cardinals though really stole the three points through their only real attacking moment in the first half of an entertaining New Year clash.

The solitary goal came following a mistake by Town's Mark Foran and when the ball was presented to Woking's danger man Mark Biggins he curled a delightful shot over and beyond Trevor Bunting.

Quite how that 13th minute effort remained the only goal is a mystery and will surely haunt Slough should their efforts to haul in Wycombe fail by the odd point or two.

The game was more like a cup tie and certainly Woking's famed travelling support made their share of noise. Early on play was frantic but as the game developed Slough, for all their dominance, could not get the rub of the green that on this occasion they needed and in particular in front of goal.

Several crosses were just crying out for someone to add the finishing touch but luck was not with the Rebels and the combination of slack finishing, stout defending and sound goalkeeping kept Slough at bay.

The biggest Wexham Park attendance of the season — 2,480 - made it an atmosphere to savour and all 22 players responded while referee Ian Mitchell from West Wycombe enabled the game to flow.

Darren Anderson was missing from the Rebels' starting line up, his leg injury failing to clear up in time, and Neal Stanley earned a recall on the right side of the Rebels' midfield, his series of quality crosses really ought to have bought Slough more success.

One early ball in gave Paul McKinnon the first chance of the game but his half volley was to close to Woking 'keeper Laurence Batty who dealt with it without difficulty.

Some three minutes later another dangerous Stanley cross into the box was unceremoniously hacked away for a corner by Richard Nugent.

However the 13th minute proved to be an unlucky one for Slough. First Steve Whitby sped away down the right to deliver a cross which saw pint sized top scorer Andy Sayer launch himself into a diving header which unfortunately for Town went just the wrong side of the post.

From the clearance Mark Foran slipped as he ran back and lost possession to Dave Puckett, the ball was played on to little Biggins and his cultured right foot did the rest.

Whitby's 20 yard shot from Slough's next attacking moment flew too wide and five minutes later Scott — off balance —skied his shot well over the top of Batty's crossbar.

Rebels though should really have grabbed the equaliser on the half hour when after good work by former Woking favourite George Friel. Mark Fiore had a good shooting chance from only eight yards out but hurried his effort with his weaker right foot and that effort too went wide of goal.

As is so often the case David Kemp's half time pep talk seemed to do the trick and Slough restarted with fire in their bellies.

In the space of five minutes on a better day Slough might have had three as Scott — twice —and Fiore had their shots either blocked or saved.

On the house Stanley shot over and after Biggins wasted Woking's only other opportunities of note Andy Sayer went close as he raced away through the centre of Woking's defence and lobbed the advancing Batty, the ball however floated a fraction over the top and you began to sense that today it was simply not going to go in for Slough.

Ian Hazel replaced the injured Briley with 15 minutes still left and on arrival visibly urged his teammates for a last fierce effort to find that equaliser.

George Friel thought for a moment that he had supplied it on 82 minutes when his shot beat Batty but was kicked off the line by Nugent.

Two minutes later Whitby again made the break on the right and his cross set up Sayer for another header which yet again was a whisker wide of Batty's goal.

On the day Slough can say "we was robbed" but the Woking fans who have seen their side mount something of a league revival after a disastrous start may take some convincing.

It was only Slough's second defeat in 13 Conference games and is their first league reversal since the 5-0 hammering by Kettering back on November 1.

Woking Line up

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