Slough Held By Bath

Slough Town

Slough Town

Bath City

Bath City

League Attendance: 1334
It's difficult to criticise a side that has lost two of its opening eleven Conference games, lays second in the league and enjoys one of the finest defensive records in any division anywhere, but it has to be said, Slough are slipping somewhat in the entertainment table.

Without a goal in 271 minutes of conference football after Saturday's goalless affair with Bath, Town have seemingly lost the sparkle that saw them blaze through the pack to take up top-spot and included a thrilling 5-2 demolition of highly-rated Yeovil. Those leaving ten minutes from time, obviously wanted something better.

I'm not advocating a carefree attitude or even a radical change of tactics but for the third consecutive game, Slough created next to nothing albeit this time against a capable side intent on defending in numbers.

But Bath though occasionally threatening were obviously content with the draw and Slough, in recent weeks used to soaking up pressure, seemed unsure of what to do when the onus is on them.

Put in perspective, Slough are still one of say five sides who may go on to win the Conference, but at their present rate, they will need to accept every chance they make to allow such an opportunity come next May.

To that end it was good to see Andy Sayer make his long-awaited return to first team action. Sayer, top scorer last season, came on midway through the second half to replace Mark Quamina; he looked a few pounds overweight and was somewhat off the pace, but Sayer more than anyone is the key to Slough ending their goals famine and he'll be keen to make up for lost time.

He will also reflect on the one chance he had to head Slough in front. Ian Hazel's 70th minute corner was headed towards goal by Morrys Scott and Sayer, five yards out got a flick downwards but unfortunately into the waiting arms of David Mogg in the Bath goal.

Mogg was the busier of the two underworked goalkeepers and he did make one outstanding save from Steve Scott's stinging 12 yard half volley.

Prior to that Slough had just the two chances, the first free header for Morrys Scott from Steve Scott's 33rd minute corner, Morrys seemed surprised and got no power in a downward header.

Early in the second half. Mark Quamina ran through onto Morrys Scott's through ball, held off Crowley and brought a smart one handed save from Mogg as he attempted to beat the visiting goalkeeper at his near post.

Bath who lost Paul Chenoweth early on with shoulder ligament trouble could boast a pain of off target efforts from Paul Adcock and a sweeping move involving Williams, Boyle and sub Deion Vernon that ended with Bunting holding at full stretch Vernon's low drive.

As Slough's defence and in particular Les Briley got a little careless late on, first Cousins and then Vernon dragged shots tamely wide, before in the last minute Steve Scott lifted Slough's final chance, a 25-yard free-kick, high over Mogg's crossbar.

Though Sayer's return will have gladdened The Doc's heart the diminutive striker will still require a decent service and it was again something of a mystery to see Mark Fiore hanging back close to the halfway line

It's surely time for Slough's most gifted individual to be let off the leash rather more often. Accepting his defensive capabilities — again in evidence on Saturday —he is the only Rebel likely to unlock defensive doors and though beating a man in his own half may give him some pleasure it does no real damage; if he repeats the performance 30 yards further forward then he's in business.

Fiore even in his limited role was undoubtedly the pick of Town's determined dozen, with the two Scott's and Neal Stanley almost anonymous and Mark Quamina less involved than of late. It does then put even greater emphasis on Sayer finding full fitness and form . . . in haste.

Bath City Lineup


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