At His Wit's End

Witton Albion

Witton Albion

Edey (52)
Slough Town

Slough Town

League Attendance: 489
As the paltry crowd of rather less than 500 drifted away from Witton on Saturday one local fan offered his opinion that Slough were -"the worst side I've ever seen"- well the chances are he'll see a few more 'dodgy' ones in the Northern Premier League next season, while Slough, bad side or not, will again line up in the English fifth division.

Their retention of a place in the prized Conference set-up looks less and less likely to be down to their own lofty achievements but owed more to the under-resourced, under qualified clubs looking to replace them.

It could well be that just one club will take the drop from the Conference this season - and Wilton are strong favourites for that honour simply because two of the three feeder leagues, The Diadora Premier and The Beazer Homes Premier, are unlikely to provide replacements.

Of the sides challenging for Diadora top spot only Enfield can boast the necessary facilities for Conference status but they are still some way behind leaders Stevenage while both Cheltenham and Farnborough are, allegedly, not interested in coming up from the Beazer league.

It doesn't say much for struggling Slough that they might have to rely on such an unsatisfactory manner in which to preserve their status, but then again judging by their general lack of invention and inspiration at Witton on Saturday it's just about the best straw to clutch right now.

That's not to say they they deserved to lose, Wilton I thought gave ample explanation of their unhappy position in the table and I'll dare to disagree with the view held by the forthright local, because of two very average sides on show Witton I felt were even more mediocre than Les
Briley's lot, it's just that Witton scored and Slough didn't. And probably wouldn't have done if the game had gone on until Sunday.

It wasn't for a lack of trying on Robbie Peters' part. Peters was a constant threat but with too many of his fellow yellows on a different wavelength, his impact was lessened. Mark Fiore after a bright start, rather disappeared and Andy Sayer seemed to lose confidence when he missed Town's best chance, midway through the first half, sidefooting wide when Fiore had fortuitously helped Peters' throughball into the little striker's path.

Before that a Manning header which lacked power, owing to the fact that the Peters cross was slightly behind the player and a fiercely hit cross from Steve Whitby - at the end of a sweet four man move were Slough's best moments.

There were all too few in the last 60 minutes and the second half was as bad as I've seen this season. Slough dominated possession but ran out of ideas when within range of Mike Allison in the home goal.They were emphatically punished when after 52 minutes Shaw flicked on a near post corner, McNellis headed back across goal and with Bunting elsewhere Cec Edey completed the task nodding the ball in from a couple of yards.

Bunting who had already kept out the impressive Shaw from close range then had to pull off another reaction save from Rose and now Briley - who sounds like Rocky Balboa when shouting his instructions from the bench - decided it was time to introduce subs Hazel and Morrys Scott.

Whitby - who never looked happy - and Steve Scott made way but Witton wouldn't, Morrys Scott was totally ineffective but Hazel had one chance, heading over again from a Peters cross.

Witton Albion Lineup


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