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The Vanarama National League South

That's The Way To Do It!



Slough Town

Slough Town

Catlin (11)
League Attendance: 1132 Neil Catlin
And so it came that Slough travelled to Enfield. And there was much jubilation when they came away with a 1-0 victory in a game which had it all - a penalty, a red card and lashings of superb action.

The Rebels hacked their way through a tangled undergrowth of doubt and mediocrity to really prove their mettle on Saturday, emerging as the swashbuckling, all-confronting heroes we knew they could be.

Slough exerted great pressure from the off, and were cheered on by the sort of vocal support that is worth an extra man to any team.

And that extra man was Neil "Battlin'" Catlin, fully living up to his nickname on 11 minutes, as he took on the strength of two ordinary players to graft his way from the edge of the area and through a ruck of defenders before squeezing his shot into the corner. Superb.

The Rebels were never going to be able to relax for a moment, but the odd mis-kick aside, nothing went seriously wrong. When Sayer's header screamed along the goal-line, a second looked almost certain, but a defender hacked the danger away.

We were promised a tough battle, and we got one - Stone was involved in several clashes with Blackford and an Enfield defender then attempted to strangle Tony Dell. Clement picked up his fourth caution of the season for a needless trip on 24 minutes.

For the Slough connoisseur, it was delicious stuff, if a little nerve-wracking. Laurie Craker bellowed orders from the bench like a hyperactive Sergeant Major, and it seemed to be working. Enfield's pace up-front was snuffed out effectively, and the Rebels exposed all sorts of gaps at the back.

The midfield was in total control - Catlin has never battled harder, and even Tony Dell looked good. Everything was going swimmingly, with a little help from England's Number One on the half-hour, pulling off a great save from a diving header.

The remainder of the first-half was a little more settled. Richardson came on for an injured Stone, and Sayer slotted just past the post. So, half-time, 1-0. Great stuff.

And if you were expecting a backlash in the second-half, don't worry, because it never really materialised. There was more of the same carry-on, as Andy Sayer, revelling in his new role, somehow failed to add to his meagre goal-tally on two occasions, shooting wide on 57 minutes and forcing a tremendous save seconds later.

And then it nearly all came crashing in. A great cross from Saint-Hilaire was headed in to explosive celebrations, only to be wiped out for offside. Who says linesmen don't have a sense of humour?

It was the sort of game you didn't want to end. Enfield are an entertaining and useful side, even if they weren't quite firing on all cylinders. Even given that, Abbott's missed header was a merciful release.

The North Londoners never really had their fingers on the trigger for long enough to look menacing. And if the gaps began to show momentarily, a nervous glance at the watch was reassuring...time was running out.

It just wasn't Enfield's day, though. Just when it looked like Slough could wave three points goodbye when Baron cut down a charging attacker on the edge of the area, it was not to be. The big number five took an early bath for his actions, but the resulting disputable penalty was put against the post. Victory has never been so sweet.

And so the moral of this story is: you can't keep a good side down. But what about next week? And the week after? It's all rather exciting.

Enfield Lineup


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