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The National League U19 Alliance

Nine Man Slough Held By Bath

Slough Town

Slough Town

West (16)
Bath City

Bath City

Mings (48)
League Attendance: 980 Neil Catlin
Nine man Slough Town almost managed to secure their fifth consecutive Conference win against 10-men Bath City at Wexham Park on Tuesday night.

But at the end of a stormy night a 16th minute strike by Mark West was cancelled out three minutes after the break by Ade Mings in a game which featured eight bookings as well as three sendings off.

Slough still managed a dazzling display even without Mark Pye, who was dismissed in the 50th minute for violent conduct after fighting with Mings - who was also sent packing - and David Lay, who was red-carded for two bookable offences in the 63rd minute.

Both Slough players will miss the home match against Bromsgrove, with whom the Rebels drew level at the top of the table after this result, while Pye will also miss the trip to Dover and the visit of Hednesford.

Slough manager Dave Russell considered the decisions by referee David Crick as out of keeping with the tone of the game. He said: "The game was played at 100 miles an hour and the ball was fizzing about all over the place - but it was not really the sort of game it now appears."

Russell was, however, impressed by the performance of his squad which was still missing skipper Trevor Baron, defender Brian Lee and goalkeeper Trevor Bunting. "I thought we were a different class," he said. "We did lose our way for 20 minutes in the first half, but otherwise we outpassed them, outplayed them, destroyed them. We have so many players that look good on the ball and such a good attitude - it's frightening. It is the first time I have come away from a game like that feeling we had lost."

Slough caught fire early on with Lay getting the first strike on target, a shot that took a deflection on its goalbound way.

But West had the easiest of goals, Catlin heading a clearance ball powerfully back for West to snap up, drag round his marker and tuck under City keeper David Mogg.

West could have had another almost immediately when Fiore sent in another piercing cross from the left, but the ball was cleared off the line at the crucial moment.

Slough recovered from a period of pressure when Bushay had a first time shot which was swept wide to Fiore, yet another dangerous cross headed off the line by Chris Sugar.

And while Bushay saw an angled shot flash across the face of goal, West had the best chance to put Slough further ahead in the 42nd minute after Pye had released Fiore again and West side footed a murderous low drive just the wrong side of the upright.

With Birkby and Bressington already in the book before the break, things threatened to get out of hand after half time.

Catlin was booked for ungentlemanly conduct - and taking three blasts on the whistle to come to heel - in the 47th minute.

City immediately cashed in as Slough dropped their guard, Grantley Dicks sending dangerman Mings away with a long through ball which he slipped under Preddie as he tried to spread himself.

But the double sending off which followed two minutes later failed to blunt the edges of two attacking sides. And Slough, even when they later lost Lay, looked the more likely to find the net.

Bushay and West both brought out the best in Mogg when gifted good breaks - and the ball was smashed onto the crossbar twice in a frantic ruck from a corner.

Ross Pickett, on for Bushay in the reshuffle after Lay's departure which pulled West into the midfield, used fresh legs to gnaw away at City's defence.

He put in crosses to Blackman and Catlin for shots which Mogg managed to use various parts of his body to steer away.

Never did it appear that disadvantaged Slough would give up the chase for all three points.
In a ding-dong finale the outnumbered Rebels teased further openings which they could not quite exploit while Preddie saved well from a free kick and blocked the final effort of the day with his chest.

Had Vernon Deion - who destroyed Slough the last time the two sides met - passed inside to the waiting Micky Spencer or Gary Smart it might have been a different story.

As it was, Slough took a point and went level with Bromsgrove who went down 5-2 at Welling.

Bath City Lineup


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