Mautone off as Rebels lose six pointer

Harrow Borough

Harrow Borough

Woodruffe (38)
Slough Town

Slough Town

League Attendance: 386 Darron Wilkinson
Here it was. The vital six pointer against Harrow Borough.

The Rebels fans made the short journey to Earlsmead in numbers hoping that the side could get something out of the match, but with no less than nine first team regulars out of the side injured, things were going to be difficult.

They became even more difficult on nine minutes. Bates lifted a high ball to Woodruffe on the left. Goalkeeper Steve Mautone came out to meet the striker, who lofted the ball over the keeper's head only for Mautone to handle the ball outside his area. Despite players covering the situation and Woodfuffe in a wide left position the referee dismissed Mautone for "denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity".

After much deliberation, Slough's midfielder Darron Wilkinson went in goal, but was not threatened by the resultant free kick which sailed over the bar.

Five minutes later it should have been 10 men apiece when former Southend midfielder Derek Payne blatantly punched Paul Barrowcliff on the head. Luckily for Payne though the referee did not see the incident and he got away with it.

Slough's first chance of the game came after 24 minutes. Asamoah picked the ball up in midfield and ran towards the Harrow goal. He was brought down by Cooper on the edge of the area. Dave Rainford stepped up and his mis-hit free kick was wonderfully saved low to his right by Hook in the Harrow goal.

The decisive goal arrived in the 38th minute, when Valenti passed to Derek Payne, whose clever backheel opened the way for Woodruffe to fire home past Wilkinson, who got hands to the ball, but could only push it into his own net.

Despite having a outfield player in goal Harrow did not put a lot of pressure on Slough for the remainder of the half. When they did have shots they were well wide, and they also failed to put him under pressure from corners.

The opening chance of the half fell to former Earlsmead favourite Damien Markman. Markman picked up a loose ball inside the area, but his lofted shot went just over the bar.

Then soon after, veteran keeper David Hook in the Harrow goal superbly pushed away a Steve Daly header at his far post when it looked as though the Slough captain's header was going to sneak in.

Harrow soon came back into the game in the second half and had a few chances to make the game safe. A Pat Gavin header was pushed around the post by Wilkinson in the Slough goal - a save Steve Mautone would have been proud of - and soon after Gavin again volleyed over the bar when he had time to bring the ball down.

In the closing minutes Slough threw everything at Harrow in hope of a last gasp equaliser. They should have got it when a long ball by Rainford fell to Markman who, with only Hook to beat, fired well wide when he should have scored.

Overall Harrow deserved their win, but it would have been a much different game if Mautone had stayed on the pitch.

Harrow Borough Lineup

Hook, Rose, J Lyons, Payne, Hyslop, Cooper (Walsh), Valenti, Bates, Gavin, Scott (Hurlock), Woodruffe (Levene).


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