Fowler Goal Enough For Athletic

Croydon Athletic

Croydon Athletic

Slough Town

Slough Town

League Attendance: 151 Paul Barrowcliff
The Rebels slumped to their second successive away defeat against a strong Croydon Athletic side despite a performance which saw Slough dominate possession for the majority of the match.

There were four changes to the Slough side which beat Godalming and Guildford in the cup last week with first starts of the season for Paul Barrowcliff and Anthony Howard along with the return of Steve Daly and Alex Haddow. The players left out were Darron Wilkinson, who was attending a wedding, while Mark Bartley, Chris Payne and Danny Steer all dropped to the bench.

The game started quite brightly although neither team could really develop any of their good football into a serious threat on goal. Early half chances fell to Danny Stassinos, James Evans and John Fowler for the home side while Tony Boot had the best of the early chances but when one on one with Robert Frankland his shot trickled harmlessly away from goal.

Slough continued to create most of the real chances with Matt Miller being denied by Leon Johnson just as he was preparing to strike for goal before Glen Harris dribbled across the box before tamely striking his effort wide of the post. Miller again went close, although this time in bizarre fashion as a wayward free kick from Boot struck the Rebels frontman but the deflection of his chest took the ball inches wide of the upright.

The final chances of the half were both headers and there was one at either end which nearly broke the deadlock. Firstly an excellent cross by Stassinos was headed just over by Barry Stevens before a curling free kick into the box from Ryan Spencer was met by the head of Ian Hodges in front of Frankland but the in form striker was slightly put off by the onrushing keeper and placed his header wide.

At the break, the home team introduced the effective Tony Quinton and his performance in midfield helped to pull his team more into the match. Shortly after the interval, the best chance of the match so far fell to Stevens after a delightful cross from Quinton. The striker powered his header goalwards but somehow Alan Foster in the Slough goal managed to push the ball round the post with a phenomenal save.

Minutes later Slough went equally close but this time from a much more difficult position. After Spencer's corner was cleared to the edge of the box, Haddow controlled it on his knee, took it around James Hall, before unleashing a stunning volley which unfortunately struck the post full on and rebounded to Harris who rushed his shot and hit his effort well over.

After the attempt from Haddow, Slough seemed to lose their way, and the home team gradually took control of the game and eventually found the elusive breakthrough. After Fowler had broken away from the defence but fired his shot well wide, the same player was slipped through again four minutes later by another cracking ball from the substitute Quinton. This time the striker made no mistake, burying his effort into the bottom corner, although Foster may well feel that he could have done slightly better as it appeared he may have dived over the ball as it went in.

Foster atoned moments later as Stassinos fired goalwards from twenty yards but the agile keeper produced another flying save to tip the ball over. After this attack Slough opted for a change as the tiring Howard was replaced by Steer and Slough gradually tried to work some final chances in the closing stages.

The away side found it hard work however, and could only produce two more clear chances in the final twenty minutes and unfortunately they both fell to the big centre back Nick Gyoury rather than one of the strikers. Firstly, he powered a header from a Haddow corner just over before connecting sweetly with a corner from the other side, this time from Harris, but Frankland pushed his volley away to safety.

At the final whistle, Slough fans felt that the game had been another repeat of Whyteleafe where Slough dominated possession but even with three strikers on the pitch could not create enough chances. Hopefully the Rebels will regain some form at home to Bracknell on Tuesday at Stag Meadow where they have won their last three matches and are unbeaten in four.

Croydon Athletic Lineup


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