Miserable second half showing costs Slough
Date: Saturday, September 11th 2004 | Competition: League | Attendance: 236
Man Of Match: Matt Murphy
Starting Line Up
- Jake Whincup
- Josias Carbon
- Michael Murphy
- Steve Daly
- James Saulsbury
- Martin Moller
- Darron Wilkinson
- Glen Harris
- Matt Miller
- Matt Murphy
- Christian Metcalfe
Slough delivered their second poor away performance in a week as they went down to a single goal at Cheshunt.
Alex Haddow, who suffered multiple bad tackles on Tuesday, failed to even make the bench, while Ian Hodges, who limped off at Staines, was also absent. Their starting places were taken by Michael Murphy and Matt Miller.
The Rebels started poorly as Cheshunt, despite battling against a strong wind, created the early running. Darrell Cox was the first to go close as his driven effort from 25 yards was headed round the post by James Saulsbury. From the corner by Steve Wales, the home side’s captain, Ryan Harris, flicked narrowly over.
Further chances continued to arrive with Cox turning Martin Moller before firing a high effort which Jake Whincup saved unconvincingly as the ball fell just over the bar for a corner.
After the early scares, the Rebels started to find their feet with Matt Murphy and Miller working particularly hard up front. The first chance came for the away side as Matt Murphy’s cross was met by Christian Metcalfe whose volleyed effort was blocked before Michael Murphy’s low curling effort went inches wide of the post. Matt Murphy was involved again as he and Josias Carbon set up Darron Wilkinson but his 20 yard drive was weak and easily saved by Russell Ling.
Slough continued to press with Miller hounding the Cheshunt defence across the backline. It was after one such tackle on Ross White that Miller was tripped and earned Slough a free kick 25 yards out. Michael Murphy’s curling effort looked to be heading for the top corner but Ling got there and held the ball well.
Cheshunt continued to launch sporadic attacks and Leon Archer fired in a volley from distance which seemed to swerve every which way making the save difficult for Whincup who held the ball at the second attempt. Straight afterwards Wilkinson gave away possession in central midfield but White’s long range effort floated harmlessly wide.
As the half drew to a close Slough had some bad luck as twice Steve Daly saw headers cleared off the line within a minute, both times by Harris. Then as the first half went into stoppage time, Miller produced an excellent turn and shot which seemed to be heading in until it appeared to hit the arm of Sam Ledger. Despite vociferous complaints by both players and fans alike the referee, Mr Hoare, waved away the protests and the sides went in at the break tied 0-0.
At half time Slough lost Miller to a recurrence of his ankle injury, bringing on midfielder Ryan Spencer in his place up alongside Matt Murphy. With the departure of Miller, some of Slough’s urgency seemed to disappear and the second half was a poor show from every player involved. Cheshunt dominated from the start; Chris Watters’ speculative drive was pushed over the bar by Whincup and then great work by Cox set up Archer who somehow hit the bar from a yard out although the linesman had already raised his flag.
Then a poor header from Moller let in Cox, who planted his shot into the side netting. Slough did have one surge forward as a Michael Murphy free kick was knocked down by Spencer to Glen Harris but his powerful drive was superbly blocked by Andy Keepence. This would turn out to be Slough’s only effort on goal in the whole of the second period.
With little under half an hour to go, Cheshunt deservedly grabbed the winner. This time it was Daly’s header back to Whincup which lacked any pace or direction and fell to Archer who had the easiest of tasks to tuck the ball under the Slough keeper and into the back of the net.
Cheshunt continued to have all the chances with Watters having a cross shot hit the top of the bar before Harris had two good chances; one well saved by Whincup, the other he somehow headed over the bar from two yards out while totally unmarked. Cox also had one last chance to get his name on the score sheet but once again his finishing was wayward, firing well wide of the upright.