Sad Slough struggle to goalless draw

Slough Town

Slough Town



League Paul Lee
IF SLOUGH Town's rather feeble performance in their goal-less draw with Southall at Wexham Park on Tuesday is the shape of things to come, their fans are in for a miserable season.

Slough never found their feet against a tough-tackling Southall side. They lacked cohesion and inspiration, and in the absence of any real teamwork it was left for individual players to bang their head against the wall of the Southall defence.

Town's performance was a bitter disappointment after a promising start to their Isthmian League campaign at Sutton on Saturday, when they had some purple patches.

Manager Joe Arpino was being extremely optimistic when he said he had detected "some improvement" in the Southall game. He put their jittery performance down to the players' desire to start their home matches on a high note. "They were anxious to do well and so they weren't relaxed. We didn't play as well as we can and we didn't play well enough to win," he said.

In fact, Slough could very easily have lost had Southall capitalised on their mistakes. On several occasions, the visitors streaked through Town's defence on the break, but fluffed their chances. Had Slough, however, notched an early goal to ease their nerves, we might have been spared an evening of uninspiring football.

They had the chance after eight minutes, when Alan Gane’s powerful cross-cum-shot from the right flew to Paul Lee, but he blasted his volley well wide of the target. Slough soon sunk into mediocrity. Passes went astray with monotonous regularity as midfield men Roy Davies, Ian Cooke and Peter Cruse tried in vain to free their strikers from the shackles of the Southall defence.

The game fluttered briefly into life just before the interval. A long ball from Tim Turl put Dave Russell clear. He homed in on the goal, but his shot was half-stopped by keeper Gordon Linton. The ball rolled agonisingly slowly towards the line - slow enough for full-back Chris Hutchings to recover it. His clearance only went as far as Kieran Somers, whose close range shot was blocked to safety.

Southall's best chance, after 79 minutes, was similar to Russell's, Ian Morris streaked through an absent defence, but with only Porter to beat he managed to scoop the ball over the bar.

Lee almost snatched a late winner when he wriggled through the Southall defence, and his shot caught keeper Linton going the wrong way. But Linton just managed to parry the ball away.

A frustrating evening for both players and supporters was summed up by a little incident near the end. As the ball was fed out to Lee - the man most likely to end the deadlock - on the right wing, there were a few cheers of encouragement from Slough fans. But hope turned to desperation as the ball bobbled impudently over his foot and rolled into touch. It was that sort of evening.

Southall Lineup


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