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Sat Dec 10

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Havant & Waterlooville (H)
Sat Dec 10 14:00
The Vanarama National League South

Lee cuts out delicacies - and serves up goals

| B&B Senior Cup
Slough Town
Lee (45, 53), Cooke (88)
3 - 0
Bracknell Town
Paul Lee
Paul Lee, whose impish skills are a connoisseur's delight, had to forget about the delicacies and concentrate on the basics on a quagmire of a pitch in Saturday's fiercely-fought Berks and Bucks Senior Cup tie. But he delivered the goods in the form of two close range goals to help earn holders Slough a home quarter-final tie against old rivals Wycombe Wanderers on January 21.

Lee could be forgiven for missing a penalty because he had already made sure of victory despite carrying an injury received in the Isthmian League win over Wycombe the previous week.

He explained: "I tore the ligaments in my right ankle at Wycombe and it still hurt after a fitness test." The 25-year-old striker, who earlier in the season battled his way back after dislocating his shoulder and then suffering from glandular fever, added: "I couldn't go flat out and I shouldn't really have played, but I'm glad I did."

Slough manager Joe Arpino remarked: "The gamble on Lee's fitness was worth taking because he is always capable of making something out of nothing. We've nicknamed him `Pele' as he is listed on the programme as 'P. Lee'- and he certainly has Pele's flair for doing the unexpected."

Slough, who have won seven of their last nine games, limited underdogs Bracknell to four shots at goal. This was mainly due to the successful return of ex-Spurs centre-back Phil Beal following a 12-day three-match tour of Saudi Arabia with Bobby Moore's XI.

Beal, unable to answer the many questions fired at him about Don Revie as he had not set eyes on the ex-England manager or his team, joked: "After playing on a concrete pitch covered with only two or three inches of sand, I enjoyed finding myself ankle deep in mud."

The soggy surface certainly didn't trouble Slough, who almost scored in the fourth minute when Friend cleverly chipped a free-kick over the visitors' defensive wall and Lee stole in to get his foot to the ball which flashed inches over the bar.

The diminutive Lee continued to worry the visitors’ defence and in the 13th minute his cross set up a great chance for Somers, but after bringing the ball down well, the burly Slough striker shot weakly into the arms of reserve 'keeper Hendey.

Bracknell briefly showed the guile that had taken them to the top of the Spartan League when Wiltshire, feinting to go to his right, veered the other way to get in a low drive which Porter saved at full stretch.

Slough quickly regained their composure and had two efforts stopped on the goal line in an amazing 80-second spell. First Hendey dropped the ball, enabling Somers to try a shot which Bowers kicked away. Then Somers had a drive parried by Hendey and the ball ran to Russell whose first time volley hit Measham.

It seemed Slough just couldn't score but in the last minute of the first-half they finally found the net. Friend’s cross from the left was drifting out of play until Somers hooked the ball back to Russell, who flicked it on towards the left hand post where Lee had the formality of heading home.

Lee's knack of being in the right place at the right time brought him another goal with the second half eight minutes old.

Cooke had the visitors’ defence in disarray as he ran on to Reardon's slide-rule pass, but his shot was blocked by the advancing Hendey. Cooke, following up with the speed and aggression of a panther, pounced on the loose ball and shrewdly slipped it sideways, leaving Lee the simple task of prodding it over the line for his eighth goal of the season.

Lee then wasted two golden chances to complete a hat-trick by scooping the ball over from six yards after Russell had cut it back to him and then missing a 62nd minute penalty.

The penalty - given for a foul on Lee by Measham - was struck firmly enough but was too close to Hendey who dived to his left to smother the ball. It was Slough's second penalty miss in successive matches and their third of the season, Somers and Gane being the earlier culprits.

Bracknell's answer to Slough's stream of attacks was a series of crude tackles which led to Wiltshire being booked for chopping down Underwood. The visitors replaced Bennett with substitute Milam for the last 17 minutes but it made little difference and Bracknell almost presented Slough with another goal in an extraordinary mix up.

Lee jinked his way through and, although Hendey came out to force the ball away, Lee recovered so quickly that he regained possession from Bishton, only to see his shot thud against the right hand upright.

Slough eventually got the third goal that they deserved with two minutes remaining. Friend pulled the ball back from the right and the on-rushing Cooke hammered it past Hendey before he could move.

A few seconds later the referee's final whistle brought welcome relief to a gallant Bracknell side which had fought every inch of the way.

Bracknell Town Line up

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