Joe's unbalanced side sunk in the mud

Slough Town

Slough Town

Wycombe Wanderers

Wycombe Wanderers

Evans (30), Kennedy (pen 59), MacKenzie (67)
League Barry Friend
Slough Town, who had won seven of their previous eight encounters with Wycombe - including the recent league match at the sloping Loakes Park - slumped miserably on their own mud heap of a pitch and sunk to defeat in Saturday's Isthmian League match.

A lightweight Slough team found the going much too heavy for them and certain players seemed to throw in the towel long before the final whistle. Manager Joe Arpino fielded a surprisingly unbalanced side. Roger Mackay was shifted from his customary right-back berth to the left side of the park where he suffered accordingly, and Phil Beal - a centre-back in his Spurs days - looked even more out of position at right back. Not surprisingly he had his worst match since joining Slough.

Alan Gane, the man who almost everyone but Mr. Arpino felt should have played at left back, soon faded in midfield where Slough clearly lacked someone with the strength and perseverance to wade through the sticky morass of sand and mud - an inheritance from the ill-timed practise match held the previous Wednesday.

Instead, Slough relied on a short game that invariably got bogged down before the ball reached the visitors penalty area. Yet Slough had three efforts cleared off the line and if Mr. Arpino had only replaced a lethargic Kieran Somers with the more mobile Peter Feely, they would surely have scored.

Second in the table Wycombe were content to sit back for the first 20 minutes and let Slough flounder. Friend, who showed that with 100 per cent application he could be a match winner, created two early chances but Lee and Russell had their shots comfortably saved by Spittle.

Wycombe began to come forward more often and they went ahead in the 30th minute. Ex-Wycombe player Reardon clumsily fouled Holifield on the edge of the box and a flighted free-kick from Kennedy found centre-half Alan Phillips free at the far post. When his header cannoned off the bar, DyIan Evans poked the ball home from five yards out.

Slough now slumped visibly, with confidence drained. And in the 40th minute they were lucky not to go further behind when Kennedy had a shot cleared after it bounced off the woodwork.

In the second-half the strength of Priestly and Kennedy proved too much for Cooke and Russell in the middle of the park and the Slough pair hardly had a kick in the last half hour.

Up front Slough looked out of their depth as well. Only Lee and Friend threatened to make any impact, with Somers shut out by former Slough defender Keith Mead.

In the 59th minute any thoughts of a fight back were dismissed with clinical efficiency by Wycombe. McKenzie broke out of his own defence to find Holifield with a delightful through ball. With the Slough defence cut in half, Holifield rounded Porter, only to be brought down before he could score.

Wycombe's top scorer Kennedy drove home the spot kick without any trouble.

Slough's misery was completed in the 67th minute. Full-back Davies floated an innocent looking cross into the Slough area, but with Reardon and Beal rooted to the spot, MacKenzie was allowed to ram the ball into the net.

Wycombe Wanderers Lineup


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