Gift goal brings first victory

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Slough Town
Lee (49)
Paul Lee
Slough Town gained their first Isthmian League win of the season on Monday thanks to a 49th minute gift goal presented to Paul Lee, but manager Joe Arpino must have had mixed feelings.

He kept the doors to the dressing room firmly closed until well after the match in which he had seen his side come needlessly close to throwing away their three points against a depleted Tilbury.

In the 57th minute Dockers forward Colin Norman was sent off on his debut for striking John Beyer in the stomach as the pair went for a throw-in. Slough, who had been comfortably in control, then eased up against Tilbury's battling ten men and it needed a sprawling one handed save by Richard Teale to prevent Nicky Smith's 86th minute effort earning an equaliser.

Town’s rhythm collapsed in the last half hour. The smooth inter-play of the opening 45 minutes became a thing of the past and how grateful they must have been to have received such a gift goal. Lee robbed Kim Russell 35 yards out, only for the ball to break away. It seemed a simple matter for Tilbury's 'keeper Gerry Warner to come out and kick clear, but he sliced the ball into Lee's path and the Slough striker accepted an easy chance.

Slough deserved their lead no matter how it came, for their confident approach and ability to deny Tilbury space during the first 45 minutes had enabled them to get well on top. Town's defence easily coped with Tilbury's lightweight attack, while at the other end Lee and Dave Russell turned the home defence inside out.

Russell's speed and Lee's knack for finding the open spaces frequently caught Tilbury napping. But this excellent work was wasted by poor finishing. Barry Metcalfe squandered two chances and Lee blasted against the bar in the 28th minute after Gane's corner had been headed down by the commanding Richard Strong.

That miss, when it would probably have been easier for Lee to score, nearly proved costly two minutes from the break. Although Teale had previously commanded his area with authority, he was slow coming to a Steve Coventry corner and the resulting confusion saw the ball hit veteran Kenny Gray and strike the underside of the bar before Roger Mackay hacked it clear.

Slough replied instantly with a superb shot on the turn by Russell which had Warner clutching the ball desperately by his near post.

Lee's goal promised good things to come but Town were fortunate that their lackadaisical approach in the final 30 minutes was not punished.

Tilbury Line up

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