Slough spoil a dazzling performance

Slough Town

Slough Town

Gane (30), Strong (44), Friend (45)
Dulwich Hamlet

Dulwich Hamlet

Strong o.g. (82), Connett (83)
League Barry Friend
FOR the first 45 minutes Slough Town were at their devastating best in the Berger Isthmian League at Wexham Park on Saturday. They tore apart Dulwich, the team with the best defensive record in the league, scored three goals and in all honesty six would not have flattered Slough.

It was a most remarkable performance, full of powerful running, confident individual skills and flowing passes. The sort of football that, if maintained in any consistency, would make them the best team in the league.

Unfortunately, Slough cannot be relied on to produce such brilliance for more than 45 minutes, let along another 30 games if they were to do well in the FA Trophy too. They almost gave away a three goal lead in this game, which sums up their vulnerability and totally unprofessional manner. Such a pity because the first half was such a treat.

Dulwich hardly knew which way to turn as Russell, Lee, Feely and Friend tore into them, with Cook and Gane adding good support from midfield too. Lewis headed the ball against his own post before juggling clear and Russell lobbed skilfully over keeper Browner but hit the crossbar. They were the two best chances before Slough took the lead.

It was Lee who slammed a shot against the crossbar after 30 minutes - luck it seemed not going Slough's way - but Gane volleyed the rebound back into the net from 18 yards. A cracking goal to give Slough a deserved lead.

But although Slough were clearly on song going forward there were still doubts in defence. Twice Richard Teale had to save bravely at the feet of Ossie Bayram. Perhaps if Dulwich had scored Slough might have been brought down to earth, as so often they are when playing sparkling football.

However, they scored two goals in as many minutes just before half time and that sort of lead takes some giving away, however hard one might try. Slough's second followed a free kick on the right, well worked to the far post where centre-back Richard Strong sneaked in, dived forward and headed over the 'keeper.

The next was a cross from full-back Tim Turl, linking up so effectively again from defence, powerfully headed home by Friend. Simple, but wonderfully executed.

After that Slough decided they had done enough, sat back on their achievement and almost paid the price.

Strong put in his own net after 82 minutes trying to cut out a cross from the speedy Bayram and a minute later the same Dulwich player sent over a cross for substitute Keith Connett to chest in.

There were a few more heart flutters before Slough survived, but that first half was a warming display on a biting cold day. The second is only best remembered for what Slough should not do.

Dulwich Hamlet Lineup


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