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Sat Jul 1

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Sat Jul 1 17:30
The Vanarama National League South

Young hit by injury hoodoo

| League
Slough Town
Gane (50)
1 - 1
Oxford City
Prescot (72)
Roger Mackay
SLOUGH Town seem unable to shake off their injury hoodoo. Centre-back Eric Young became the fifth player to be put out of action by injury in Tuesday's disappointing Isthmian League match as Town continued their now customary bad start to the season.

Young was the victim of a blatant 41st minute foul by Brian Thomas and hobbled out of the game three minutes later with torn ligaments in his left knee - an injury which could take three weeks to heal. But Young's departure was no excuse for a depressing Slough display in which few players seemed to want to accept any responsibility.

Manager Joe Arpino stormed afterwards: "We have some problems and this is the time when everybody should be giving 100 per cent effort - but I'm not getting it from everyone.”

Slough had weaknesses in all departments. Richard Strong gave the worst display seen from a Slough full back and although he improved when he switched to centre half he was at fault when Oxford grabbed their equaliser.

In midfield Ian Cooke, Alan Gane and the recalled Steve Norman were not positive enough, while up front Barry Metcalfe failed to show sufficient sharpness or aggression and missed several chances. In contrast, Roger Mackay, who had arrived back from America only the previous day to replace the injured Graham Maskell, fought for every ball at left-back and Dave Russell made several menacing runs.

Russell carved out a chance in the second minute but keeper Unsworth tipped Friend's full-bloodied shot aside, and later stopped a Russell 'thunderbolt' in similar fashion. Unsworth continued to frustrate Slough and blocked shots from Cooke and Gane in a 36th minute goalmouth scramble.

Eventually, Gane broke the deadlock in the 50th minute. He ran on to a pass from Mackay and thumped the ball out of the reach of the gallant Unsworth.

Rowan Dodds, who had come on as substitute for Young, with Norman switching to defence, went desperately close to adding to Slough's score. He seized on a long cross from Norman to fire against the post and later brought a diving save from Unsworth.

But Slough were caught napping in the 72nd minute and Martin Prescot, who had shot a fraction wide in the first-half with keeper Teale beaten, snatched the equaliser. Prescot was not picked up by Strong, Beyer or Metcalfe as he jumped to nod in Lever's cross from the left.

Metcalfe had two chances to regain the lead for Slough but he headed a Friend free-kick over the bar from point blank range, and later fired wildly off target after Friend's shot had rebounded to him.

Oxford City Line up

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