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Sat Jul 1

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Sat Jul 1 17:30
The Vanarama National League South

No late goal burst against Hitchin

| League
Slough Town
0 - 0
Hitchin Town
Richard Teale
ONLY some fine goalkeeping by Richard Teale and poor finishing by the Hitchin forwards kept Slough Town's Berger Isthmian League, Premier Division unbeaten record intact at Wexham Park on Tuesday evening.

Throughout the 90 minutes Slough never really got into their stride, and Hitchin achieved the draw they had clearly come to Wexham Park intent on getting. There was also no repeat of the 10-goal win Slough achieved against the Herts side at Wexham Park last season.

The Rebels were never able to find the form they have produced in recent matches, against a Hitchin side that worked tirelessly throughout, and employed the long ball down the middle of the park with great effect at times. During the first half Hitchin often broke dangerously towards the Slough goal but lacked the finishing power to capitalise on this, and it was the Rebels who came closest to scoring.

After 13 minutes a fine run and cross by Dave Russell gave Barry Friend the chance to head home. But although his effort beat the goalkeeper, it was headed off the line by a Hitchin defender.

Eggie James then had a great chance to score 15 minutes later. But although unmarked and about five yards from goal he placed his header straight at Brian Robinson, who caught the ball at the second attempt.

Then just two minutes before the interval Micky Kiely turned and shot well in a confined space, but Robinson pushed the ball away for a corner.

The second half started with James heading inches wide after Micky O'Sullivan had broke and crossed from the right. However for the next 20 minutes it was Hitchin who came closest to scoring, and only poor finishing and some fine goalkeeping from Teale prevented them from doing so.

After 59 minutes a break and cross by Paul Giggle left Steve Mahoney with virtually an open goal. But the striker pushed the ball wide of the target from six yards. One minute later a bad ball from Terry Reardon again set Hitchin on the attack, and the ball was pushed through to Mahoney. But the advancing Teale narrowed down the angle well, and pushed the striker’s effort away for a corner.

Within 10 minutes Teale made another fine save to foil Giggle from close range. Slough then brought on substitute Keith White for Friend. Teale again foiled Hitchin after 73 minutes when he made a good save at the base of the post after Mahoney had headed a Giggle cross.

The last 10 minutes heralded another of Slough's now famous surges as they sought the vital goal. A good run and ball from Russell put Kiely clear of the Hitchin defence, as Slough for once broke their well drilled offside trap. But from five yards out, Kiely could only shoot straight at the `keeper's legs and the ball was cleared.

Keith White then had a header tipped over the bar by Robinson, after a cross from O'Sullivan. In the very last minute Mahoney had another chance to clinch victory for Hitchin. Again the long ball down the middle caught the Slough defence cold, but Mahoney, completely clear, placed his shot well wide of the post.

Generally this was a disappointing display by the Rebels, but the main thing is that they did not lose. Although they well realise that they cannot afford to drop home points to stay in the championship race. Apart from the brilliant Teale, Eric Young with another excellent performance in the heart of the defence on numerous occasions foiled Hitchin attacks with brave tackling when under pressure.

Hitchin Town Line up

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