Keith's great goal

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Slough Town
White (35)
Richard Teale
KEITH White will have fond memories of Slough Town's two clashes with Barking in the Berger Isthmian League, Premier Division this season.

When the sides met at Wexham Park last December he netted his first ever league goal for the Rebels to win them the match. And on Saturday at Mayesbrook Park, it was a superb first-half goal from White which gave the Rebels a vital point in their quest for the championship.

The Rebels can feel well pleased with their point at Barking, because the Essex side are never easy to beat on their own ground. And also as title contenders Enfield crashed 3-0 at home to Hendon.

However, the main feature of this match was the atrocious state of the Barking pitch. From a distance the playing surface looked in near perfect condition but a closer inspection revealed a pitch full of ruts and bumps.

This at times turned the match into a lottery, with the bounce of the ball totally unpredictable and forcing a number of elementary mistakes from the players. Barking were far better accustomed to these conditions and for the first 35 minutes completely dominated the match. In fact only some poor finishing and superb goalkeeping from Richard Teale prevented them from building a match winning lead.

From the start Slough looked totally disjointed. They lacked confidence and composure when in possession and were stifled by the conditions and a hard working Barking side. Within a minute the Rebels' defence were under pressure when the lively Terry Dormer broke through. But with only Teale to beat he fired wide.

This pattern of Barking dominance continued and with the entire Slough side struggling to find their rhythm it came as no surprise when Barking took a deserved lead after 20 minutes. A neat move down the left involving Bryn Key and Nick Ironton ended with the latter crossing for Martin White to hook the ball past Teale into the far corner of the net.

Within a minute Barking had a golden opportunity to virtually put the match out of Slough's reach. An attempted back pass by Steve Norman, from just inside his own half, turned into a nightmare for the young Rebels defender as it set Dormer clean through. But Teale was quickly off his line and produced a tremendous save to foil the Barking striker.

And then against the run of play White struck with a fine opportunist goal. Barry Friend flicked the ball into the penalty area, from the left, and it eluded Micky O'Sullivan and fell to White. In one movement he turned and sweetly struck the ball into the right hand corner of the net past the diving Kevin Hitchcock.

Hitchcock then did well to push a shot from Kiely over, after the Slough striker's determined play had caught Dave Campbell in possession on the edge of the penalty area.

The second half saw Slough far more relaxed and confident on the ball - and consequently they began to look the more dangerous side. Kiely went close after combining well with Pat Morrissey and then 25 minutes from time, in a bid for victory, Laurie Churchill replaced Norman with Dave Russell.

However, it was Barking who almost snatched victory in the dying minutes as they mounted a series of dangerous attacks on the Slough goal. A timely clearance from John Beyer foiled a dangerous cross from Ironton, and then Dormer broke clear of Eric Young and, with only Teale to beat, fired wide.

In the end Slough were well worth their point, and after an extremely shaky start settled reasonably well to the difficult conditions. And they will surely be glad to see the back of Mayesbrook Park for another season.

Barking Line up

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