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Sat Aug 13

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Tonbridge Angels (H)
Sat Aug 13 15:00
The Vanarama National League South

Goals Galore At Wexham Park

| League
Slough Town
Norman (6), Moloney (22, 81), Dodds (48), James (90)
5 - 2
Cowley (66), Smith (85)
Joe Moloney
It was a case of goals galore at Wexham Park on Saturday as Slough Town continued their impressive start to the new season in a thrilling match with Tooting & Mitcham — and collected their first £30 win bonus this term.

Tooting came to Wexham Park full of confidence after wins in their two opening Berger Isthmian League, Premier Division matches, but on Saturday they had no answer to the lethal finishing ability of the Rebels — who produced the same kind of sparkling attacking football which won them the title last season.

This performance was further evidence of the overall strength of manager Laurie Churchill's squad. Barry Friend, Steve Hardwick, Roy Butler and Eric Young were again all absent while Dave Russell was out nursing a broken toe.

And once again young defenders Joe Moloney and Neil Pettifer performed superbly and are growing in confidence with each game they play, while Steve Norman proved a more than adequate replacement in midfield, and Rowan Dodds did well after replacing the injured Mick O'Sullivan at half-time.

With both teams determined to play attacking football from the start a goal glut was always inevitable, and within six minutes Slough were ahead when Steve Norman scored from close range after a header from Micky Kiely had been blocked on the line following a near post cross by Keith White.

Six minutes later Tooting had a fine chance to draw level when a long free kick beat the Rebels' offside trap and found the lively Herbie Smith clear. But with Frank Parsons advancing quickly off his line, Smith put his effort wide of the post.

Tooting were made to pay for this miss when after 22 minutes the Rebels went further ahead. A corner from White was only cleared as far as the midfield player again and his high looping cross beat the defence and Moloney cooly turned the ball home at the far post for the first of his two goals in the match.

It then took a brilliant one-handed save by Nicky Sullivan to foil O'Sullivan, while at the other end Trevor Ford headed over when a free kick from Fran Cowley found him unmarked inside the Slough penalty area.

During the interval Rowan Dodds replaced O'Sullivan, who had taken a heavy knock, while Dave Busby replaced fellow striker Dave Juneman for Tooting.

And within minutes Dodds had made his mark on the match when he scored Slough's third goal with another close range effort after a superb shot by Eggie James had scrapped the crossbar and rebounded back into play.

However, Tooting still always looked dangerous on the attack and it took some good defensive work from the Rebels to contain the threat of Smith, who always looked likely to strike whenever he had the ball.

With 66 minutes gone the hard-working Cowley scored with a well placed shot following a free kick on the edge of the Slough penalty area.

And then four minutes later tempers threatened to run out of control when first Busby was booked for a late challenge on Parsons, and then minutes later the Tooting substitute was fortunate not to be sent off when he retaliated after a challenge by Moloney.

Players from both sides converged menacingly in the middle of the pitch and the game threatened to explode but finally tempers cooled and the referee, who did not see the original incident, let Busby escape with only a warning.

Rejuvenated by Cowley's goal, Tooting pushed more men forward in a bid to salvage at least a point but when goalkeeper Sullivan dropped a harmless cross from White and Moloney slammed the loose ball home with nine minutes left their hopes were virtually finished.

However, there was still time for two fine individual goals to complete the afternoon's entertainment.

With five minutes left a good ball by Danny Godwin, from deep inside his own half, split the Slough defence and with an explosive burst of speed the always dangerous Smith broke for goal. Having rounded Parsons his first shot was well blocked by the covering Moloney but the ball rebounded back to the Tooting striker who tucked it neatly home just inside the near post.

But Slough were not to be denied their £30 win bonus and in the final seconds James scored the pick of the seven goals.

Throughout the match he had constantly troubled the Tooting defence and as in the previous two league matches this season looked razor sharp around the goal. A quick free kick from White found Kiely on the left and his pass beat the defence and put James clear, who from an almost impossible angle screwed the ball into the top right-hand corner of the net for a marvellous goal which will long be remembered by Slough fans and completed a sparkling performance by the Rebels.

Tooting Line up

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