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Dartford (H)
Sun Jul 19
15:00

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Dartford (H)
Sun Jul 19 15:00
The Vanarama National League South
5th
60pts

Drab Draw As Barking Hold Slough

| League
Slough Town
0 - 0
Barking
Eggie James
Few of the spectators will remember or indeed want to be reminded of Barking's visit to Wexham Park on Saturday as this Berger Isthmian League Premier Division match fizzled out into a drab goalless draw.

Although Slough dominated this game virtually from start to finish they were unable to break down a resolute and well marshalled Barking defence which for long periods was eight players deep.

For the Rebels it was simply a case of three points lost rather than one gained, against a Barking side which looked like settling for a draw from the opening few minutes.

Slough were nowhere near their best and Barking's tactics of at times having nine men back in defence meant that the Rebels' spent almost the entire match trying to break them down — and consequently proved unsuccessful.

As defending champions, Laurie Churchill's side are finding matches far more difficult this season mainly because for the opposition it is at times like playing a cup final. And, on Saturday the champions lacked that little bit of sparkle and flair which has produced so many outstanding performances over the past 12 months.

Time and time again Slough threatened with well built attacks only for them to break down with poor final passes at vital moments. And although the Rebels were always in control it was Barking who on two occasions came close to scoring and clinching an undeserved victory.

The biggest cheer of the afternoon came before the match even started when it was announced that Eric Young was back in the side for his first game this season. But with his deputy Joe Maloney in such fine form, Young switched to a midfield role with Les Barrett moving to sweeper and Vic Akers to right back in place of Neil Pettifer.

Young had expressed a wish to play in midfield and although at times he looked a little lost and tended to fade out of the match for periods, given time to get accustomed to this position and with his proven strong running and ability on the ball he could become a useful player in this role.

The best chance of the first half fell to Barking striker Bryn Key, after a good through ball from Steve Carey beat the Slough defence, who were clearly looking for an offside decision. But with Young hard on his heels, Key snapped at the chance and the ball hit the advancing Frank Parsons on the leg and bounced harmlessly away.

Meanwhile it was Young who twice went close for Slough with powerful headers after crosses from the right, but for all their promising build ups the Rebels posed few problems for the Barking defence.

The second half followed much the same pattern as the first with Barking defending in numbers and relying on quick breaks for any rare venture into the Slough half.

As in previous matches Eggie James always looked the most likely player to break the deadlock and after 51 minutes a ball from Dave Yerby saw James weave his way past the Barking defence and into the penalty area before shooting into the side netting from a good position.

With 25 minutes left Rowan Dodds replaced Steve Norman but the Slough substitute came no nearer than his colleagues to finding a way past the Barking defence. Even Micky Kiely, playing his last home game before going to America, could not lift Slough and with the impressive Mark Davy winning most of the aerial battles Kiely had a disappointing match by his usual high standards.

With just seconds left Barking almost snatched a dramatic win when a long clearance from defence put Terry Dormer clean through.

But Parsons was quickly off his line and drove Dormer wide of the goal and the best chance of the match was gone.

Slough will be desperately disappointed with their failure to beat a very ordinary side, who despite winning the point they clearly came for made few friends with the spectators for their defensive attitude.

Barking Line up

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