Dodds On Target

| League
Slough Town
Dodds (12)
1 - 0
Leatherhead
Rowan Dodds
It doesn't say much for the standard of football, or perhaps for the quality of refereeing, to report that the Man in Black, Mr. M. Tapping, was the key figure in Saturday's bruising Isthmian League match at Wexham Park.

But unfortunately it's true, for the same gentleman not only booked five players, three of them on the home side — but also angered both sets of supporters with a string of mysterious and often blatantly incorrect decisions.

Not that this was an easy match for him to handle. From the viewpoint of skill, the game had little to offer but neither manager can have been disappointed at the fierce commitment shown by the players.

And yet surely there was a lesson here for Slough in Mr. Tapping's tetchy handling of the match.

He rightly booked former Slough captain Dennis Malley for a cruel tackle which put Rowan Dodds out of the game, and he wasn't wrong to caution a second Leather-head player, Steve Dixson, for an old-fashioned body check on Barry Friend.

But all three Slough bookings brought howls of protest from the home supporters, and yet it has to be said that with the possible exception of Steve Hardwick's, for a mistimed tackle, the other two were justifiable.

They may have been silly offences, Steve Norman's for time wasting over a throw-in, and Eric Young's for kicking the ball away after a foul had been given against them, but Slough's disciplinary record will not improve until they realise that referees are likely to reprimand this type of offence just as severely as they punish bad tackling.

Whether or not that's fair is beside the point it's simply a fact of football life.

And with Dave Yerby watching from the stand because of a three - week suspension, and Hardwick due a ban after his third caution of the season, Slough's chance of picking up Isthmian sponsorship money this season is as remote as when a library of bookings lost them an estimated £1,500 during their treble - winning run last season.

A goal in the 12th minute gave Slough the points when Rowan Dodds latched on to a telling Les Barrett pass and squeezed between goalkeeper Peter Caswell and defender Micky Preston to score from close range.

Slough's best moment of the second half was when Joe Moloney flighted a perfect 40-yard pass to Dave Russell, who jinked past two defenders before firing a fierce shot inches over the bar.

Leatherhead Line up

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