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Fri Jul 5

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Fri Jul 5 19:45
The Vanarama National League South

What A Finish

Sutton United

Sutton United

Stephens (54)
Slough Town

Slough Town

Kiely (89)
Micky Kiely made sure Slough Town's season ended on just about the highest possible note at Sutton on Tuesday with an 89th minute last gasp equaliser against the champions elect.

And Kiely's late strike which brought back memories of a May evening four years ago when Slough clinched the championship at Gander Green Lane with another final minute goal was no more than the Rebels deserved.

They battled courageously against a Sutton side now needing just three points from as many games to clinch the Servowarm Isthmian League, Premier Division championship.

So in what has been a disappointing season for Slough they can at least take comfort from the fact they captured four points from the league's top team.

After the match Rebels boss Howard Kennedy said: "Sutton will be disappointed to have lost two points tonight but I thought we really battled away well.”

It’s nice to have finished the season on a high note with this result and the win on Saturday against Walthamstow. And Kennedy was full of praise for his two central defenders, who had outstanding games.

“Moran Dodds gets better and better with every match, while Joe Moloney had his best game of the season, which was nice because the lad has taken a bit of stick recently,” Kennedy added: "I thought we had enough chances to have even won the match and Kiely should have scored ten minutes before we netted the equaliser.”

The fixture list could not have given Slough a tougher finish to their 1984/85 campaign with Sutton knowing that if they beat the Rebels and Worthing failed against Billericay they would be champions.

Kennedy rested Dave Alexander and gave a fully fit Colin Landeg another chance to show his potential and in the second half this local teenager really came of age in the Rebels midfield.

The swirling wind and bumpy pitch made life awkward for both sides and in the first 45 minutes the Rebels were under continual pressure.

But Les Currell proved to be the star of the show with some spectacular saves, while Moran Dodds and Moloney were simply outstanding in the heart of Slough's defence. Currell made impressive saves from Micky Joyce, Mark Golley and Steve Tutt, while Moloney and Dodds dealt admirably with the twin threat of Joyce and Paul McKinnon, soaking up the pressure as Sutton pumped long wind assisted balls down for their dangerous strikers who have bagged 75 goals between them this term.

Slough, meanwhile, were limited to a Kiely booking for dissent and one half chance when Rowan Dodds crossed and Keily just failed to make contact with the ball.

But with the wind in their favour after the break it was a different story for the Rebels. After 50 minutes Devon Petty released the hardworking Charlie Flaherty on the right but his shot was blocked away by Ricky Collier, and then the Sutton goalkeeper had to react quickly to keep out a snap shot from Francis Araguez.

Moran Dodds' one blemish came minutes later when a poor back pass almost let Paul McKinnon in and then on 54 minutes Sutton scored a goal which had the mark of champions all over it.

Joyce did well on the right before sending over a perfect cross which was headed home at the far post by Micky Stephens and that looked like ending Slough's season on a losing note.

Colin Tate was sent on to replace an out of touch Keith White and he made an immediate impact giving Slough more width and a dimension up front as he tested Collier with two corking shots new the second on 79 minutes striking the crossbar and being scrambled away.

From the resultant corner Collier was in trouble and when the ball found Keily, he missed a golden chance from close range.

But on 89 minutes came Slough's glorious leveller. Stewart Mitchell took on and beat Steve Bangs and sent in a low, hard cross. The ball was deflected by a Sutton defender high to the far post and Kiely rose above a cluster of players to head home just inside the post for his second goal since returning to Slough from Hayes last month.

Even then in the dying seconds Sutton might have sneaked it but McKinnon just failed to get a vital scoring touch after John Rains and Joyce had flicked on a last ditch free kick which caused Slough problems.

Ironically in a season which has seen Slough concede 73 goals it was the outstanding display of the defence which went a long way to helping the Rebels pick up this point. So Kiely's last ditch goal rather muted Sutton's celebrations and with Worthing winning 40 the champagne at Gander Green Lane was kept on ice.

Kennedy can look back on his first five months in the Slough hot seat with some satisfaction and now start planning for next season. “I am really pleased how things have gone. When I was employed we were relegation candidates and without any extra finance we have done well to survive. “It’s now an important stage for me because I have got to encourage as many better players as possible to Slough Town for next season.

Sutton United Lineup


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