Rebels step up title challenge

Slough Town

Slough Town

Wilson (14), Brown (2-0)
Dulwich Hamlet

Dulwich Hamlet

League Jeff Bateman
A goal apiece from Kenny Wilson and Jimmy Brown saw Slough bounce back from their cruel GMAC Cup exit and step up their league championship challenge with a comfortable victory at home to struggling Dulwich Hamlet. The Rebels avenged their earlier defeat at Dulwich in efficient fashion with the determination and organisation that was so desperately lacking in that previous encounter.

And the revenge victory came against a more experienced Dulwich outfit including new signing and former Chelsea star, Micky Droy. But even the imposing form of Droy could not prevent the Rebels from leaping back to second place, within a point off table topping local rivals Windsor on Saturday.

Manager Alan Davies was pleased with the way his side dealt with the visitors and said: "Dulwich have improved since we met them last and have a lot more experience but I thought we were always the better side and in all fairness we could have won by four or five."

Certainly, the Rebels missed some good chances but as Davies pointed out: "The time to worry is when you are not creating those chances." Fielding a changed side from that which went down against Bognor in midweek, Keith White and Jimmy Jacobs reverted to their more familiar full-back roles with Gary Woodcaft dropped and Denis Powell moving onto the substitutes' bench.

With Des McMahon missing after sustaining a couple of broken fingers against Bognor, this made room for Neal Stanley to return to the starting line-up in the forward department with Paul Waites dropping into midfield and Tony Dennis getting the chance to start the game after nabbing both the goals against Bognor. The wholesale changes proved beneficial not least at the back. Centrally, Tony Knight and Jeff Bateman can not be faulted but Woocraft and Powell have struggled of late, and the added experience of White and Jacobs was most evident.

Their determination and distribution were excellent and their work was behind much of Slough's attacking play. "They were both very solid," said Davies. "They gave us more depth and a bit more steel."

However, he was full of praise for Kenny Wilson: "Kenny has not been playing up to his own high standards but is putting in a great amount of effort and did superbly with the first goal."

That goal came after only 14 minutes when Dennis swung in a teasing cross from the right flank and Wilson made a tremendous late run covering 20 years to get in front of Dave Porter at the far post and volley home at full stretch. It was a splendid strike and reward for the home side's early pressure.

Neal Stanley very nearly justified his selection in stunning fashion only eight minutes later. The speedy forward made a scything run through the midfield weaving his way past three players and accelerating past another three. Unfortunately, just as he approached the penalty area he was cynically felled by Dave Taylor whose crude challenge quite rightly earned him a booking.

Everyone seemed to want to get in on the act and Knight made a surging run from the back that could have brought a second in the 34th minute. The central defender powered his way along the left flank before crossing. The centre was cut out but Dodd knocked a well weighted volley wide to Dennis whose driven cross narrowly escaped all of the incoming forwards and was deflected for a corner.

Billy Edwards came close to equalising in the 38th minute when John Murphy's minute free-kick was punched half-clear by Trevor Bunting and Edwards' volley flew inches wide. Seconds later, Wilson put Jimmy Brown in the clear but the Dulwich keeper was off his line as speed to nip the ball off Brown's toes.

Dulwich counter attacked strongly and Ronnie Stevenson broke through with only Bunting to beat from close range. Fortunately for the Rebels, Jacobs covered well to make a splendid last ditch tackle. Stevenson was denied again in the 43rd minute when Bunting parried his well struck shot and recovered the rebound under pressure from Shane Ward.

Some desperate defending kept Slough's noses in front 19 minutes into the second period with Jacobs first blocking one shot on the line and then heating clear from Ward's opportunist close range strike.

However, just as the visitors were getting to grips with the contest, Waites sent a fine chip to Brown who nodded down a return ball which Waites sent towards the near post. The ball came out to Brown who shot through the packed goalmouth and under Sexton to seal the result.

He should have grabbed another just seconds later. He found himself in the clear but his first shot was blocked and his second attempt curled wide. There was nothing wrong with his finishing in the 70th minute when Dennis tackled Droy and the ball ricocheted into the path of Brown who cooly slotted home from the edge of the area only to be adjudged offside. Slough were going at full tilt once again but it took a fine tip over save from Bunting to deny Droy's far post header in the 73rd minute.

Sexton then pulled off an even better save to keep Dulwich's slim hopes alive with 14 minutes remaining. The keeper's reflexes were exceptional as he thrust out his leg to divert Stanley's shot high and wide.

Slough continued to dominate in the closing stages but were unable to make the pressure tell and the closest they came was a Dennis cross that drifted over Sexton and rebounded to safety off the woodwork.

Dulwich Hamlet Lineup

Sexton, Porter, Purvis, Droy, Roughan, Murphy, Taylor, Fisher, Edwards, Stevenson, Ward. Subs: Mathias (for Murphy, 78), Rose (not used)


Slough Town FC is not responsible for content produced on external websites | Copyright Slough Town FC 2024