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Havant & Waterlooville (H)
Sat Dec 10

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Havant & Waterlooville (H)
Sat Dec 10 14:00
The Vanarama National League South

Undeserved Defeat At K's

| League
Westley (36)
1 - 0
Slough Town
Jeff Bateman
A terrible refereeing blunder just 10 minutes from time cost sent Slough tumbling to a defeat they did not deserve away to Kingstonian on Saturday. Trailing to a scrappy first half goal, the Rebels dominated much of the contest, but were robbed of a legitimate equaliser when Tony Dennis was adjudged to have kicked Kingstonian keeper John Power in his attempt to force the ball into the back of the net.

The goal was disallowed, but no Slough player was remotely near Power as the ball rolled into the back of the net. Dennis, the supposed offender, said of the incident: "I was a little slow in getting to the near post and one of the defenders kicked the keeper, who put the ball into his own net before I got anywhere near him." Manager Alan Davies was equally frustrated by the incident: "The ref's decision has cost us a point. On the day we deserved to win. It was a fairly even first half, but it was all us in the second and they didn't threaten us at all," he said.

And with the other championship candidates still dropping points left right and centre, that decision could mean the difference between finishing somewhere in the top three or not. Davies was certainly justified in his claim that the Rebels deserved better, but they have got to rediscover the killer instinct that earlier in the season saw them convert their territorial superiority into goals.

However, goals were always going to be a rare commodity on Saturday as former Chelsea star Micky Droy proved a pillar of strength at the heart of the Kingstonian defence while Slough's Jeff Bateman was equally imperious at the other end.

The good news for the Rebels was that midfielder Wayne Wanklyn made his long awaited return to the side. New signing Steve Thompson turned in a very promising debut, and once Wanklyn gets back into his stride, the Rebels should have the right balance for that crucial area.

Kingstonian made the brighter opening to the contest, but the Rebels soon settled down and before long, both sides were knocking the ball about well despite the rutted playing surface. Slough had to wait until the 29th minute for their first real opening. Paul Waites, also back from injury, did well to pull the ball back for an unmarked Wanklyn on the far corner of the area. Wanklyn failed to get the ball under control and left it for Dennis to strike a fierce shot just over the bar.

Two minutes later, a determined diving header from Darren Bird knocked a testing cross from Thompson behind for a corner. Thompson had a go himself in the 33rd minute, but his 25 yard effort curled just wide.

By this stage, the Rebels were well in command, but disaster struck when a crucial tackle from Tony Knight only half cleared the danger that followed Nigel Hatcher's 36th minute corner. Steve Tutt drove the ball back into the area where Graham Westley came up with the ball amid a frantic scramble and poked the ball home from 10 yards.

Slough continued to dictate in the second period and would have equalised through Gary Dodd after 50 minutes, but for Bird's spectacular diving header off the line.

Droy marshalled the defence well enough to keep Slough out until the 80th minute, when Power had knocked Kenny Wilson's low cross into his own net, but the referee ruled it out for Dennis's non-existent foul.

The Rebels still pressed for the equaliser, but were denied by the brilliance of Power when he parried a 20 yard Keith White free-kick that was struck with such ferocity that it almost knocked the keeper clean off his feet.

Kingstonian Line up

Power, Grantham, Hatcher, Bird, Droy, Kempton, Harlow, Tutt, Swales, Westley, Martin. Subs: Davies (not used), Kelly (not used).

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