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Sat Mar 2

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The Vanarama National League South

Royal reprieve

Windsor & Eton

Windsor & Eton

Slough Town

Slough Town

Walton (26)
League Attendance: 705 Tony Dennis
Windsor maintained their recent supremacy over their biggest local rivals on Tuesday evening at Wexham Park with a decisive 26th minute goal from Byron Walton, one of five ex-Rebels on show for the Royals.

But it was veteran keeper Kevin Mitchell, however, who again hogged the limelight with another magnificent display of goalkeeping against a side who released him after only 11 matches in 1983.

Mitchell has reserved some of his finest performances for these `derby' clashes and certainly earned his side another three points with some spectacular saves.

The early exchanges were understandably tense and the first effort of the match didn't arrive until the 13th minute when Stuart Muir thundered a header inches wide of the far post from Wayne Cliff's free-kick.

Sixty seconds later Thompson turned the Royals defence inside out and gave Tony Dennis the chance to test Mitchell with a low drive from six yards.

An occasionally bad-tempered affair threatened to boil up briefly in the middle of the half after Slough's player-assistant manager Trevor How was cautioned for a wildly late challenge on Mark Franks, but sensible refereeing by David Keen ensured that any off-the-ball squabbles didn't turn into anything worse.

It was against the run of play when the Royalists scored what proved to be the decisive goal. Walton, never considered good enough for first team football at Slough, was quickest to act when Dave Osgood's dinked little through ball split How and Jeff Bateman, and easily lobbed Slough keeper Trevor Bunting from the edge of the area.

Despite enjoying most of the ball, the Rebels never threatened to equalise until the stroke of half-time when Clift was forced to clear a Dennis' in swinging corner off the line.

Much of the tension disappeared out of the match in the second half and How whistled a 30-yard drive inches over the bar in the 58th minute.

Muir came close to killing the game three minutes later after Bunting fumbled a Ralph Perna cross, but the ball was scrambled clear.

The introduction of Rebels substitute Paul Gardam for his first game for nearly 18 months allowed skipper Keith White to push into midfield. It was Gardam, though, who supplied an excellent cross which Thompson and Wayne Wanklyn both contrived to mishit.

Seconds later Colin Landeg, playing against his former club, saw his goal bound effort blocked by Michael Barnes. Walton could have applied the killer blow in the 70th minute, but instead stumbled and saw the ball run away from him with only Bunting to beat.

Heroic Mitchell ensured that the slip would cost the Royalists nothing, though, as five minutes later he dived low to his right to push a stinging drive from White away after excellent approach work by Thompson.

In the 82nd minute Mitchell pulled off a match-winning save, throwing himself at Dennis' fierce shot from the edge of the penalty area, after a superb pass from Tony Knight.

In a carbon copy repeat six minutes later he denied Landeg, twisting to knock the rebound away from the fast approaching Wanklyn.

Windsor & Eton Lineup

K. Mitchell, S. Mitchell, Perna, Clift, Barnes, Woods, Muir, Osgood, Walton, Delahunty, Franks. Subs Gosnell (not used), Richard: (not used).


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