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Sat Jul 1

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Burnham (A)
Sat Jul 1 17:30
The Vanarama National League South

Rebels Held In Dull Draw

| League
Att: 683
0 - 0
Slough Town
Jeff Bateman
Nearly 700 people at Oaktree Road on Saturday gave up the chance to go Christmas shopping. They must have wondered why they bothered after watching the dull pre-holiday fayre served up by Marlow and Slough.

Both sides lacked any imagination or the player with that flash of genius to spark the match into life. Ninety minutes of directionless, boring football produced only a few seconds of excitement to keep the patient crowd happy.

The sole talking-point of the match was reserved for the 87th minute when the referee Mr. B. Firmin disallowed what appeared to be a prefectly good goal from Slough's Barry Rake. The young midfielder was still celebrating hammering Steve Thompson's low cross into the roof of the net when the referee adjudged Neal Stanley to be in an offside position. "A disappointing decision," said Rebels boss Alan Davies, who claimed that Rake's shot was deflected by a Marlow defender on the goal-line before it crossed the line.

Rake had been one of the few Slough players who looked capable of breaking down Marlow's well-drilled defence. He brought a good save out of keeper Steve Ellis in the 26th minute when he stopped Trevor How's low shot and swivelled sharply to fire in a fierce effort. Rake should have done better six minutes before his disallowed effort, scooping a Thompson cross over the bar from inside the goal-area.

Apart from Rake, left-back Robbie Johnson came closest to scoring for the Rebels with a powerfully driven 25-yard volley in the 39th minute which was parried away by Ellis. Mark Adams had the only other chance after seven minutes, drilling a shot over the bar when he robbed the dithering Andy Harman on the edge of the penalty-area. Harman, who left Slough after an unhappy spell at the start of the 1985-86 season, earned the wrath of the Rebels supporters in the 69th minute. The lanky centre-back was cautioned for catching Thompson's through ball when Neal Stanley looked ready to streak clear.

With brother Tony starting a three-match suspension, Bobby Dell tried to inject a touch of steel in Slough's midfield, but only succeeded in picking-up a 50th minute booking for a crude challenge on former Marlow team-mate Dave Lay. Rebels keeper Trevor Bunting can rarely have enjoyed a more peaceful afternoon, the home side not managing one effort on target throughout the entire match.

Their two best moments came from free-kicks Paul West driving just wide in the 28th minute and then seeing another effort deflected inches past the post 13 minutes after the break. Defensive lapses from Slough's Tony Knight and Johnson during the course of the second-half threatened to present Marlow with a chance to score the winning goal. But on each occasion Marlow were unable to take advantage and the chances went begging.

Despite missing several key players through injury (Mark Hill, Gary Dodd), suspension (Dell) and business committments (Tommy Langley), Alan Davies was honest enough to admit that the Rebels should have beaten Marlow.

He said: "There's no excuses because we should have got three points. If we are to aspire to the League title we have to come to places like Marlow and win. "We couldn't get going. People didn't get behind Marlow's defence enough. On the few occasions we did we opened them up.
"But really there wasn't much football played out there today."

Marlow Line up

Ellis, Stone, Hubbick, Harman, Watkins, Davies, Lay, West, Regan, Stone, Caeser. Subs: Richardson, Russell.

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