Knives Are Out

Slough Town

Slough Town



Warner (25)
League Attendance: 649 Barry Rake
It was a bad day for the favourites on Saturday, with all three top sides in the Vauxhall League losing out on three points, and even Aston Villa went down to a shock result.

It was a blustery day, and a question mark could link the two, but top sides should adapt and prove themselves worthy of their places.

At Wexham Park it was such a performance that saw the Rebels fail to seize the initiative in the Premier Division, and create a mini-crisis in the process.

Slough boss Alan Davies was furious, not just with the performance, but with the support. "The crowd has had a magnificent season so far, but when they get a chance to criticise they do." he fumed.

"They were on our backs after about five minutes. It is only a small minority that are like this, but we are better off without them" he added.

"For the second time this season it was a disappointing display. I wasn't happy and the players weren't happy. We only had about two chances in 90 minutes, but until their goal I felt we were in control" he said.

One comment made in the stand underlined the feelings during the game: "If they are going to play like this then they had better put that mud back behind the goal" was the remark, referring to the ground alterations required by the Vauxhall Conference.

But it is rather shocking to see a local football side, so well supported, refusing to link up and help all round to push a club forward. It is disconcerting, considering the season so far, to see a club and its main source of income, distancing themselves after one poor result.

The main grumble of the spectators is the playing of a five man defence, which hasn't seemed to have worked, at home when a championship is being chased.

Desperate for success, impatience got the better on the terraces again, and some quarters expect a superhuman effort all round. Questions are being asked of some selections in all quarters, but Slough has a reputation of singling out certain men regardless of performance.

Barry Rake's flair, as proved on Saturday is there to be tapped, and one man playing against much of the Slough crowd's wraith, justifies his selection - but not often enough for consistency.

That player, Bobby Dell, started well on Saturday, getting in where it hurts, and moving the ball out wide, and was the first to pick up at free kicks.

But all this was on a day when Slough were poor and with Tommy Langley still absent, the Rebels lacked composure up front. The full backs weren't getting far enough forward to justify five at the back, and whilst Slough dominated the midfield and held much of the pitch territorially, a combination of good handling from keeper Short and hard work caused them problems.

Mark Adams did get in after 22 minutes, when Trevor How's long cross found him diving at the far post, but it was saved.

Three minutes later though, John Warner got through and bemused both Gary Dodd and Gary Lester with a shot from 25 yards that slammed into the back of the net when there seemed no danger.

Dagenham broke well, and John Bailey caused many problems, but Slough pushed forward looking lightweight up front and not like scoring.

Their failure to keep the ball on the ground and play their normal attractive game had much to do with a lack of penetration and they went in a goal down at the break.

Drastic action was required to restore some venom into the Slough game, and at halftime Davies decided to do away with the fifth defender, substituting Barry Rake for Garry Dodd.

Rake made an early impact, crossing for Bobby Dell in the box who saw his effort cleared.

Slough were having the most of the possession, but failed to either impress or break down a well packed Daggers defence.

After 57 minutes Slough tested the visiting keeper for the first time. Neal Stanley's flick sent Rake through, but his low, powerful shot was excellently tipped wide by Short at full stretch.

Warner blasted over shortly after when unmarked, and the unusually quiet Steve Thompson got in after a bad goal kick, only for Campbell to make a vital challenge and deny him.

A magnificent run by Rake saw him sprint down the right and outpace the impressive Martin, before sending in a powerful cross which was tipped away. But the Dagenham keeper was dominant and Slough were unconstructive in their attacks.

Garry Lester made an excellent string of saves when Warner was through, saving at his feet and then the rebound, and with Robbie Johnson clearing poorly, Jeff Bateman had to clear off the line.

Trevor How moved upfront for the remaining minutes but a packed defence kept Slough at bay, and after 90 minutes, Dagenham almost wrapped it up, but Rake blocked Mercer's effort on the line.

Dagenham Lineup


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