Rebels Nearly Left To Rue Missed Chances

Dulwich Hamlet

Dulwich Hamlet

Priddle (17), Johnson o.g. (50)
Slough Town

Slough Town

Stanley (27), Knight (35), How (90)
League Attendance: 329 Barry Rake
Every single second in the long league season counts, and it was Slough Town who flirted with the time on Tuesday evening to chalk up a valuable win.

In a matter of moments the top of the league table was plummeted right into a point by point championship battle. The Rebels could have been so easily rueing the missed chance of closing ground on Wokingham.

No-one would have imagined that top of the table Wokingham would have drawn at home to lowly Harrow Borough — but they did. And just as Slough looked to have blown it against third from bottom Dulwich — with the scores locked at 2-2 — up rose Trevor How to head home with 20 seconds remaining. The match was played at Bromley's ground as Dulwich's home ground, Champion Hill, was deemed unsafe and closed earlier this month.

RAF commitments robbed the Rebels of Steve Thompson and Mark Mallinson and it looked as though they would miss the gifted midfielder as both teams had a scrappy start with neither gaining the upper hand. As the game wore on, Slough began to create more, without actually getting close to the target.

But the Rebels suffered a setback after 17 minutes. Murphy won the ball and found Sean Priddle in acres of space in the middle and the striker had the simple task of running on to plant the ball low past Gary Lester. Priddle again found himself free and the second time he fired just wide with a poor finish. Slough rallied though, and had their best spell of the game for the rest of the half.

Tommy Langley had a shot just inside the box which was blocked, and the ball rebounded to him where he crossed for the unmarked Mark Adams who could only head wide. But Slough kept up the pressure and after 27 minutes had equalised from an almost identical goal.

Barry Rake won the ball on the right and found Neal Stanley in the middle of the park with a fine ball. Stanley ran on and slid the ball underneath keeper Glass to equalise. The pace hotted up, and the game burst into life, the Rebels looking finally like their true selves.

It was no surprise when eight minutes later the Rebels had taken the lead. Breaking from defence the ball found Langley who crossed for Tony Knight on the edge of the box, and the midfield man steered the ball home for a rare league goal. The half ended this way and Slough looked in the mood to build on their lead. But any aspirations of a good win lessened after a piece of appalling defending.

The ball was laid slow and low across the edge of the Slough box five minutes after the restart. Three Slough players waited for each other to clear the ball and Ian Paterson seized on the opportunity and Robbie Johnson, trying to rob him, put the ball through his own net.

The Rebels looked to be having trouble in clearing their ranks for the majority of the game, but slowly began to force the pressure after this set back. Neal Stanley was working hard up front, and both Rake and Adams found space on the flanks, and though the ball found itself in the box often enough, a combination of resolute defending and a lack of Slough presence resulted in nothing.
Stanley's flick into Langley's path put the tall striker through, but his finish only found the keeper, whilst minutes later Rake had an effort blocked at the far post and Jeff Bateman headed over from the resultant corner.

Murphy found himself in the book for time wasting, and this could have eventually been Dulwich's downfall. The half began to grind on, with neither team looking as though they had anything left to offer. Dulwich could have stole it after 75 minutes when a corner was twice cleared off the line and Gibbon's snapshot forced a fine save from Lester.

But it was left for Slough to do the smash and grab job of the season. With 20 second of official time left, after the time wasting of the Dulwich side, Slough won a free kick in the middle of the pitch. Robbie Johnson swung the ball in and Trevor How rose powerfully above his marker to flick the ball over the keeper and into the net.

Dulwich barely had time to kick off before the whistle went and Slough had stolen the points due to the accurate time keeping of referee Mr Ludlow of Wokingham. The Rebels moved within one point of the table toppers with this result and a very relieved Alan Davies said after the game: "We had enough chances in the first half and then went and gifted them with an atrocious goal."

"But the lads are disappointed with their second half performance but in the end it's about points and we got all three."

Dulwich Hamlet Lineup


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