Blitzed By Barnet



Bull (14, 61, 69, 71p) Nugent (59), Mallinson o.g. (64)
Slough Town

Slough Town

Rake (49)
League Attendance: 3193 Steve Thompson
If Slough weren't sure about the shape of things to come, there can be no doubt after Tuesday's blitz at Barnet.

An education in finishing and control was harshly taught to the Conference new boys as Barnet slaughtered Slough in a blistering 12 minute period midway through the second half.

The North London side was superb to watch as they showed why they will probably improve on their customary second placings and win a deserved promotion to the Football League. Extremely affluent and awesome, they spelt out exactly what work has to be done to lift Slough to the pinnacle of the Conference.

They possess absolute class throughout their squad and its surely a matter of time before they are a Fourth Division club. But it is as easy to get carried away with this result as it was with Saturday's victory over Boston.

In front of an enormous 3,193 spectators, the crowd buzzed as Slough came face to face with the non-league giants. Barnet were up and at Slough from the off, keen to impress on their first home outing this season.

The atmosphere was electric in the huge sloping stadium, but it was Steve Thompson for Slough who almost drew first blood, seeing his superb volley well saved. Andrew Clarke, wanted by Manchester United for £300,000 gave the Rebels' left side a roasting, and some desperate defending kept Barnet at bay.

Darren Anderson was having a fine match in the Slough back four and looked every inch the part as Barnet pushed forward menacingly. After 14 minutes Barnet found the net, Gary Bull, cousin of England star Steve, headed home Paul Wilson's cross unmarked.

The Bees ripped into Slough and regularly found plenty of space as Geoff Cooper fired wide and Richard Nugent headed past the post. But Slough gradually came back in to the game and held the midfield firmly.

Thompson was getting a lot of stick in the middle from his man to man marker Derek Payne, but he often had the better of him. Movement into Barnet's final third was restricted and Slough were stretched with little time to dwell on the ball.

Trevor Bunting pulled off a great save to deny Clarke, and gradually Barnet created less as Slough went forward. After the break Slough matched Barnet in every department — for a short while.

Neal Stanley was moving into some good positions and with the Rebels midfield in charge for once, the Slough forwards found more room.
Then, with 49 minutes gone, Barry Rake levelled the scores with an incredible dipping volley that flew into the top corner from 25 yards.

Slough were looking good for at least a point until Barnet moved into overdrive. A sucker-punch came when Nugent rose high to head home Roger Willis' corner at the far post, and the Rebels were behind without really deserving to be.

Then they found out the hard way. The Barnet manager Barry Fry introduced ex-Windsor man Dave Regis for Payne, switching the extra man from midfield to attack and by-passing Slough with a longer ball to the quick, imposing forwards.

With 61 minutes gone, Willis shot into the area from the left and his low ball was converted by Bull. Slough pushed forward looking to get themselves, Gary Dodd was replaced by Tony Dell for extra bite, but Mark Mallinson got his foot to Clarke's effort to divert an own goal past Bunting on 64 minutes.

The long ball released Bull again after 69 minutes and against the stranded Bunting he made it five, Mallinson handled in the box two minutes later.Bull was left to convert the spot kick for his fourth and Barnet's fifth.

Instead of putted the ball forward from the restarts it might have helped Slough to stay calm and hold possession but just as double figures looked on, Slough gritted their teeth and got down to some battling.

They conceded no more but pride took a nasty dent at the hands of the best semi-pros in the country.

A harsh lesson was the way Slough boss Alan Davies looked back on the Rebels' defeat on Tuesday night. Talking after the match he reflected: "We knew Barnet were a good side and we have to learn from that." He said he wasn't particularly displeased with the first half performance but of the second half blitz he said: "The goals were our own doing. We did quite well in the first half and had a couple of chances. When we got the goal back, we started to go at them and then left gaping holes in defence and they took advantage to give us a lesson in finishing."

The Slough boss drew on a comparison which highlighted the difference in league standards. "Last year, when we conceded a goal, we could go forward in order to beat teams," he said. "But now we are in the Conference we have got to be more professional. We made the mistake of not shutting up shop, and because of that we paid dearly.

"But we are still only one point behind Barnet!" he added on a lighter note.

Barnet Lineup


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