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Virginia Water (H)
Fri Jul 5

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Virginia Water (H)
Fri Jul 5 19:45
The Vanarama National League South

Rebels In A Fishy Tale

Slough Town

Slough Town

Dodd (55), Rake (90)
Fisher Ath

Fisher Ath

Blackford, Mann, Martin, Unknown
Bob Lord Trophy Attendance: 503 Tommy Langley
The Vauxhall Conference just gets harder and harder, and it was Slough's debut in the League Cup competition that saw them humbled on Tuesday night. It was a night of scrappy goals, inconsistent refereeing and mistakes that see the Rebels all but out of the Bob Lord Trophy after the first leg.

Fisher dealt out a lesson in the sweeper system, tidying up at the back, finding the flanks and getting men forward. Their ball control was ultimately more complete, their running intelligent and the gaps they consequently found made it a dire first half for Slough.

Slough stuck with the five-man defensive line up from Saturday, Tony Knight missing through his injury and Neal Stanley through flu. The one change was Gary Dodd for Mark Adams, who was dropped because of new work commitments. Tommy Langley had a chance after only three minutes when he slid in to meet Steve Thompson's fumbled cross but it bundled away.

As Fisher began to find momentum, dictated the play and pace and generally scurry all over the field, they soon took the lead. Australian keeper Sean Lahiff, making his home debut, half punched, half tried to hold a cross, lost it and watched as Paul Gorman hit the post and Gary Blackford followed up to score. Robbie Johnson saw his shot flash across the face of the goal midway through the first half, but the Rebels were pushed slowly back by Fisher's five-man blockade.

A swift counter attack in the 43rd minute saw Fisher increase their lead. John Docker swept down the Fisher left following a Slough corner, his shot was fumbled by Lahiff and through a melee of players Hughie Mann fired home. Barry Rake had been brought on for Kevin Rowe at half time and Slough had reverted to four at the back.

After 55 minutes the Rebels pulled a goal back, Mark Hill's shot ended in a goalmouth scramble which Gary Dodd finally settled by finding the net. Slough were far better in the second half, Fisher did little up front but confidence now looked low.

Mark Mallinson replaced Hill and Slough looked to attack to salvage what they could of the first leg. Naseem Bashir was wide with an open goal in front of him from Rake's crossed ball and then the latter was harshly booked for colliding with a defender.

The Rebels still pushed forward with more comfort and the ball into the box was much improved, though little came from it. Robbie Johnson went into the book after 86 minutes and Barry Little followed him after a foul on Tony Dell. Bashir fired over with seconds dying out but another rally saw Rake fire home to make the score 3-2 after 90 minutes.

The next few minutes of injury time seemed mythical, but Fisher made the most of the referee's creation when Lahiff seemed totally dumbfounded by a cross ball and Dean Martin headed home. A three goal victory is now needed in the second leg to win the tie.

Fisher Ath Lineup


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