A Point Pinched Off The Poppies

Kettering Town

Kettering Town

Slough Town

Slough Town

League Attendance: 3002 Tony Knight
A magnificent reflex save from Sean Lahiff in the last minute enabled the 10 men of Slough to pick up a deserved point.

It was an excellent all round team performance that saw runaway Conference leaders Kettering drop their first home points this season in a game they were expecting to win comfortably.

Kettering had a 100 per cent home record and the Rebels had conceded the most away goals in the league — but with a better finish Slough could have actually won the game.

The battling Rebels even staved off everything "the Poppies" had to offer after having Darren Anderson sent off for a professional foul on 67 minutes.

The performance left Rebels boss Alan, Davies purring: "After Saturday's game we were disappointed but the way we came back and approached the game tonight was absolutely superb. "It was nice to see us defend well and look dangerous going forward and had we taken out chances we could have been 5-2 up at half time."

He added: "After we had Darren sent off we had our backs to the wall yet still had two chances." If Slough had won, it would have been no more than they deserved as they matched Kettering in every department.

The task looked frightening as the Poppies biggest home crowd of the season packed into the vast and impressive ground to create an electrifying atmosphere.

Barnet loan shark David Howell returned to the centre of defence alongside Darren Anderson. Tony Knight switched to right back and Mark Hill was back as left full back with Trevor How sweeping.

Frank Murphy returned up front and the Rebels looked a potent force as the game unfolded.

After eight minutes Lahiff dived to save the unmarked Phil Brown's effort, but though Kettering moved the ball around neatly and looked dangerous, Slough defended well and kept creating chances themselves.

Both Tony Dell and Mark Turkington had half chances and after 23 minutes Murphy's cross found Tommy Langley who headed just over the bar.

Three minutes later a push on Lahiff ruled out a Poppies "goal" and soon after Lahiff looked rattled as he lost out in a 50/50 ball but Mark Hill was able to clear.

Ten minutes before half time Murphy picked up on Paul Nicol's error to race toward goal, but his opportunity was wasted with only the keeper to beat as a shot bounced wide. Lahiff then pulled off a fine save from Richard Huxford's volley on the stroke of half time.

The second half continued with Slough irrepressible, teasing the Kettering defence on the edge of the area and showing plenty of creativity. Murphy was superb when holding the ball up in the front and was again clean through once though the Kettering defence shut him down quickly and the move ended with Turkington firing over.

Howell was a tower of strength at the back with Knight again impeccable, but the standard throughout the side was superb. Slough were defending well from crosses but near disaster struck after 67 minutes.

Trevor How slipped on a through ball and Brown was streaking clear when Anderson clipped his ankles and was sent off.

The Rebels defended stoically with ten men and the Poppies were never given the chance to utilise their extra man, especially with Thompson running his heart out on the right.

Turkington was denied with a tremendous shot from 20 yards, superbly tipped over by keeper Shoemake, but the home side started to dictate and began forcing corners and free kicks.

Trevor How was booked for kicking Murphy on the pound but the most spectacular incident was saved until the very last minute. Confusion in the Slough box ended with Gary Jones bulletlike effort from 14 yards destined for the net, until Lahiff somehow turned the shot over.

The Rebels saw out five minutes of injury time to record a creditable draw.

Kettering Town Lineup


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