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Sat Sep 30

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Salisbury (A)
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The Vanarama National League South

Rebels Lose Narrowly At Vics

| League
Att: 652
Northwich Victoria
Graham (5)
1 - 0
Slough Town
Trevor Bunting
One team at least made themselves available for next season's Diadora League after Tuesday night's visit to the Drill Field — and it wasn't Slough. Andy Graham's fifth minute goal saw Northwich Victoria put seven points between them and bottom but-one club Bath who have three games remaining.

Paul Maguire's free kick hit the bar and was parried out by Trevor Bunting, but only as far as former Wealdstone striker Graham who nodded it home. The Rebels hit the woodwork twice and played the final ten minutes one man up after Vic's hacking back Mark Hancock chopped Neal Stanley down when he had gone clear.

Earlier Mark Turkington had hit the crossbar with a header in the 15th minute and Stanley missed a sitter when he hurried a volley wide five minutes from the break. Trevor How was also too slow to get on the end of a Darren Anderson cross before the Rebels failed to take advantage of the dismissal.

The Vics also had chances to increase: Tony Hemmings went too high, John Stringer too wide and Malcolm O'Connor had two good strikes blocked by Bunting. The clash was laden with gloomy undertones — both teams fighting for their Conference lives and frightened to expose themselves too much.

Barry Rake made the start and looked at least as though he wanted to get involved, but his enthusiasm was not shared. Gary Donnellan and Darren Anderson returned to the side but lacked the right attitude for the occasion and Steve Thompson had a quiet night.

The result left the Rebels with only 10 Conference points from 17 encounters since Christmas and three tough games still to go to survive. The Rebels meet Boston and Telford away and have their last home game of the season on Tuesday against Altrincham. Alty manager John King was at the game taking notes.

"I don't think he learnt much," commented Rebels secretary Richard Hayward afterwards.

Northwich Victoria Line up

Ball, Salathiel, Jones, Maguire, Hancock, Wrench, Stringer, Callaghan, Graham, O'Connor, Hemmings. Subs: Buxton, Challenor.


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