It's Last Gasp Woe

Telford Utd

Telford Utd

Brinkley (1-2), Cooke (89)
Slough Town

Slough Town

McKinnon (7), Anderson (0-2 pen)
League Attendance: 691
Although it was no more than they deserved, Telford's 89th minute equaliser spoiled a rather effective Slough performance on Saturday as conditions - not for the first time in recent weeks - dictated the pattern of play.

Strong, gusting winds and a pitch showing the wear of Telford's slightly dubious decision to allow daily play on it, made a passing game a practical impossibility and what nice touches there were were generally when the ball was in the air.

Telford's second half showing, as they used the weather cleverly to their advantage merited at least a point but still Slough and in particular Mark Mallinson — back in the side after injury — must be regretting giving away a free-kick on the edge of the area in those closing moments.

From the kick floated in by Grainger, Andy Cooke, rose unopposed to head past Bunting and gain his side a point, enough to maintain their lofty position in the Conference table and enhance their recent run of decent league form.

For Slough however it was all too typical of their luck in past weeks. True they have defended badly at times and squandered opportunities in front of goal, but as manager Alan Davies would testify, these days almost it would seem unfailingly their errors are punished emphatically.

Slough's performance at Telford was certainly not error ridden and their start, as it was against Barrow, was white hot. Streaming forward at every opportunity and looking more eager and sharp than in recent weeks they made Telford's league position appear decidely iffy.

And whereas against Kettering at Wexham Park just seven days previously they made scoring look as complicated as the rain rule in the Cricket World Cup, on Saturday there was a degree of certainty about their work in front of goal.

Trevor Booker who so impressed in his debut game last week was again the catalyst for much of their best work and he not surprisingly was the provider for Slough's first goal on seven minutes.

Fielder and McKinnon combined to set Booker away on the right flank and with the referee playing an excellent advantage as he was fouled near the byline, Booker crossed low and hard for McKinnon to crash in from tight yards out. For McKinnon it was his 13th goal of the season, a mark he will be keen to get off at the earliest opportunity.

The goal lifted Slough still further and with Telford hesitant and short of composure in defence there was always the chance of a quick second. So it proved as Pluckrose collected a through ball 10 yards out and as he attempted to turn he was clumsily tripped by Telford's left back Nelson.

The task of doubling Slough's advantage as usual fell to big Darren Anderson and he maintained his record from the spot with a drilled shot at the centre of goal as the home goalkeeper dived obligingly out the way.

It began to look like Barrow revisited, the wind obviously giving Slough a big advantage and a third goal seeming more than likely. Disappointingly for the ample Slough travelling contingent in the crowd of 691, another goal was never to arrive.

One of the prime reasons for that was Telford's decision to replace the ineffective Perks — on his first team debut — with the far more lively Anthony Garratt after just 35 minutes. It was a gutsy decision by Gerry Daly and it paid off, Garratt proved a constant threat to Telford.

With Tim Langford also causing much concern for Slough's back five and Phil Stacey in particular struggling to find form, the home side gradually dug in and responded.

The interval came at the right for them and with conditions now in their favour Slough's lead didn't seem quite so assured.

Telford introduced their second substitute young Jason Withe — son of former Aston Villa striker, Peter — and he was rather fortunate to stay on, the referee missing a blatant elbow by Withe on Anderson.

Telford though at full strength were able to pile on the pressure and from the third of three successive corners they pulled a goal back. Ferguson's cross being powered home by the head of Telford captain, Chris Brinkley.

Stanley replaced Hemsley as Alan Davies stayed positive but when Mallinson fouled Langford, Grainger supplied Cooke with that one last chance.

Telford Utd Lineup


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