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The Vanarama National League South

Bunting's bravery is not enough for Town

Slough Town

Slough Town

Northwich Victoria

Northwich Victoria

Hemmings (0-1)
League Attendance: 528
As if a third successive goalless performance wasn't misery enough for Alan Davies and his Slough side as they continue their gradual slide down the Conference table, there was a farther blow on Saturday night when it was discovered goalkeeper Trevor Bunting had fractured his left arm during the game.

One point from their last three games and no indication of a return to winning wars should be Alan Davies' largest concern as the season reaches a low key conclusion at Wexham Park. Instead he will now be fretting on the ability of transfer listed Richard Watkiss who must stand in for Bunting in the testing few weeks before the campaign ends in early May.

Watkiss has failed to impress on his earlier appearances in the number one jersey and Slough need an in-form 'keeper more than ever as their defence continues to leak horribly.

On Saturday the unlucky Bunting was often exposed, particularly in the early stages of the first half when Slough seemed intent on taking a mighty tanking.

Twice in the opening moments Northwich Victoria could have gone in front. Hemmings waltzed his way through Slough's rearguard to set up Blundle who put his effort wide of the post.

Two minutes later O'Connor got on the end of a Hemmings through ball, but he too was off target.

Slough's response almost brought a fortunate reward but although Donnellan's cross struck a defender and looped over Berryman, the keeper managed to arch backwards and hp the ball over the bar.

Bunting had to save well from O'Connor who again found himself with lots of time and space and on 19 minutes Hemmings had his shot half stopped by Bunting and when Stacey's clearance fell to the visitors' player manager Sammy McElroy, the former Manchester United midfield star was off target with his shot.

It was all Victoria and Hemmings shaved a post from 25 yards out but at this stage it seemed that perhaps their luck was out.

Before the interval Slough did come back and Pluckrose had half a chance when he got his head to Donnellan's cross and Fielder brought an excellent save from Berryman as he surged forward to try his luck from distance.

Fielder and Pluckrose wasted further opportunities during the early stages of the second period and Slough who had come quickly to the boil now cooled just as rapidly.

More defensive uncertainty allowed Hemmings a chance which smacked off Bunting's post and into his goal. It was Northwich Victoria's first goal in more than 400 minutes of trying, easily the worst record in the league and one that Slough must now hope they are not going to break.

Then came the game's one unsavoury moment as Mcllroy seemed to catch Bunting after the Slough keeper had claimed a through ball; nothing was made of the incident and Mcllroy wasn't booked but his challenge did seem unnecessarily late.

After lengthy treatment Bunting played on, oblivious to the extent of the damage and Slough, to their credit, for the most part gave him adequate protection.

When Hemmings did work himself an opening Bunting was able to block and Stacey completed the clearance.

Northwich Victoria Lineup


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