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Hemel Hempstead Town (A)
Sat Apr 13

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Hemel Hempstead Town (A)
Sat Apr 13 15:00
The Vanarama National League South

Veteran McKinnon inspires in-form Rebels as United crumble

Slough Town

Slough Town

McKinnon (11, 60), Foran (0-2)
Boston Utd

Boston Utd

League Attendance: 906 Paul McKinnon
Before Saturday's encounter Slough Town were a handsome second in the Vauxhall Conference and visitors Boston United were a sad 22nd, without a win in 11 league games, boasting just four points in total.

The Slough sceptics suggested this was the sort of game their side just doesn't win, 'they'll struggle here', 'can't beat the poor sides you know.' So were they right. Err, no.

Slough eased past Boston's dispirited challenge with a degree of contempt, scoring three, spurning several other chances and rarely needing to break into sweat; though he may not admit it, Dave Kemp will enjoy few less concerning afternoons.

The rejuvenated Paul McKinnon — who since I remarked that he doesn't look like scoring can't stop was twice more on the mark and Mark Foran opened his Conference account.

Boston were not without opportunities of their own and Trevor Bunting was called upon on three occasions to show his shot stopping skills, but Slough were generally a notch or two above their opponents.

So much so that they visibly eased off after McKinnon's second —their third — ten minutes into the second half and may feel that Boston got off lightly.

United really do have reason to worry now, their defence often gave the impression of never having met each other before; in the middle of the field, Curtis and Toone were no match for Briley and the cultured Ian Hazel while their forward line was largely impotent after the much hyped Gary Jones left the field on 13 minutes with the recurrence of a recent injury.

Unlikely though that his departure made a great difference, for at that stage, and after something of a bright opening, United were already trailing to McKinnon's fourth goal in as many games.

His first — after 11 minutes — could not have been simpler, George Friel curled a corner into the near post McKinnon met it, Bastock couldn't stop it and Slough were ahead.

Pluckrose might have doubled the advantage within a minute, but his composure was not all that it should have been and he blazed McKinnon's lay-off over the top from around 25 yards.

Boston's confidence, close to rock bottom sank deeper still as Jones limped off and it was not to be a game his replacement John Graham, formerly of Kettering, will remember either.

Andy Sayer, darting from flank to flank, gave Coverdale a torrid time on the right before whipping in a cross a fraction too high for McKinnon and the big forward was close again from Briley's curling free-kick.

The sizeable audience (906) seemed well aware a second could not be long in coming and Foran supplied it heading in Briley's corner. The lanky Foran ran fully 25 yards before rising to score but none among the visiting rearguard made the decision to go with him. Foran is around the 6ft 5 mark, so it's hardly likely they didn't notice him, something to work on in training I fancy.

As a contest it was already over, Boston were painfully short on confidence and typically when Slough did error they were unable to capitalise, Graham stumbling after Anderson's mistimed header.

Sayer's header at full stretch from yet another Briley set-piece didn't really test Bastock but Bunting passed his exam with flying colours, making a one-handed stop from Grayson, as not for the first time in recent weeks Slough were not entirely convincing in their attempts to clear a corner.

Slough's third goal came courtesy of a dreadful corner from Boston's captain, Martin Hardy, who misdirected an attempted backpass and McKinnon accepted another simple chance with Bastock stranded —and probably close to tears.

No-one would have argued if the game had ended there and them, in their own way Slough had been as convincing as Lennox Lewis leaving Boston very Ruddock-like'.

After Sayer missed an opportunity to earn Slough's biggest win of the season Boston enjoyed their best spell, it didn't last long, though Bunting had to save well from Graham.

Stanley, impressing once again on the right side of midfield, and Anderson had further opportunities from the home side while Bunting watched efforts from the unfortunate Graham and Mark Hallum drift harmlessly wide.

Five straight wins, five games unchanged, success is built upon confidence and consistency and both are oozing from Wexham Park right now.

"They didn't play very well and to be honest we are a bit disappointed that it was only 3-0," revealed Kemp.

"We are gaining in confidence all the time and it did seem quite easy for us. I think at 3-0 the players knew that it was all over and cased off a little. Maybe they were keeping something back for Kettering."

"Nobody is talking about us yet but that' eight wins out of 11 with eight clean sheets so we must be doing something right, all we can do is just keep winning and stay up there."

Boston Utd Lineup


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