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Bath City (H)
Sat Mar 2

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Bath City (H)
Sat Mar 2 15:00
The Vanarama National League South

Trouble Town!

Kettering Town

Kettering Town

Costello (8, 2-0)
Slough Town

Slough Town

League Attendance: 1434 Robbie Peters
It's not a popular opinion with the club itself and I know that a victory at Kettering would have taken them into 11th in the Conference table but the simple fact is that Slough Town are in a lot of trouble at the wrong end of the table and they didn't win at Kettering, they lost.

On the plus side Slough, as Les Briley is quick to point out, do have eight home games in their remaining 11 fixtures and their record at Wexham Park is good enough to suggest that they should pull clear of their fellow strugglers.

On the minus side Slough have only taken one point from their two previous home games and their only home win of the year was against another side desperately seeking points for survival, Dagenham and Redbridge.

Among those sides still to tackle are Woking and Southport and form horses Northwich Victoria and Bromsgrove. Les remains convinced that his side will not be involved in a relegation struggle but current form suggests otherwise. Most managers cite 45 points as the safety zone and to reach that target Slough would need to take a point a game from here in, but despite the encouraging performance and result at Yeovil last week they have taken a paltry four point from their last seven games, while Altrincham, perhaps the side who have looked the most likely to join the surely doomed pairing of Wilton Albion and Stalybridge, have taken an impressive 13 from their last eight games.

Briley though feels it is better to have the points in the bag. "I know that if some of the teams win their games in hand they can come past us, but I think people in football are aware that it just doesn't happen that way, we will show a few people before the season is out and we are all confident at the club that we can finish in the top ten."

On Tuesday night however Slough couldn't live with Kettering Town, who did enough to win the game in the first half and then rather less attractively shut up shop in the second, protecting the best defensive record in the Conference - just 20 goals conceded in 31 Conference outings .

Slough's best hope of a goal was on-loan Brentford winger Robbie Peters who repeatedly tried his luck from range, particularly in the first half, but unfortunately rarely tested Graham Benstead - a former Brentford man himself.

In the fourth minute Bunting had to make a smart save from Dempsey when he cut inside to strike a shot from the edge of the area. Dempsey went on to give Steve Whitby a torrid time at right back, and all over the pitch there were yellow shirts who appeared to be just going through the motions.

On eight minutes Kettering went ahead. Peter Costello ran through on to an optimistic boot up the middle of the pitch and with Slough hesitating he cracked in a shot which flew high to Trevor Bunting's right, and struck the underside of the crossbar, coming down inches over the line. The linesman flagged to signal the ball had crossed and there were no complaints from the visiting side.

Slough's best opportunity of the half came from a Peters corner which found the head of Brian Lee at the far post but he couldn't direct the ball towards the target. Kettering's response to the threat on their-goal was to go up the other end and kill off the game.

It was however a dreadful goal to concede. Costello's first shot was palmed away by Bunting, and he should probably have held on, Steve Whitby should definitely not have given the rebound straight to a heavily marked Mark Quamina and it was no surprise when the midfield man delivered a weak back pass straight into the path of a grateful Costello who, as is customary when Slough make mistakes, punished them in severe fashion with a second goal.

Coming as it did just before the interval it was a a killer blow and Slough, though Sayer did his best with an improvised overhead kick to test Benstead, never looked like retrieving the situation.

Slough have to bounce back immediately. The criticism will of course only stop when the team puts together a sequence of results worthy of credit - they are more than capable, but they must deliver quickly.

Kettering Town Lineup


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