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Welling United (H)
Sat Apr 20

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Welling United (H)
Sat Apr 20 15:00
The Vanarama National League South

Mark scores twice Rebels continue their dream start to the seaso

Slough Town

Slough Town

West (37, 73)
Grays Athletic

Grays Athletic

League Attendance: 793 Mark West
Slough picked up another three points on Tuesday in what has been, on paper, a dream start to the season for new manager Dave Russell.

In a blinding sun which often made players indistinguishable in the first half, the Rebels faced the luridly-coloured Essex boys of Grays Athletic and came out smiling at the end of a scrappy but competitive clash.

It was Grays who had the first attempt, and almost the last laugh on seven mins, as Billy Goldstone robbed Roberts of the ball and forced Bunting to push his shot onto the post.

The sun seemed to be getting to the gold-shined Rebels, as indecision blossomed. Long, hopeful efforts were Slough's only routes to goal, save for a 15-minute Sayer lob which bounced just wide.

Things began to pick up on 19 mins, as Grays' goalkeeper's short goal kicks allowed Sayer to get round him and cross for West to head over an unguarded bar.

Certainly, both sides were in a competitive mood, and with little time on the ball, time was at a premium. As a result, there was little coherence to the game, with both sides flitting between attack and defence with alarming regularity. Such is the nature of the lower leagues.

It was only natural, then, that the first goal, when it came, should be a scrappy affair, but few could have predicted the goal-line bundle which arose on 37 minutes. Heads went up, bodies flung in, the 'keeper fumbled and Mark West, always a great goal-poacher, popped up to slam home. Still, you need a bit of luck...

However, persist as Slough might, the chances were rarely forthcoming, and Grays' long-ball tactics occasionally came dangerously close to undeserved fruition, especially when they were, unfortunately, aided by the kick-in rule.

Slough contained Grays fairly comfortably as the game dragged on, without ever really looking threatening themselves. West, who is getting better and better, was busy up-front, but he was too often easily crowded out.

On 56 mins, Catlin almost turned goal-poacher, narrowly mistiming his lunge as the ball flew across the face of the goal. One minute later, Bushay drove past the post, probably amazed at the rare space he was given. Sayer was relatively quiet, but could easily have hit the target on 61 mins, but hit the ball over the bar instead.

At the other end, though, Grays were beginning to gain a sense of urgency, and Bunting needed to paper over defensive inadequacies on several occasions during the second half. In the end, though, there was no real need for Slough fans to worry, as Mark West was on hand to head home a Clement delivery on 73 minutes He has a habit of being in the right place, and Slough will need him as the season wears on.

Another match, then, another three points, but once again, Slough did not look entirely convincing. There are much tougher tests ahead and let us hope that Slough are prepared for them.

Grays Athletic Lineup


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