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Taunton Town (A)
Tue Mar 5

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Taunton Town (A)
Tue Mar 5 19:45
The Vanarama National League South

Rebels concede first defeat and end dream start to season



Spiteri (34), Grenfell (54), Logan (82)
Slough Town

Slough Town

League Attendance: 417 Brian Lee
"Another week, another win" might well have been Dave Russell's motto last week, but a week is a long time in football and the Slough manager and his side have learnt some valuable lessons in the past seven days.

Most of the lessons came on Monday as Slough, fresh from a tricky win against Aylesbury, were taught a real lesson in discipline and tactics by lowly Purfleet.

The confident Rebels were almost off the mark on two minutes, as Mark West lobbed Scottish 'keeper Smart, only to find Graham Daly in athletic mood to clear his goal-bound shot.

Keeping an unchanged side throughout the start of the season has enabled Dave Russell's squad to gel, and passes which might previously have gone astray are now finding their target.

That said, the supply line to West and Sayer up front still relies too heavily on set pieces, but when the wins are arriving, such shortcomings can be dismissed as unimportant - not so on Monday.

In terms of posession, the Rebels are second to none and virtually set up camp in the Purfleet half, strangling the Essex side's forward line and restricting them to a pitiful handful of half-chances.

The Rebels, too, were equally bereft of real oppourtunities, but never relinquished their upper hand in the game until they were hit by a real bombshell on 34 minutes.

Steve Cobb found space on the wing and, beating Bateman for pace, crossed for Spiteri to squeeze a header home. Brett almost hit a second a minute later, but found Boning a little more warmed-up second time around.

It was a goal which shocked the Rebels into action a little, with the front players duly becoming more mobile, although the chances did not arrive.

Half-time afforded Russell a chance to pep up his troops a little and finally give Garfield Blackman a realistic opportunity to show his potential as he replaced the far-from-convincing Daniel Nwaokolo.

It was Purfleet, however, who, on their rare attacks, looked more convincing and on 54 minutes, Bunting fumbled the ball into the net direct from a Grenfell corner for number two, 30 seconds after having made a great save from Cobb to produce the set-piece.

Things really began to look desparate for a Rebels side who had the spirit and the shape knocked out of them not so much by the opposition as by their own foolhardiness and inability to step up a gear. Purfleet were perfectly happy to let the game grind to a virtual halt as Slough sunk to their depressing level.

The icing on the cake came on 82 minutes, when Logan ran from the half-way line to meet a through-ball, round an injured Bunting (despite the keeper's valiant efforts) and tap the ball home with Bateman a passive, disillusioned spectator.

Though dismal, this was a defeat which could prove valuable for Slough. If the Rebels were getting a little too cocksure and confident following recent unconvincing victories, they have now been brought back to earth with a bump and must take a fresh view of future matches, starting with Yeading on Saturday. Things can only get better.

'There was even more bad news for Slough fans this week with the announcement that defender Andy Clement and star striker Andy Sayer both face three match bans after recent dismissals, not the one-match bans that were in action during Stough's spell in the GM Vauxhall Conference.

Purfleet Lineup


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