Match day

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Bath City (H)
Sat Mar 2
15:00

Match day

Team logo
Bath City (H)
Sat Mar 2 15:00
The Vanarama National League South
10th
53pts

One minute to go - enter Trevor

Slough Town

Slough Town

1
Baron (89)
Bishop's Stortford

Bishop's Stortford

0
League Attendance: 766 Brian Lee
They obviously like to leave things late at Wexham Park.

For 89 minutes of this crucial league clash, Rebels fans were kicking themselves in frustration at their team's astounding inability to hit the target. But just when hope seemed to have passed them by, the lads somehow came good.

There was under a minute left on the clock when Trevor Baron stepped up to head powerfully into the top corner of the net, after Mark West had retrieved the ball from a cleared Sayer free-kick.

But the rest of the match had served only to highlight some very genuine worries about Dave Russell's side.

By the time 25 minutes had elapsed, not one decent shot on goal had been forthcoming from either side, due largely to ineffective and imprecise delivery of the ball by the Rebels, surely no surprise when the only out-and-out winger selected, Barry Rake, was left on the bench for almost the entire first half.

When Bushay found himself in the clear on the half-hour, the best he could manage was to clatter into goalkeeper Mallett and 'exchange words' with defender Luque, unsurprisingly earning himself a yellow card and a three-match ban in the process.

At least Bateman made some attempt to end the deadlock, with two headers either side of halftime almost adding to his spectacular effort at Aylesbury a few days previously. On 32 minutes, he beat Mallett with a low effort, but Jordon stooped on the line to clear, while he scraped a post on 57 minutes from a similar position. Two minutes later, the same head which had threatened to score was being stitched in the dressing room after a bloody collision with a visiting defender, while Burns took full advantage of the defensive gap that Bateman's absence left to bring Bunting to his feet for a fine low stop in the area.

Previous to that, Bunting resplendent in tasteful new red jersey - had been a virtual spectator, with the visitors unable to find their way anywhere near the Rebels goal. Without Bateman in defence, however, Stortford began to find ever-increasing amounts of space in the area, and had one penalty appeal turned down on 75 minutes, with Lee manhandling Cooper in the box and breathing a huge sigh of relief as Mr Stephen of Ruislip waved the protests away.

It seems almost a footnote that, on 83 minutes, Andy Clement received his second red card of the season for a body check on Burns, leaving Lee (easily man of the match with a consistent display of excellence) and Baron to hold the fort alone, but neither Clement nor his manager can have any complaints with the referee's decision. With Brian Connor and Matthew Wojtowicz waiting in the wines, his three- match absence will not affect the team too drastically.

Barry Rake, meanwhile, hotly tipped to be the next big thing at Wexham Park, was frankly a disappointment. Flashes of brilliance from the home debutant were sadly all too rare, but with time he could make a timely contribution to a promotion bid.

But if the Conference is to come to Slough once more, it is going to take a huge effort, and teams like Bishop's Stortford need to be hit for six week-in, week-out. Something must surely be wrong when supporters can be heard pleading with their team to score against a side so ordinary.

Don't be blinded by the score line - we all know the Rebels can do better than this.

Bishop's Stortford Lineup

Rebels

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