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Wealdstone (A)
Sat Sep 26
15:00

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Wealdstone (A)
Sat Sep 26 15:00
The Vanarama National League South
18th
0pts

Rebels Drop More Home Points

| League
Att: 703
Slough Town
West (15)
1 - 1
Northwich Victoria
Vicary (1-1)
Neil Catlin
And so the moaners have even more fuel for their vitriol-stoked fire, after Slough stretched their run without a home league win to an unbelievable seven games with the replaying of a very familiar plot at Wexham Park on Saturday.

They can point to a disturbing lack of finishing from a previously freescoring team; they can shake their heads and tut as they regard the deceptive league table; they can even predict relegation - it all comes down to the worst kind of luck.

If this game had lasted another 90 minutes, the Rebels still wouldn't have scored again - it's just like that sometimes. They had enough chances to hit a good half dozen, but ended up letting one of the worst sides they have faced all year sneak a point they badly wanted.
By the end, the visiting directors were on their feet pleading with the referee to blow the whistle, so undeserved was both their goal and their result.

But there was very little indeed on show to provide any substance to the calls for Dave Russell's dismissal, less still to point to anything other than a comfortable season ahead.

Slough were a goal to the good within a quarter of an hour and had by then dominated the match to an alarming extent. Mark Pye's work rate in midfield was fantastic (Russell rates him as "better than Steve Thompson"), and Neil Catlin alongside him revelled in his hat-trick five days earlier by fetching, carrying and storming through to support Mark West and Ansil Bushay at every available opportunity, including a fifth minute screamer that Greygoose did well to turn wide with his hand.

When they opened the scoring, Northwich were a shambles. Greygoose had advanced to the edge of his area to punch clear from West, the ball fell to Honor 30 yards out and Slough were left three-on-two with the `keeper all at sea.

Honor wisely resisted the temptation to try a lob and instead passed to Bushay, who was better positioned. His lob went over Greygoose but was headed off the line by Duffy. Finally, West arrived and slammed home from all of a yard out, the area a scene of devastation.

Perhaps the biggest mistake the Rebels made all afternoon was to take their feet off the pedal at this point. So assured did a good two or three-goal lead look by the break that they seemed to stop even trying for it. Victoria were ready to punish them when they did slip - and they did.

Before the back four even knew it, the visitors were inside the area when Baron slipped when challenged by Cooke and Preddie was far too slow coming out to stop Vicary who tucked the ball under his body. One simple mistake, but it did so much damage.

The second half reads simply as a list of missed chances, any one of which would have been enough for three points Answers on a postcard please if you've got the faintest idea why they didn't go in. Bushay and Catlin both put two wide of the post as the box came under constant siege, and the latter provided an amazing double blunder on 65 minutes when he first turned and struck the ball straight at Greygoose from three yards out and then bicycle-kicked the rebound onto the crossbar.

Substituting both West and Bushay on 75 minutes may well not rate as the best decision of Russell's management career, though the fresh legs Pickett provided were needed and Rake badly needs a full game given Blackman's poor showing.

He squandered one of the most glaringly obvious chances of the season on 85 minutes when Catlin and Pickett combined to play him in at the far post, but he dallied so long Greygoose was able to pounce and sweep the ball away from danger.

That just about summed all up, and the `keeper further kept his side in the game with two stops from late headers.

Northwich Victoria Line up

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