Slough Round Off Home Season With Another Loss

| League
Att: 178
Slough Town
0 - 2
Staines Town
Newton (40), Thomas (50)
Rav Braith
Slough lined up for their penultimate game of the season as they hosted Staines Town at Stag Meadow. The evening was mild and pleasant, but the pitch was in a very sorry state - rutted and of uneven bounce.

This as much as anything hampered the efforts of both teams to play much attractive football. However, Staines plans suffered a further setback after only 12 minutes play, when James Younghusband had to be carried off with a twisted ankle, following a collision, and he was replaced by the lively Darren Campbell.

In a rather shapeless first half, Staines edged the proceedings, with Mark Nwokeji and Howard Newton both forcing half chances, and the former looking likely to score on 35 minutes, only to be halted by a tight offside decision.

Slough then advanced to the other end, where Terry Davies forced James Courtnage into a smart save, for a corner.

The deadlock was broken in strange style after 40 minutes. Nwokeji played the ball forwards, but with Howard Newton outnumbered by defender Michael Donovan and goalie Carl Dennison, there did not seem much danger of a goal. However, Howard Newton was able to stretch out a toe to divert the ball (via a faint touch from Donovan) beyond Dennison, and it bounced slowly into the net from an acute angle.

Staines began the second period much more their old selves, with Scarlett having a snap shot well saved on 47 minutes. Three minutes later, Dean Thomas tried his luck with a similar one - a hopeful punt from 35 yards - but somehow, instead of catching it cleanly, Dennison contrived to let it bounce off his forearm and into the net.

Staines then pressed on to try to extend their lead, but it was not to be as Adam Thompson headed just wide from an accurate Chris Robinson free kick, and the same player saw an effort blocked in front of goal.

The Rebels then enjoyed a good last 20 minutes, in which the Rav Braith won a header which forced Courtnage into a reflex save as it came up off the uneven surface.

Slough's best move ended with Abby Nsubuga flashing a header just wide, and then, on 80 minutes, they were handed a lifeline when Matt Flitter was adjudged to have been shirt-pulling while the home side pumped in a long free kick. Referee Hatzidakis immediately pointed to the penalty spot, but Courtnage ensured that Slough's tally of League goals scored at home did not rise above eight by saving superbly.

With time running out, Staines found time for a moment of excellent sportsmanship, following a dreadful looking tackle, above the knee, by Slough player-manager Darron Wilkinson on Campbell.

While the referee stood over the Slough man deciding what colour card to show while waiting for him to get to his feet, his white-shirted opponent swiftly intervened on the Slough man's behalf, begging Mr Hatzidakis not to book him for what he saw was an accidental foul. Thompson and Courtnage still had to clear late chances, while Scarlett picked up Staines' second yellow card of the night.

Staines Town Line up

Courtnage; Robinson, K Warner, Thompson, Flitter , Scarlett, Risbridger, Scarlett, H Newton, Nwokeji, Younghusband (Campbell, 13); unused subs Maskell, Pitt, Tallentire, Allaway (gk).

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