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Slough Town 2 Dorking Wanderers 1

Dorking were unable to extend their unbeaten league run to six games after defeat to Slough Town at Arbour Park.

The hosts scored twice towards the end of the first half courtesy of Aaron Kuhl's penalty kick and Freddie Grant's header and managed to maintain the advantage until very late on, Alfie Rutherford grabbing a goal back with two minutes of normal time remaining, but Wanderers were unable to rescue a draw.

Marc White welcomed Sami El-Abd back to captain the starting eleven after missing out against Hemel Hempstead; he came into a back four which also included Bobby-Joe Taylor, who was only fit enough for a place on the bench last weekend. Ed Harris and Callum Kennedy retained their places as Dan Gallagher and Callum Kealy made way. As a result, Niall McManus played further upfield behind Alife Rutherford. James McShane recovered from recent absence to be included in the matchday squad.

Ahead of remembrance Sunday, prior to kick off the 'Last Post' and a minute's silence was observed by all. Lest We Forget.

The game began in even fashion and at a good tempo, both sides taking on strikes from distance in the opening exchanges. Rutherford stung the palms of Jonathan North with a half-volley before Aaron Kuhl got forward from midfield and drove a shot over the bar.

McManus persistence down the right created another opportunity for Rutherford shortly after, this time in the area, but the forward couldn't decide which foot to strike from as he withstood challenges, and the chance faded away. Matt Lench then brought Stuart Nelson into action with an effort from range, forcing a diving save round the post.

A couple of injury stoppages stemmed the flow of the game towards the midway point of the half. Sami El-Abd was one of those who went down after a challenge, appearing to injure his knee. Despite battling on for several minutes after receiving treatment, the captain had to be replaced, Kane Wills coming on and taking up position at right full back as Bobby-Joe Taylor tucked inside.

Ed Harris produced an excellently timed interception to stop Kuhl getting through one on one, and up the other end Josh Taylor capitalised on a misplaced pass in the middle of the park to send McManus and Rutherford away in similar fashion, closing down on goal, but after indecision as to who was going to take on the strike, North got out and down well to send the ball out of play.

Past the half-hour Slough started to take more of a foothold in the game, Alfonso Tenconi's strong work near the channels winning a free kick in shooting range before then creating a chance for centre forward Ben Harris, who forced a save at the near post from Nelson.

Wanderers couldn't find their usual style; wide outlets reduced and guilty of playing their passes too narrow and surrendering possession, combined with giving away a succession of poor fouls. This played into the hands of the hard-working, pressing 'Rebels, who continued to be on top in the lead up to half-time. Spurred on increasingly by the tireless central midfield work of Scott Davies, Lench and Kuhl, the latter duo would both be involved in the hosts breaking the deadlock.

Released from midfield, Lench's darting run into the area was clumsily curtailed by Luke Moore just inside the box, penalty kick awarded. Kuhl stepped up, and drove the kick emphatically down the middle of goal as Nelson dived to his right.

Wanderers nearly produced an immediate response, Harris heading a corner ball delivery back across goal, after being initially cleared it sat up for Josh Taylor, who's own header came back off the bar.

Slough continued to press on and inside the last minute of the first half, managed to double their advantage. A corner ball was whipped in at pace and Grant took advantage of the space which opened up in front of to him to run on and crash home a header from close range.

Half-Time: Slough 2 Dorking 0

Marc White made a change at the interval which reverted Wanderers to a back three, Bobby Joe-Taylor being replaced by Callum Kealy, the switch pushing McManus back into central midfield.

Whilst not dropping into a much deeper shape, the hosts were clearly content with protecting what they had after the restart, and in tandem with improving their passing movements and showing greater urgency, Wanderers began to take control of possession, but without being able to generate much activity in the final third.

Rutherford fought brilliantly to fend off the Slough centre halves to force an opportunity just past the hour, North again out well to keep the attempt at bay.

Peppered with multiple yellow cards the rhythm of the second half was often disjointed, Wanderers attacking outlets from wide and Josh Taylor's dangerous long throw in's not yielding much reward against a hard grafting and well organised Slough defence.

Wanderers committed more men forward as the game entered the late stages, McManus firing wide and Josh Taylor going closest with a header at the back post also drifting off target. Up the other end a long ball found Alfonso Tenconi who did well to stay onside before trying to lob Nelson, but the keeper showed great agility and timing to get his foot up and nick the ball away cleanly.

With two minutes of regulation time remaining, Wanderers got a goal back. Callum Kennedy's measured delivery from the left flank was met with a header from Rutherford several yards out, finding the bottom left corner.

The overload of bodies up top including Ed Harris being deployed as a striker left Wanderers exposed and Nelson again had to produce a top stop in injury time to deprive Lench who was clean through. For all the efforts to rally late though, Slough remained well drilled and resilient, and Wanderers were unable to rescue a point.

A disappointing day at the office after a good recent run of form, Wanderers now have a three week gap until the next league game in early December, with cup action now the agenda for the remainder of this month. Firstly, Horley Town will be the visitors to Meadowbank in the second round of the Surrey Senior Cup in 10 days time, Wanderers FA Trophy opponents for November 26th to be determined in this Monday's draw.

Daniel Stobbart

Slough Town: 1 Jonathan North, 2 Josh Jackman, 3 Freddie Grant, 4 Guy Hollis, 6 Lee Togwell, 8 Matt Lench, 9 Ben Harris (c) (11 Warren Harris 77'), 10 Alfonso Tenconi (7 Max Worsfold 84'), 12 George Hunt, 14 Scott Davies, 15 Aaron Kuhl (5 Mark Nisbet 89')

Unused Subs: 17 Elliot Goueth, 19 Joe Lawal

Goals: Kuhl pen 37', Grant 44'

Yellow Cards: Grant 23', Kuhl 40', Jackman 67', Lench 70', North 90', Warren Harris 90'

Dorking Wanderers: 1 Stuart Nelson, 3 Bobby-Joe Taylor (29 Callum Kealy 46'), 4 Sami El-Abd (c) (15 Kane Wills 28'), 5 Ed Harris, 6 Niall McManus, 7 Jimmy Muitt (11 James McShane 73'), 8 Matt Briggs, 10 Alfie Rutherford, 12 Callum Kennedy, 17 Josh Taylor, 18 Luke Moore

Unused Subs: 16 Nicky Wheeler, 20 Dan Gallagher

Goals: Rutherford 88'

Assist: Kennedy

Yellow Cards: Harris 32', Josh Taylor 68', McShane 77'

Referee: Greg Rollason

Att: TBC

Man Of The Match: Scott Davies (Official Home Selection)


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