11:30AM, Saturday 15 July 2017
The signs look positive for another productive season for the Rebels after they ground out a goalless draw against League 2 Wycombe Wanderers and dominated a 2-2 draw against Wealdstone in pre-season friendlies this week.
Neil Baker, Slough’s joint manager, is the first to say that pre-season results – and even performances – mean next to nothing, but he and Jon Underwood will be delighted with a really positive start to pre-season. They’ll also be happy with how their new recruits are settling into the squad.
Matt Lench prompted and probed and generally pulled the strings for Slough in Tuesday’s draw against National League South Wealdstone while Jack Turner – a summer arrival from Staines Town – pulled off a series of stunning saves to deny the Chairboys in Saturday’s stalemate.
Alan Inns, who joined the club with George Wells from Kingstonian, limped out of action in the first half against Wycombe after receiving a heavy blow to his ankle, but there was even good news regarding that with the central defender set to return to pre-season action in a couple of weeks.
“Results in pre-season games mean absolutely nothing,” Baker said. “And I’d be saying the same thing if we’d won 5-0 or lost 5-0. The games are not competitive so the lower level side tends to raise their game a little bit. We were comfortably beaten by Didcot last season.
“It’s been a really positive week and we’ve had some excellent performances. I thought we should have beaten Wealdstone on Tuesday because we caused them all sorts of problems.
“In the end we had to score a late equaliser to get a draw but we kept the ball really well in general. There was a good flow to our play so we were quite happy.
He added: “Wycombe was a bit different. It was a little bit of a defensive exercise for us and we set up to be difficult to break down. I thought that our fitness was excellent and it was a good performance against a team that nearly beat Tottenham last year. It was pretty much the same side.
“Jack (Turner) did well for us and helped us out with a few saves and we came back into it a bit at the end.
“George Wells was excellent in defence and Matt Lench as well. He really showed his quality against Wealdstone so it’s exciting times to be honest.”
Triallist Paul Hodges rose off the bench to score Slough’s late equaliser against Wealdstone on Tuesday and Baker confirmed that he’ll get a chance at the club if he continues to perform.
Chris Flood netted their first goal from a Lench cross.
“He has done himself a few favours,” said Baker.
“If you come in and do well enough you’ll get a chance.”
Slough host Tooting & Mitcham today (Saturday).
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