04:00PM, Friday 14 September 2018
It was a case of ‘what goes around, comes around’ for Neil Baker after having seen his Slough Town side pocket the lion’s share of the luck in the 2-0 victory over Oxford City on Saturday.
Having felt hard done by following their home defeat to Dulwich Hamlet the previous week, Rebels joint boss Baker happily accepted that his team enjoyed the rub of the green against Oxford.
The Rebels took the lead on 16 minutes thanks to a James Dobson spot-kick – after a fortunate decision – then saw Oxford reduced to 10 men before the break, and had the points confirmed courtesy of a Reece Fleet own goal on the hour.
Baker accepted his side were lucky, but reckons they were still the best team on the day.
“It was never a penalty, I’d have been fuming if it had been given against us,” he said of the incident which led to the opening goal.
“We got lucky, but then we’ve had some dreadful decisions go against us.
“Matty (Stevens) went through with the ball, but their keeper got a hand on it before Matty went over him.
“The decision went our way. It wasn’t a penalty.”
He added: “Their player also went through in a one-on-one, but was flagged offside when he was clearly onside.
“They also had a player sent off, but we thought that was the correct decision. There were plenty of incidents.
“But I still believe we deserved to win and could have done by more than we did.
“We created a lot and looked dangerous.
“Decisions went our way on the day, but the previous weekend we played well and came way with no points when we should have had a least four.
“We continued to look solid and I’m delighted with our defensive record.”
The Rebels’ strong defence continued to impress on Tuesday in the 3-1 win over AFC Bournemouth Under-23s in a friendly at Arbour Park.
Baker said the match was arranged to give a runout to players who had not been receiving much game time.
He added: “We gave nine players 90 minutes and used 13 in total, so it worked well for us.
“We wanted it to be an attractive prospect for the players to really get into, so bringing an under-23 team from a Premier League Club fitted well.”
The Rebels’ goals came from Dobson, Ben Harris and George Wells.
Slough Town’s next challenge is a trip to Priory Lane to face National League South rivals and high-flyers Eastbourne Borough managed by Jamie Howell.
Baker admits it will be a test against fourth-placed Boro, but one that he and the players were relishing.
“Eastbourne have had a strong start to the season,” said Baker.
“Their manager Jamie told us before the season that they'd had a poor pre-season, but they have started strongly and only lost one, and that was narrowly to Woking.
“It will be a tough one. They play on 3G, which of course we are used to, but every 3G is different, so we’ll have to get used to that.
“But we will go there with no fear. We have shown how tough we are to beat.”
He added: “We have now seen all the teams in this league, either because we have played them or on video, so we know what to expect.”
Baker said Simon Dunn is likely to be out for four to six weeks after sustaining ligament damage following a turned ankle, while Sean Fraser ‘is a doubt’ for the trip to Eastbourne because of a dead leg.
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