03:30PM, Friday 23 October 2020
Neil Baker was experiencing mixed emotions after Slough Town’s stunning fightback against Welling United at Arbour Park on Saturday.
Reflecting on the 4-4 draw, which saw the Rebels battle back from being 4-1 down with 20 minutes to go, Baker was delighted with the spirit shown by the side but also at a loss to explain their poor defensive display.
He admitted the game as ‘dead’ when Welling skipper Anthony Cook swept home his side’s fourth of the afternoon in the 54th minute, but goals from Matt Lench, Warren Harris and Max Worsfold – who scored with one of the last kicks of the game – earned the home side a barely believable point.
It was a much-needed reaction and fightback from the players after defeats to Dorking Wanderers in the league and Bath City in the FA Cup. They now have a nice little break to nurse players back from injury ahead of their home match with Bath City on Saturday week (October 31).
“We showed great desire in the end to get something from the game,” he said. “But we were poor defensively today.
“We’ve given them enough goals and it’s a real concern because it’s some of the senior players that haven’t really taken responsibility. I don’t think it’s meant enough to them to keep the ball out of our net.
“We shouldn’t have to score four goals at home to come away with a point. But at 4-1 down the game was dead. Max Worsfold came on at that point and ignited us. I thought he was excellent. I think he set one up and scored one and we’ve managed to come away with a point.
“Did we deserve it? I don’t know, we played some nice football at times, but we just let ourselves down defensively and you can’t do that. But it shows great character to come away with a point when the game was dead at 4-1 down with 30 minutes to go.”
Slough were pleasing on the eye in the first half, with Cameron McGilp playing with an assured presence, but they were vulnerable on the counterattack and made sloppy errors at the back.
Ryan Bird had cancelled out Stefan Ilic’s goal with a thumping near post header before a hashed clearance from captain Sam Togwell presented Dipo Akinyemi with the chance to make it 2-1. Akinyemi then deflected in another strike from Ilic to give the Rebels plenty of work to do at half-time. That they managed it, having fallen further behind to Cook’s free-kick, is a credit to the side’s never-say die attitude and contributions of Lench and Worsfold who were introduced from the bench and changed the game.
“I’m delighted with how we’ve responded and that we’ve got a point, but we’re not happy with how we’ve defended today,” said Baker.
“I thought they were getting deeper and deeper and we were causing them some problems. But it’s something we’ll have to work on over the next few weeks. It’s nice to score four goals but it’s not nice to concede them.
“Last year we were one of the best teams defensively, but let’s be brutally honest, we have been struggling with injuries. I’m not making excuses, but we are light in the squad. The lads that were on the bench today, none of them were properly fit, they’ve all had individual problems.
“But massive credit to Max, it’s a great finish at the end. Warren (Harris) did brilliantly to get in there and he’s obviously scored a goal as well. Lenchy turned his ankle on Monday and he only turned up today thinking he had a chance of playing.
“We knew we couldn’t start with him but fortunately, he’s come through it and hopefully he doesn’t have any problems.”
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