THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

Vauxhall-Opel League, Premier Division, 1989

Leyton-v-Slough15028 March ~ Considering its likely readership of a few dozen people, some considerable type-written heft was put into this match magazine. The officials, players and supporters of third-place Slough Town are all thoughtfully thanked for making "the awkward journey from Berkshire" to east London on a Tuesday night (perhaps the Slough players were known to be thrashing out a few personal issues en route). There's a refreshing honesty to an assessment of the mid-table home team's prospects, because "with six or seven lads struggling [for form] we haven't a chance". That must have buoyed them up in the dressing room.

A rundown of the long injury list perhaps didn't cheer the Lea Bridge Road punters up much either. "Roy Edwards is out of Whipps Cross hospital and watched the Marlow game," the programme notes. "He obviously will not play again this season." And the Leyton-Wingate Reserves' "bubble has burst" after a 2-1 loss at Cambridge City. When supporters are told that the coach to Bognor Regis will leave "at 2.45pm sharp" a week on Wednesday, you half expect the writer to add, "If the whole bloody world hasn't gone up in flames by then".

A perusal of the line-ups reveals no future players of note, though the caddishly named Barry Rake – "a local player with exciting prospects" – scored Slough's goal, perhaps while out-pacing Leyton's biblically christened left-back Elijah Bee and notching one up for the sinners among us. The ref, though, was a Mr Graham "‘three yellows and you're out" Poll, of Hitchin, Herts, 17 years before his hour of glory at the 2006 World Cup. The programme editor probably took one look at him and said: "You may go on to great things, son, but mark my words – it'll end badly."

Targeting the fan demographic Allsop & Co "Always On The Ball". Though they don't explain how or why.
Result Leyton-Wingate 1 Slough Town 1
Leyton-Wingate Mills, Lovell, Bee, Campbell, Robinson, Hamberger, Holmes, Taylor, Bolle, Baker, Lane. Subs: Williams, Dalsan.
Slough Lester, How, White, Knight, Bateman, Watt, Rake, Dodd, Stanley, Thompson, Adams. Subs: Waits, Wignall
Ian Plenderleith

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