04:06PM, Thursday 10 January 2019
Slough Town are facing up to life without their influential winger James Dobson after the player signed forms for National League club Sutton United today (Thursday).
The Rebels have a replacement lined up, with joint manager Neil Baker saying the player would be a ‘surprise’ and not a direct replacement for Dobson. He was set to sign for the club last night.
“He’ll (Dobson) be a loss for us,” said Baker.
“Dobbo’s done really well for us but we wish him all the best and didn’t want to hold him back.
“We expect to bring someone in tonight (Thursday). He won’t be a direct replacement for Dobbo and some people might be surprised by it but we like to do things differently sometimes.”
Dobson said on Twitter: “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at Slough Town FC. More importantly the managers, players and staff at the club. It’s been an amazing three years and I've had some fantastic memories that I will look back and be proud of.
“Also a massive thanks to the supporters. I wish everyone at the club all the very best for the future. It’s time for me to seek new challenge in my career.”
It’s been an interesting week for the club, both on and off the field, after Saturday’s 4-0 defeat to leaders Torquay was followed by a entertaining but goalless draw with Bath City at Arbour Park on Tuesday.
Ben Harris’ dismissal on the stroke of half-time at Torquay – for making a gesture toward the crowd –precipitated a difficult second half for the Rebels, but Baker still felt the 10-men were a credit to the club.
They bounced back with an encouraging display at home against a Bath side Baker feels is destined to finish in the play-offs.
“I do and I don’t have sympathy for Ben,” said Baker.
“I do because he was sent off for the wrong reason. He was conducting the crowd with his finger in the air. It wasn’t a red card offence and that’s been backed up by the video and the referee, who’s admitted he got it wrong.
“But I don’t because he’s given the ref a decision to make. When you’ve just been booked you run the gauntlet and what he did got a reaction from the crowd.
“We were down to 10 men from then on and that’s on Ben, but he knows that.
“It made a tough game even tougher and we paid for it in the end.
“They scored two minutes into the second half and I thought we might collapse, but we didn’t. They had to wait 20 minutes to score their second.
“Credit to the lads for that but we’ve come away feeling disappointed. You have to chalk it off and move on and we did that by keeping a clean sheet against Bath.
“We played some good stuff on Tuesday. They also played some good stuff and both sides could have won it.
“For a goalless draw it was a good game.”
Fourth-placed Chelmsford City visit Arbour Park on Saturday. They sit just behind Bath City on goal difference. Slough are currently 11th, six points off the play-offs.
“I would be surprised if both Bath and Chelmsford don’t make the play-offs,” added Baker.
“They’re different from Bath, they’re big and strong with two very good forwards. When we beat them at their place it was a real smash-and-grab win for us.”
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The statue, which was put up on a plinth in the High Street in November 2018 to commemorate 100 years since the First World War, was damaged beyond repair and has not been replaced.