Blues inflict first defeat on Rebels
Bird (1, 81)
Date: Tuesday, August 23rd 2011 | Competition: League | Attendance: 300
Man Of Match: Stuart Swift
Match Sponsor: Alan Harding
Starting Line Up
- Steve Smith
- Simon Sweeney
- Danny Murphy
- Adam Logie
- Nathan Bowden-Haase
- Dom Marsala
- Steve Sinclair
- Paul Coyne
- Danny Burnell
- Sean Sonner
- Stuart Swift
Burnham snatched a late winner to extend Slough Town's poor recent home record against the Blues.
Slough won comfortably at Burnham back in April, but have to go back to November 1978 for their last home win against the Blues - and the injury-hit Rebels got off to the worst possible start in this encounter, allowing Ryan Bird a free header from Lewis Cook's free kick in the very first minute, which he powered past Steve Smith to give his side the lead.
Bird almost immediately forced a low save from Smith as he looked for his second, and Adam Dickens tested Smith from range as Slough struggled to settle into the game, and Burnham looked the more likely to score again.
Paul Coyne looked the most likely to create something for Slough, and his cross was narrowly missed by Burnell and Marsala in what turned out to be a rare bit of attacking play.
Things would only go to bad from worse for Slough, and after Bird headed an Ashley Smith cross narrowly over, Aaron Couch slammed a shot into the side netting – and soon after, Steve Smith stayed down on the turf with a leg injury. With no replacement goalkeeper on the bench, Smith had to be patched up and played out the remainder of the game, through the pain barrier.
Former Rebel Jamie Jackson had little to do in the first half, but was alert to hold onto a Steve Sinclair cross, which was deflected towards goal off the head of Will Dunlop.
Tempers briefly threatened to boil over after a number of poor refereeing decisions from young official Kevin Howick, who did himself no favours by handing out a series of early yellow cards. Dan Burnell, Dom Marsala and Burnham’s Leigh Mason were harshly cautioned in the first half, and in total, eleven yellow cards were brandished in a match which most neutrals agreed was a keenly, but fairly contested local derby.
The second half belonged mostly to Slough, but despite a long period of possession, the Rebels were unable to penetrate the Burnham defence and test Jackson, until the 68th minute.
Defender Ed Chemlal was booked for a foul outside the box, and, just as he did at The Gore in April, Stuart Swift blasted the resulting free kick into the bottom corner, giving Jackson little chance.
This goal looked as if it might spur Slough on to find a winner, and Sinclair shot wide from a tight angle as the home side looked to keep the pressure on.
But the Blues held firm, and the closest Slough came to a goal was a deflected Marsala cross which beat Jackson, but rebounded back off his crossbar to safety.
With nine minutes to go, Slough were punished for a defensive lapse and Ryan Bird capitalised, notching his second and the game’s winning goal. A hopeful ball forward by Ashley Smith was misjudged by stand-in centre-back Adam Logie, and Bird nipped in and looped the ball over the injured Smith - who also had very little to do in the second half - the ball agonisingly dipping just under the crossbar.
Burnham: Jamie Jackson, Lee Togwell, Chris Elsegood, Will Dunlop (c), Ryan Bird, Ed Chemlal, Ashley Smith, Adam Dickens, Aaron Couch (Jordan Dowdican), Leigh Mason, Lewis Cook (Mitchell Woodward). Subs not used: Martin Buktos, Matt Seedel, Chris Robinson.