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The Vanarama National League South
5th
60pts

Rebels Edge Past Rossendale

| FA Trophy
Slough Town
Friend (30 pen)
1 - 0
Rossendale
Unknown
Slough Town moved into the last 16 of the FA Trophy at Wexham Park on Saturday, despite producing an uninspiring performance against Rossendale United in a disappointing second round match.

However, at the end of the day the most important thing was that the Rebels had gained the result they so desperately wanted, thanks to a penalty from Barry Friend after 30 minutes.

Against a mediocre Rossendale side, Slough fell a long way short of producing anything like their best form and there was a period towards the end of the second half when their plucky Cheshire County League opponents threatened to equalise and possibly force a replay.

Talking afterwards Slough manager Terry Reardon said he was delighted that his side had safely negotiated this second round tie, although he was not altogether happy with the team's display.

"I was disappointed with our second half performance because I thought we would really take them apart after the interval," said Reardon.

However, the Rebels boss continued: "We have progressed into the next round and that is good enough."

Slough made a bright start to this crucial match and in the first 15 minutes looked as though they were going to rip apart a shaky looking Rossendale defence. After just two minutes Les Barrett found himself in a good position and although his final shot was not struck particularly well it almost resulted in a goal as the Rossendale goalkeeper Fred Roberts failed to hold it and the ball was hacked clear for a corner.

Rossendale then slowly began to grow in confidence having survived Slough's early pressure, although at times they resulted to some crude measures to break down the Rebels' attacks and several bad fouls went unpunished by the referee. Friend and Rowan Dodds, who was the most lively of Slough's front three, in particular came in for some rough treatment from a determined and physical Rossendale side.

Slough finally achieved the breakthrough they so desperately required after 30 minutes. Dodds showed great determination to get into the Rossendale penalty area and was then bundled over by Dave Swarbrick and Mr John Moules from Essex had no hesitation in awarding a penalty.

Friend stepped up and placed his spot kick to the left of Roberts, and although the 'keeper got a hand to the shot he could not prevent it from going in.

Six minutes later a cross from Friend narrowly eluded Dave Russell with the Rossendale defence stranded, while at the other end the Lancashire side had a penalty appeal turned down when Jimmy Walsh appeared to have handled a cross from Mark Capstick.

With Friend's goal having given the Rebels breathing space everyone expected them to make the match secure after the interval, but if anything their game started to deteriorate.

The front three could not find a way through Rossendale's solid defence and slowly the midfield started to loose their hold on the match as the Rebels' back four came under pressure.

Parsons had to save smartly from Stewart Wilson after 55 minutes, while at the other end Roberts did well to foil a well struck effort from Joe Moloney.

The impressive Derek Farnsworth started to cause Slough some problems on both flanks and from one of his crosses it took a combination of Walsh and Parsons to thwart Capstick when the Rossendale striker found himself in a good position.

As the minutes ticked away so Slough looked more and more insecure, but luckily Rossendale lacked imagination once they got anywhere near goal, although a chip shot from substitute Steve Shaw, after Friend had been caught in possession, went only inches over the bar five minutes from time.

Thankfully the Slough defence generally gave another solid performance, and although for everyone concerned the match and performance of both sides can only be described as "mediocre" the Rebels got the victory they wanted and a place in the third round of the Trophy for only the second time since the competition started.

Rossendale Line up

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