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What A Difference A Week Makes

| B&B Senior Cup
Slough Town
0 - 1
Hungerford Town
Farr (92)
Unknown
What a difference a week makes... Seven days earlier Slough Town travelled to Scarborough and held the mighty Alliance Premier League side to a superb draw, but on Saturday they were a mere shadow of that side, when as holders they crashed out of the Berks & Bucks Senior Cup at the hands of Hungerford Town in the semi-final at Wexham Park.

To say the Rebels turned in a poor performance would almost be kind to the side, as they produced a display which lacked enthusiasm, commitment and a total lack of ideas on how to break down Hungerford's well drilled defensive barrier.

For a cup semi-final it was an extremely disappointing affair which got worse the longer the match progressed, although at the final whistle nobody could deny Hungerford their moment of glory and a place in the final on Easter Monday against Wycombe Wanderers.

Ian Farr was the man who finally broke the deadlock two minutes into the first period of extra-time, with a highly controversial goal which the Slough team quite clearly felt should never have been given.

Rebels' manager Terry Reardon gave Francis Araguez his first full game in the back four, and the youngster gave a highly creditable display in one of the few bright spots for Slough to emerge from the match.

Farr, the most dangerous player on the pitch, gave Slough an early warning when he fired over after 12 minutes following good work from Hugh Cheetham.

At the other end first a curling cross from Barry Friend produced a good save from Mark Whiffen, and then a minute later the Hungerford goalkeeper made a spectacular stop to keep out a diving header by his own defender, Martin Turner, following another Friend cross.

It was Hungerford who finished the half looking the side more likely to score. Farr hit the outside of the post following a fine run on the right; twice Kevin Bright went close and then only a superb one handed save around the post by Parsons kept out a well struck volley from Cheetham.

After the interval Slough still struggled to find any rhythm and continued to pose the Hungerford defence few problems with the midfield and forwards totally out of touch.

Keith White went close with a well struck shot after 55 minutes, and then five minutes later the Rebels' produced their best move of the match. Dave Russell and Roy Butler worked a neat one-two on the edge of the Hungerford penalty area which ended with Russell shooting just wide as Whiffen advanced.

Les Barrett then went close with a tremendous long range shot, while in the dying minutes Parsons saved well from Farr as the match headed into extra-time.

Hungerford put Slough under pressure from the start of extra-time, forcing a string of corners. And from one of these after two minutes came their controversial winmng goal.

Following a corner on the left the linesman, Mr C. Blint immediately raised his flag apparently for a foul on a Slough player. However play continued and the ball broke to Farr whose shot from the edge of the penalty area went through the hands of Parsons, and into the net.

The referee, Mr A. Williams of High Wycombe immediately signalled a goal and despite the continued protests of the entire Slough side for a good two minutes, refused to consult his linesman, with White's protesting ending with a booking.

Throughout the match Mr Williams had made some strange decisions, and one felt in the circumstances he should have at least consulted his linesman, who clearly felt there was some kind of infringement before the goal was scored. The linesman's flagging probably also distracted Parsons who normally would have saved the shot.

In a desperate effort to salvage the match Eggie James replaced Butler, but still Slough could not score. In the second period of extra-time Whiffen saved well from a White free kick and a James shot on the turn went just wide, but one felt that the Rebels' were just never going to score.

At the end of the day Slough can have no complaints about the result, despite the controversial goal. They turned in a second rate display which was not worthy of victory against a workmanlike Hungerford outfit.

After their two great displays against Scarborough, this performance was disappointing to say the least and ends any hopes of a major honour returning to Wexham Park this season.

Slough manager Terry Reardon described his side's performance after the match as "very poor."

"It was probably our worst display all season. The longer it went on the worse we became," said Reardon.

"I was disappointed with the performance of the midfield and front runners, who showed a lack of commitment, although the back four again played well," added Reardon.

The Slough boss continued: "We owed it to our supporters to get to the final, especially after beating Aylesbury United in the previous round, and I am very disappointed with our display."

Reardon refused to accept that the two testing matches with Scarborough in the past week were the reason for his side's poor showing, and although not happy with Hungerford's controversial winning goal the Rebels manager said it was no excuse for the team's defeat.

Hungerford Town Line up

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