Rebels Crumble

Wycombe Wanderers

Wycombe Wanderers

Long (pen 25, 69), Fairchild (57)
Slough Town

Slough Town

Smith (39)
This game should have provided Slough Town with the chance to put the icing on the cake to their recent revival instead they were left eating the crumbs at Loakes Park on Tuesday evening.

Two goals during an inspired 12 minute second half spell swung the match Wycombe's way left the Slough defence with cream on their faces.

For 55 minutes there was little to choose between these two great old rivals both experiencing something of an unusually barren season in the Servowarm Isthmian League, Premier Division.

In fact, for a considerable period Slough looked the more capable side and threatened to make it another miserable night for the Loakes Park faithful.

But then suddenly Wycombe found the right ingredients and mix to their play and twice cruelly exposed the Rebels defence to take the spoils.

However, the signs are still there that this very much "new look" Slough side will blend into a successful unit and this reverse at Wycombe should, hopefully, only be a temporary setback to manager Terry Reardon's plans.

Both sides went into this “derby" clash without key strikers. Wycombe's attack lacked Declan Link and Simon Read while injured leading marksman Rowan Dodds was again missing for the Rebels.

And the match also held great significance for two players Wycombe's Dave Russell and Slough's Colin Tate. Russell was Slough's longest serving player of the present squad before moving to Wycombe two weeks ago and this was his home debut, while Tate made the move to Wexham Park from Wanderers a week earlier.

It was former Rebels favourite Russell who emerged with greater credit on the night, always posing a threat, while after taking an early clattering on the ankle Tate never looked like maintaining his "goal-a-game" record for Slough and was eventually substituted.

As always in clashes between the two sides there was total commitment and the pace was fast, furious and exciting. Tate almost drew first blood for Slough after 14 minutes with an effort just wide of the post, created by the ever talented Devon Petty and then Richard Mikurenda whistled a cracking shot just wide of Richard Teale's post.

Wycombe missed a glorious chance on 24 minutes when Teale failed to hold Roy Fairchild's corner and Mick Doherty fired well wide from eight yards out.

But a minute later disaster struck for Slough when Robbie Holland clipped the ankles of Kevin Tilley, who had embarked on a great forward run, and referee Smith awarded a penalty, somewhat harshly in most people's minds. It was an opportunity not to be missed and Steve Long slammed Wanderers ahead.

We now saw the best of Slough as they fought back with vigour and skill. Keith White and Dave Alexander were inspirational in midfield while Petty and Adrian Smith buzzed around up front, always willing to take on the Wycombe defence.

One delightful move on the left ended with Moran Dodd's effort to turn home White's cross being deflected for a corner and then a quick free kick by Alexander found Tate, and the striker's effort was narrowly deflected wide by Dave Burgess.

And on 39 minutes this golden period for the Rebels was rewarded. A short corner on the right found Smith and his well struck 20 yard effort took a wicked deflection and looped over Gary Lester's head into the net.

Slough now looked really good and threatened to take Wycombe apart. Tate saw an acrobatic volley well held by Lester and then Trevor Baron just failed to control White's astute through ball.

Petty's surging, jinking run then almost gave the Rebels a perfect start to the second half, but after 57 minutes came the first of Wycombe's killer goals.

Wanderers had always looked dangerous on the right, with Nick Doherty and Tilley the key factors, and it was Tilley's cross which caught the Rebels defence out and gave Fairchild the chance to crisply hit Wycombe back into the lead.

Petty and Smith, in particular, continued to work hard for Slough and it took a fine save by Lester to deny the hardworking Smith but this was to be the Rebels' last real say in the match.

With 69 minutes gone came Wycombe's decisive third goal. After Teale had saved well from Long, Wanderers kept up the pressure and when the ball was swung over from the right again the Rebels defence was all at sea and this time Long struck the ball under the diving body of Teale.

Wycombe were now on song and there was no way back for Slough. It could have been even worse had the referee not ruled out Doherty's late effort as all the Rebels' early promise simply crumbled away.

Wycombe Wanderers Lineup


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