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The Vanarama National League South
18th
0pts

Rebels' county cup success leaves a bitter aftertaste

| B&B Senior Cup
Att: 326
Slough Town
Wanklyn (1-0 pen, 90 pen)
2 - 0
Maidenhead United
Keith White
Slough took their place in the second round of the Berks and Bucks Senior Cup on Saturday, but their victory over neighbouring Maidenhead United was soured by a bizarre piece of refereeing. The competition has often been criticised for the poor standard of county officials and Saturday's first round derby did nothing more than add fuel to the fire. This was always going to be a tricky tie for the Rebels against Vauxhall-Opel League Division 2 (South) Maidenhead and it took a ridiculous penalty to finally break the deadlock 10 minutes into the second half.

Even Slough boss Alan Davies had sympathy for his Maidenhead counterpart and former Rebels player Jim Kelman, and said: "There is no way that penalty should have been given." Although that decision set his side on course for victory, Davies was far from happy with referee Mr. R. Mitchell. "That penalty made amends for one that had not been given when Tony Dennis was fouled minutes before. There were some terrible tackles out there and we will see a broken leg before these county officials get a grip," added Davies.

Fortunately for Slough, a second and quite legitimate penalty sealed the result and did a little to quieten the enraged Magpies. Despite the nature of their opening goal, Davies felt his side were worth their victory and explained: "They did not threaten us in the first half and if we had got an early goal we might have run in a few more. On paper we should have won easily but it doesn't always happen that way. They battled well and didn't let us play too much up front."

Davies then explained: "If you don't score early on you must keep your shape and discipline. Although it took two penalties in the end, on chances it could have been four or five."

Indeed, Slough could have become frustrated after the battling Magpies held firm during a spell of early pressure which saw full-back Andy Scrace given a torrid time by wing-man Kenny Wilson. Wilson almost created an opening inside the first six minutes with a dangerous cross that came off the United bar to Tony Dennis who fired the ball back across the goal. It was scrambled out to Wayne Wanklyn who stabbed goalwards only to see his shot deflected inches wide.

The Magpies had an opportunity themselves just three minutes later when Elvis Jack looped the ball over the Rebels defence. With plenty of time and space, Andy Smith's control let him down and he simply knocked the ball back to keeper Trevor Bunting.

The Rebels continued to dominate but could not prise open Maidenhead's five man defence. The towering Barnes was particularly impressive for the visitors but was also guilty of a few crude, if not reckless, challenges. The same could be said for Rebels' midfielder Wayne Wanklyn. He revelled in the battle but his over enthusiasm led to a number of late challenges.

Slough's best opening came after 35 minutes when Stanley knocked down a Wilson cross to leave Dennis with the goal at his mercy. Dennis shot from six yards but keeper Mark Whiffin was equal to it with a fine reflex save.

Two minutes later, United's Mark Boucher produced another opening for Smith. The diminutive striker rose well to meet Boucher's far post cross but his header flew high and wide. Whiffin was again called into action three minutes before half-time. He was well placed to save Gary Dodd's powerful header from a Dennis corner.

Slough started the second period in much the same fashion and only a callous trip by Ian Collins halted Tony Dennis as he reached the edge of the Magpies' penalty area after his pace had taken him clear of the defence. However, Slough definitely had the rub of the green in the following minute when Barnes made a well timed tackle on Neal Stanley. As both sides prepared for a corner, lineman Mr. A. S. Doran called the referee over and seconds later, Mr.Mitchell pointed to the penalty spot.

The enraged United players animated protests to both linesman and referee fell on deaf ears and in the absence of Jimmy Brown (unavailable through illness) Wanklyn stepped up and slotted home from the spot.

The Magpies did have one golden opportunity to level the score in the 77th minute when Stuart Muir headed a Boucher cross against the bar. The ball then dropped for George Martin hovering on the goal-line but the midfielder somehow managed to head onto and over the bar from point blank range.

Maidenhead were now in the driving seat but Wilson drew a foul from Muir in the last minute and this time there was no argument as the referee awarded a penalty. Wanklyn made no mistake and rifled it into the top left hand corner to seal victory and set up a second round tussle at home to Chalfont St Peter.

Maidenhead United Line up

Whiffin, Scrace, Collins, Harrison, Barnes, Muir, Boucher, Voice, Smith, Martin, Jack. Subs: Powell and Foster (not used).

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