What A Way To Celebrate



Sherlock (71)
Slough Town

Slough Town

Johnson (20 (pen), 38, 58 (pen)), Rake (28), Own Goal (33), Stanley (47, 62, 70, 77), Adams (80)
FA Trophy Attendance: 250 Neal Stanley
December 2 will be a day that lives in the memories of everyone connected with Slough Town Football Club for years to come. It was chosen as the day which kicked off the club's celebrations of one hundred years football in the town - and what a way to start!

Before the special evening organised for the birthday, the Rebels faced a tricky trip to Stroud in the FA Trophy.Stroud, who were unbeaten in their previous nine games and compete in the Beaver Homes League Midland Division, were looking to take a top scalp, but their dreams of glory rapidly turned into nightmare as the Rebels savaged them on their own pitch to blast ten goals. This proved their second highest away win ever, the best being 43 years previously, almost to the day, when they beat Chesham, 13-1 on December 1 1946.

The trip to Gloucestershire resulted in Slough stepping out into Stoud's neat ground on a cold damp afternoon, in front of a sparse crowd. Gary Lester replaced Trevor Bunting in goal, Tony Dell and Tony Knight were suspended and Mark Hill was out through injury. As a consequence Gary Dodd moved into the centre of defence alongside Jeff Bateman.

Stroud started well, finding room on the Slough right whilst Doughty and Webb both looked dangerous on the other side, the latter going close twice. Wilton swept up well behind the defence and the home side made much of the early play, though when Slough broke they were stopped in the midfield by cruder means. The start hinted nothing as to what was to come, with the Rebels struggling to find rhythm and everything looked set for a cold grey afternoon.

After 20 minutes Slough found themselves ahead. Neal Stanleys' pass enabled Barry Rake to cross and Tommy Langley at the far post chested the ball down, in front of the goal and immediately had his foot taken from beneath him by Gillard. Robbie Johnson then stepped up to put the ball neatly home from the spot.

This proved the spark to the fire, and the Rebels clicked into top gear, but it took a piece of determination and skill from Barry Rake to make it two. The young midfield man chased what looked a lost cause as he ran towards the byline, but just as Wilton caught him up he unleashed a fine shot from an acute angle which sailed over keeper Roberts and into the net.

Sherlock fired over from close range at the other end, but Slough pushed forward relentlessly and after 33 minutes Stanley released Mark Adams, who raced to the byline and crossed Gillard being the first to get his foot to the hall and flick it into his own net.

Langley and Trevor How both went close, before the lead was extended on 38 minutes. Langley released Adams from a free kick and he raced into the box, Williams clearing his effort off the line to Johnson who fired home. Gillard was booked for fouling Rake but the Rebels had all but destroyed Stroud in 25 minutes before the break.

The second half resumed as the first had left off. The Stroud defence was stretched to breaking point Rake and Adams finding space on each wing and Langley and Steve Thompson cruising through the middle to release Stanley. It was Neal Stanley who returned to lethal form as a result smashing four during the half.

But credit must go to Stroud who battled and still played football as their world crashed around them in the face of the onslaught.

The Slough supporters roared their approval as Stanley increased the margin after 47 minutes. Not much had gone right for last season's top scorer so far this season, and when Adams won the ball off Williams and crossed to Stanley, the ball crept over the line as he swung at it and suddenly the spell was broken.

Racing in for the ball after 58 minutes, he was pushed to the ground by Sherlock and the referee awarded the penalty. Left back Johnson stepped up to repeat his earlier effort and notched his hat trick in the process.

Stroud still pushed forward, but left their defence open and the Slough men had them running round in circles. After 62 minutes Trevor How swung a free kick over which was headed out to Barry Rake, his miscued shot went to Stanley who chested down and fired magnificently into the top corner.

With 20 minutes remaining Thompson set up Langley and the forward, who played unselfishly and with command, raced in from the left to set up Stanley to finish, for his hat-trick. A minute later, Stroud had notched a deserved consolation when Doughty's pass was finished by Sherlock.

But again Slough pushed forward and Thompson sent Rake charging through only being stopped at the last by the keeper. The ball rebounded to Stanley whose lightning reaction was to poke the ball home.

The rout was finished after 80 minutes with the best goal of the game. Rake crossed from the right, and the ball sailed over Adams head. The wide man raced on to pick up the loose ball, and played a neat one-two with Thompson to fire into the top far corner for double figures.

With six minutes left, keeper Roberts pulled off a great save from Thompson's free kick, but the Rebels were already into the first round proper.

Stroud Lineup


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