Leaping Up The League

St Albans City

St Albans City

Slough Town

Slough Town

Bateman, Stanley, Adams
League Attendance: 589 Barry Rake
A FINE first half display allowed the Rebels to secure the vital three points on Saturday. Slough took St Albans apart for the first 45 minutes and stormed into a three goal lead before the break. The second half saw St Albans get the tackles in much more quickly, thus cutting down the amount of time each Slough player had on the ball, but the damage had already been done.

St Albans kicked off on a cool sunny afternoon, looking to regain the form that had recently seen them move swiftly up the table. It was Slough though, who immediately clicked into top gear, and had the Saints in trouble. After only two minutes, Neal Stanley raced through and blasted a fine shot just wide from 20 yards. The first fifteen minutes were dull, with the home side making no progress against a well drilled Rebels, and the ball often out of play. After quarter of an hour the Rebels took the lead, and didn't have to look back for the rest of the game. Tommy Langley played a neat ball from midfield into the path of the excellent Barry Rake. Rake then ran on to whip the ball across the face of the goal, and Stanley was on hand to poke it home at the far post.

Slough were completely on top, and it took only a further eight minutes to increase their lead. Mark Adams corner was swung in at the near post, hit two defenders challenging each other, and was left for Jeff Bateman to rise high to head home via the keeper's outstretched hand. Barry Rake then proceeded to destroy the home side with some fine running and skill on the right, and mark Adams troubled the left hand side. The defence was in total command, Gary Dodd and Jeff Bateman both outstanding, and the midfield won everything loose, constructing neat moves all the time. Howard was booked for chopping down Adams after 29 minutes in a resort to stop the Slough front line pushing forward. A superb one-two from Rake and Stanley allowed the former to cross to the near post where Langley was denied.

The half ended when Mark Adams scored a cracker of a goal. Steve Thompson swung in a low corner, and Stanley hooked it over his head at the near post, as it fell, Adams jumped to hook a spectacular volley over keeper Murray's head.

St Albans brought on Colfer for Bening at the interval, and played five at the back to try to stem the tide. The Saints also moved in on the Slough players much more quickly, and harried their game into errors. Stanley was unlucky not to add to the tally a minute into the second half, when he nipped in to fire past Murray, but his effort rolled slowly against the post. The striker though, was quickest to react, and he raced on to back-heel the rebound into Langley's path, but it was deflected out by a defender.

Howard's free kick was put just wide at the post by Kelly, and proved to be the first of the home side's attacks, though they never managed to hit the target during the afternoon. Gary Lester's long drop kick enabled Stanley to nip in and lob the keeper, but the goal hungry striker saw his effort go just over. St Albans were more solid at the back, but Slough still dictated the game, with Rake tying McClure in circles, and the midfield pushing on well. After 81 minutes, Stanley was unlucky when Murray tipped the ball off his head following good work from 'Adams and Bobby Dell. Mark Mallinson made a late appearance in place of the injured Langley, and some late Saints pressure failed to bring any reward.

The Rebels left the park having shot into second place in the table, and a performance of this quality underlines their genuine Championship challenge.

St Albans City Lineup


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