Rebels Held In Trophy Clash

Slough Town

Slough Town

Langley (40)
Redbridge Forest

Redbridge Forest

Benstead (86)
FA Trophy Attendance: 716 Trevor Bunting
It was hard to balance the scales of justice after Slough's FA Trophy tie against Redbridge Forest on Saturday. A side that the Rebels had demolished for League points were a totally different proposition in this Trophy First Round tie.

And it has to be said that at times Slough were second best to the strongest eleven that the free spending visitors had put out this season. But good sides score goals, and Redbridge didn't qualify in that department, and would have suffered had it not been for a last ditch decision by stand in referee Mr Bigger of Forestdale, which capped a crazy performance.

Just as the Rebels were looking like making it to the Second Round Proper in the competition, circumstances beyond their control denied them what has recently been an elusive prize. Neal Stanley picked up the ball in the Redbridge box with four minutes remaining. As the Slough striker closed on goal, outpacing marker Micky Dingwell, the latter brought him crashing to the ground as he teed himself up. As Stanley lay prostrate, and the ball out of play, Mr Bigger, to the astonishment of all in the ground, including the Redbridge contingent, waved away appeals for a penalty and awarded a goal kick.

This as the Rebels were leading 1-0, and soon Redbridge had equalised through an equally baffling decision. Match officials should not have this much influence on eventual results, and again Slough had been denied by a strange piece of decision making. That done, Redbridge could have made more of a fine performance, which may well see them start climbing the hill, after a disastrous season which has seen them playing the part of the Vauxhall League's Manchester United.

The Rebels had to shuffle their line up due to the missing Steve Thompson, and injuries to Gary Dodd, Jeff Bateman, Tony Dell and Gary Lester. "It was a difficult game and we had to change the way we play," said Rebels boss Alan Davies, who added: "We've gone out there and haven't played as well as we have in the last few weeks." New man Kevin Rowe made an excellent debut in the centre of defence, and with Mark Hill sweeping behind him and Tony Knight, and Trevor Bunting's handling looking good, the task was hard for Redbridge.

It was the visitor's who fired on all cylinders early into the crisp afternoon, and were well on top when Bunting saved well from Bensted after Barrett's free-kick. Slough were failing to create as everytime they cleared their ranks, Redbridge came straight back at them. Knight cleared Bensted's header from the line, and Trevor How repeated the trick when Simmon's miscued effort was goalbound.

Whenever Slough pushed forward they found Mervyn Cawston in command in his box, and he swallowed up Mark Adam's crosses with ease. England International Noel Ashford sent in a glorious chip for Weddell, Bunting shut him out and Blakeborough shot wide. Slough's first shot came after 35 minutes, but though Rake was wide the Rebels took heart and came back into the game.

Forty minutes had gone when Rowe's superb ball found Stanley on the edge of the box. Stanley chipped to the incoming Rowe who made a fine run through the middle, but miscued, and Tommy Langley was on hand at the far post to fire home. Bunting made a brilliant save from Blakeborough to keep out Redbridge before the interval.

The second half saw Bunting again save well from the same player, and continued with Redbridge on top. Barry Rake was the most inspiring of the Slough men, and Cawston pulled off a fine save to deny him after 78 minutes. Bunting though was the much busier of the keepers and made some fine saves, as well as picking out the crosses well. But with 86 minutes gone, Mr Bigger made his dubious penalty denial, and Redbridge attacked. Skipper Mark Hill was booked after clearing the ball and somehow conceding a free-kick, and the resultant set play was headed home at the far post by Bensted for a replay.

Redbridge Forest Lineup


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