Cup Hands - Here Come The Rebels

Slough Town

Slough Town

How (9), Johnson (37, pen, 68, pen)
Abingdon Utd

Abingdon Utd

B&B Senior Cup Attendance: 368 Steve Thompson
Slough cruised into the final of the Berks and Bucks Senior Cup by virtue of two Robbie Johnson penalties.

And it was a night for the fullbacks with Trevor How notching the other goal on a cold and blustery evening.

Left back Johnson was denied an attempt at a penalty hat-trick when referee Mr Bogart allowed the most blatant of three fouls in the area to go unpunished.

Little Abingdon put up a good fight but were really dispatched with ease as the Rebels took control of midfield throughout.

Conditions were made hard by the wind which blew directly across the pitch and the ball often ran out of play on the grandstand side. It was a performance which lifted the gloom from Saturday's league mishap.

Tommy Langley returned upfront, and Bobby Dell was replaced by Barry Rake in the midfield, with Slough reverting to the 4-4-2 system Slough boss Alan Davies said of the final date: " We have been in semi-finals twice before, but there is no better time to do it than in the Centenary year.

It gives the supporters something to look forward to. " He went on to say " The game was a bit of an anti-climax, but it's very difficult to ask players to play good football in these conditions. We reverted to 4-4-2 because you have to go out and go at these teams-now lets go to the final and win it" he added.

The Rebels opened the scoring after their first real piece of action in the ninth minute. A good turn and shot by Steve Thompson forced a fine low save from Abingdon keeper Phil Padbury.

The resultant corner was perfection in itself. Mark Adams swung in the ball to the near post, Neal Stanley rose to flick on and Trevor How was there to power a header into the back of the net.

Abingdon began to give away a lot of niggling free kicks as the Slough midfield took command, winning possession and holding the ball up.

Slough were well on top, although goalmouth episodes were few and far between. Abingdon's Green gave the Rebels a scare on 35 minutes, when his second attempt at a shot on the edge of the box crashed against the post with Lester well beaten.

But two minutes later, Slough had extended their lead. Tommy Langley knocked a ball into the box for Barry Rake, who got goal side of Green.

Just as the ball went past him he tumbled to the ground and the referee awarded what seemed a rather harsh penalty. Robbie Johnson stepped up to convert with aplomb.

On the stroke of half time, good work from Tony Knight and Adams let Langley creep in at the near post, but his effort went wide. Thompson, who was in his element, produced a slack piece of finishing when Stanley's cross ball found him clear of goal, but he fired wide.

After 66 minutes Abingdon nearly forced themselves back into the game, Dodd being dispossessed, and Phillips being held back by the same player who earned a rare booking. From the free kick, Caferao bent the ball onto the post, and the Rebels had a lucky escape.

For the second time in the game, two minutes after the visitors had hit the woodwork, Slough scored from the penalty spot. Stanley fed Thompson who rounded two players and the goalkeeper, only to be brought down by the latter as he went past. Johnson stepped up and converted the spot kick to take his goal tally to 14.

Slough continued to fill the pitch with disciplined shape, and the visitors had to buzz around them in their attempt to create, but were forced out of possession every time.

Imagination was the only way to break down Slough, and the visitors were unlucky to go unrewarded for originality from a free kick on the edge of the box. Barratt dummied and ran into space and Caferao played the ball to him, Barratt's effort flashing across goal as the angle became too acute.

The Rebels saw out the remaining minutes without any cause for concern, and booked their place in their first cup final for nine years. They now face a possible bumper match against the old enemy Wycombe Wanderers, who play John Clements Chesham United side in the other semi-final.

Abingdon Utd Lineup


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