Who can stop the Rebels now?

Slough Town

Slough Town



League Barry Rake
That Slough only had one goal to show for this scintillating performance against a dismal Hayes side was a travesty, yet they might even have had to share the points, had it not been for a last minute header off the line from fullback Trevor How.

After 90 minutes of total dominance during which only Mark Adams had managed to convert, Hayes' Neil Fraser was sent through and as Trevor Bunting came charging out to clear, his toe punt ricocheted off the Hayes striker towards the Rebels' goal.

Fraser was already celebrating a flukey and ill-gotten point when How launched himself from nowhere and headed the ball onto his own post and out of danger.

And that just might be the save which puts the Rebels into the Conference soccer's Division Five — in their centenary season, for with Wokingham drawing with Dagenham, only a Slough slip-up can cost them the Vauxhall League championship now.

No team which is warned for time wasting after less than 15 minutes of the first half morally deserves anything from a game. And that is what happened to Hayes, who dillied and dallied, taking an age at goalkicks, free kicks and throw-ins from the start.

They were told to hurry things up after only 12 minutes had gone, a toe-poke from Glenn Hayward which bounced several times before reaching Bunting being all they had to show for their early attacks.

Tommy Langley will be kicking himself for not bagging a hat-trick at least for he was denied by a goal-line clearance, the goalkeeper and the post.

His first chance came after 14 minutes when he was put through by a Neal Stanley nod-on, rounded Paul Hyde and then saw Warren Kelly nip in to clear.

A minute later Steve Thompson thought he had put Barry Rake clear, but -the youngster was offside as Adams netted. Then on 17 minutes, a Bunting clearance was headed into Langley's path by Stanley but the former Chelsea star lost out on a one-on-one encounter with the in-form Hyde from less than six yards.

Adams' cross was cleared off the line by Reg Leather — the winger having gained at least five yards on his marker as Hayes screamed for offside — and it seemed only a matter of time before the Rebels must score.

Chris Dixon wellied a shot for the visitors into the carpark – thinking presumably he could waste more time that way than if he was on target - but his effort and a scissor kick from teammate Paul Clarke later in the half were the sum total of the Hayes armoury.

Meanwhile back in the Hayes half; Rake, Stanley and Langley were combining for Langley to fire into Hyde's arms after 23 minutes, Bateman did the same with a header after 25 but Adams showed them all how it should be done with a neatly angled chip from 12 yards for the opening goal.

A spectator received a ball in the face as Leather tried to reach the town centre with a clearance into touch, and Dixon was booked for a nasty tackle on Thompson as the frustrated visitors realised their time-wasting tactics would not save them.

Rake just let Colin Day see too much of the ball as he was robbed from ten yards out and the Thompson-Stanley¬-Langley combination from a free kick ended with Langley heading against the post.

Hyde again collected from Stanley when the striker's header from Langley's cross whistled off his fringe, but the move of the half involving Thompson, Rake, How, Rake, How, Stanley and then Langley deserved better even than the fine save pulled off by Hyde at the near post.

With the wind behind them in the second half, Hayes were always going to cause Slough a few more problems than they had in the first, but the home side were again first with the action as Day gave Rake a timely shove with the Rebel man through.

An Adams corner just brushed over what remains of How's hair as Bateman screwed his block-shot wide. And 11 minutes into the half, Hyde saw his goal area extended to at least 20 yards as he came out to punch clear with Langley steaming in. Stanley then slid Slough's fourth corner past the post.

Rake was booked by referee Topping — who hardly had a game to match his name — for a hack on Fraser, but then spent the rest of the half being battered himself as it seemed Mr Topping had broken his pencil putting the Slough midfielder in his book.

Bunting had to save well from the freekick conceded by Rake, but could produce only a rather pathetic punch as Hayes threatened from four corners on the trot. He earned his money though with a dive to the right to deny Chris Walton and then Mark Mallinson cleared off the line.

Just before the corner sequence, Langley saved himself the embarassment of another "only the goalkeeper to beat" encounter by being ruled offside. With 79 minutes gone Rake had a couple of shots, the first parried and the second saved by Hyde but with only three minutes to go the Rebels were almost left rueing their expensive if entertaining misses.

How came to the rescue but even at the death Slough could not put the ball away, Rake miscuing and then Hyde saving Gordon Banks style from Stanley.

Hayes Lineup

Hyde, Ardren, Taylor, Kelly, Leather, Day, Dixon, Walton, Hayward, Fraser, Clarke. Subs: Allan, Asprey.


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