Stanley goal seals title for jubilant Rebels



Slough Town

Slough Town

Stanley (86)
League Jeff Bateman
In the blazing sunshine on Saturday, Neal Stanley scorched the name of Slough Town FC onto the Championship trophy to fulfil the promise the club has shown over the past few years. And it was a typical Stanley strike, the lethal finish won the points at a time that Slough have utilised often this season — the last five minutes.

The team, or as boss Alan Davies has stressed, the squad, had been working for this moment for every minute of the league season. But the consistency of Wokingham Town had pushed them to the limits needing a win if Wokingham won, or needing nothing if they failed. Slough found that little hit extra just in time.

Tony Dell was suspended for picking up too many bookings, and Mark Mallinson was drafted into midfield to replace him. Steve Thompson had an injured back, having put two vertebrae out, but this was rectified and the skillful midfielder played. What made everything that much more difficult was the searing heat, the dust bowl of a hard, dry, bobbly surface. and the fact that Bromley needed to win to stay up.

It was a nervy and slow start, Slough began to have their spells but the surface made control hard and the heat took a lot out of the players. Both defences began mopping up easily as little was created, the onus on not giving too much away. Disaster looked to have struck after 21 minutes. Paul Bowyer receiving a low ball to his feet and firing past Bunting — but the linesman's flag went up and the effort didn't count.

This sparked the Rebels, crosses from both sides were cleared and Tommy Langley was inches from a loose ball after what looked like obstruction on the Slough striker. Stanley headed into the keeper's arms as they pushed forward dangerously and the best effort of the half came on 43 minutes, good work on the right ending with Langley glancing Mark Adams's pin point cross inches wide of the upright.

Time was ticking away as the Rebels came out for the second half well on top getting down both flanks to get the ball into the box. Suddenly though, they found themselves all at sea, the passing went astray and the ball was being pumped into the air. But just as it looked like Bromley would do something, Jeff Bateman was there, he was in total command at the back and immaculate in his last game for Slough.

The Rebels came back, Stanley had a run and shot saved but time was still ticking away. The ball was almost put away when good work from Steve Thompson and Barry Rake ended with it crossed to the far post. A scramble ensued hut the touch was left wanting and the ball was cleared.

Trevor Bunting made a fine save from a low shot and Trevor How cleared up well and with ten minutes remaining someone decided to falsely inform everybody that Wokingham were 1-0 up. Only ten minutes left to win the Championship and Slough made a substitution, taking off Adams, pushing Thompson upfront and bringing Kevin Rowe into midfield.

Time ticked away, four minutes remained and Thompson weaved his way into the box and held the ball. Stanley appeared to his left and Thompson nicked the hall to him, the striker chested the hall down and slammed it past the divine Curtis Hayes and into the net, signalling mass celebrations.

In the last minute it could have been two, Bromley caught pushing up and Stanley finding himself clean through. His effort was saved and Langley's follow up header was tipped round the post.

After four minutes of injury time the ref blew the whistle to signify the clubs finest hour — the Championship had been won.

Bromley Lineup


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