Rebels draw a Cup blank



Slough Town

Slough Town

FA Cup Attendance: 431 Phill Burns
Phil Burns was the Rebels' hero on Saturday with a superb stop that kept Slough in the FA Cup and preserved their pride. But despite the grumbles from a number of disgruntled Slough followers, had Alan Arden beaten Burns it would have been a totally unjust result.

On paper of course, Slough should have won convincingly against a Diadora League division one side at their tiny ground 'The Warren'. To add weight to this argument would be the fact that Phil Dicker got his marching orders after a fracas with Darren Anderson and Yeading had to play most of the second half with 10 men.

But that doesn't count for the excellence of the Yeading back five and their well drilled and solid performance. It also doesn't account for a tiny pitch, some fine stops by keeper Stuart MacKenzie and the torrential rain and blustery wind that made Slough's slick passing game a gamble.

Neither does it mention the fact that Sutton United were comprehensively thrashed a few seasons ago here, that several top clubs have followed suit and that Yeading are getting a reputation as a fine cup side, particularly after winning the FA Vase a couple of years ago.

There are no excuses for Slough not winning, but only a fool would approach this sort of FA Cup match with easy dismissal of the underdog the FA Cup has proved them fools year after year.

It was wet and windy from the outset but Slough got to grips with the game from the off, moving forward neatly and precisely with both Paul McKinnon and Neal Stanley causing problems for the Yeading defence.

Steve Thompson nipped in to almost rob Mark Harmsworth, the Yeading sweeper, to a back pass but MacKenzie was alert.

But Yeading also caused their problems. Using the flanks well with their five man defence they had pace and looked to get behind the Rebels full backs, who didn't have that good a day.

Burns showed excellent handling skills in the wet as he dominated his goal and is proving with every game that he is a formidable force between the sticks.

He saved well from Hector Welsh who stole in at the far post while at the other end Slough were forcing the pressure but a clear cut chance never really came.

McKinnon, who was carrying an ankle injury, was unlucky after Stanley's poor return from a sweet move fell just short of him.

What did get a little worrying was Yeading forcing the pace as the rain got heavier and heavier and they were on top when the whistle blew for a rain soaked half-time.

Almost immediately Dicker got his marching orders after the restart and Slough foraged forward.

But they couldn't get behind the Yeading defence to penetrate well enough and the Yeading defence, with ex-Slough favourite Robbie Johnson doing a good job in marking Steve Thompson, held firm.

Eammon O'Connor had a powerful effort tipped wide by MacKenzie and then McKinnon forced the ball over the line following Anderson's header off a corner but it was disallowed.

Mark Turkington worked hard in midfield but with the Rebels unable to find the right ball into the box at the right time, they failed to break down the Yeading back line.

In fact, they seemed to have more space to pass the ball around with only 10 men and this added to the widely held opinion that teams often seem to play better with 10 than 11.

But the Rebels were still prone to the odd slip and Harmsworth stole in but found Burns too hard to beat with the goal in his sights.

Thompson managed to find some space behind Ardren when he and O'Connor switched ranks and after linking well with Barry Rake, who replaced McKinnon, his cross saw Turkington's volley denied by the diving MacKenzie.

Slough should have had a penalty with nine minutes remaining when Steve Croad's outstretched hand managed to flick the ball off Anderson's head following a corner.

While Slough pushed forward with time running out, it was Pluckrose who was missing when Ardren stole in and the Rebels would have been the fourth team from the Conference to lose out to minnows but for Burns.

Yeading Lineup


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