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Dartford (A)
Sat Oct 3
15:00

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Dartford (A)
Sat Oct 3 15:00
The Vanarama National League South
18th
0pts

Magnificent Seven

| League
Att: 884
Altrincham
Anderson (22), McKenna (37, 73)
3 - 7
Slough Town
Pluckrose (5, 61), Thompson (6, 15, 84), McKinnon (55, 59)
Steve Thompson
Slough smashed the record books with this amazing victory at probably the home of the most famous of non-league clubs. The result and performance was beyond what anybody could have predicted as the Rebels ran rampage over their illustrious opponents.

It was Altrincham's biggest home defeat in their Conference history and the biggest win for Slough — their previous highest goals tally was 3-0 last season. It surely was the result of the day and sent shock waves through the rest of the Conference table.

Altrincham had come so close to a Football League position with a tremendous late surge which was abruptly halted by a Mark Mallinson goal last season. After this performance, the Robins will start to dread the name of Slough. They made the trip to Moss Lane on the back of a disappointing defeat at Bath City in midweek to face a side unbeaten at home this season with a strong contingent of top players.

And the Rebels were to set the game alight with a rampaging first 15 minutes. Changes saw Gary Donnellan left out and replaced on the right side of midfield by the outstanding Steve Whitby. Mark Hill came into the centre of defence to replace Tony Knight who was injured against Bath with Colin Fielder slipping-in behind him and Darren Anderson to sweep.

Trevor Bunting maintained his place as Phil Burns is still troubled by his arm injury, and was exceptional. What was to transpire in the opening few minutes after kick off was amazing, but it had been on the cards for a long time. It could have happened at Stafford, Cheltenham or against Telford, but they chose Altrincham to finally score the goals that the chances have merited.

It all went right for Slough, virtually everything — they could have had three more went in.
With five minutes gone Mark Turkington, Paul McKinnon and Mark Mallinson's one touch combination opened up the Altrincham defence on the left and Allan Pluckrose fired in a superb far post effort past the diving Roberts.

A minute later Slough moved forward again, and though there was a large hint of offside about it, Steve Thompson — who had only just passed a fitness test that morning — ran on to chip the keeper.
If that wasn't amazing enough, Thompson found himself in space on the right with 15 minutes gone, stepped inside one defender and sent his shot into the back of the net for 3-0 with both sets of supporters stunned at the ease with which the great Altrincham were being destroyed.

Three shots, three goals. But the Robins refused to lay down and die after the most mind numbing of starts. They drew a life line on 22 minutes when Phil Stacey headed a long ball out of the on-coming Bunting's hands and into the path of Gary Anderson — who had the simplest of tasks to slot home.

Both sides were finding and giving a lot of space and the match was a pleasure for the neutral to watch — all free flowing football and chances.
By now the Robins were well on top, dominating and creating but Slough looked so dangerous moving forward. There were important late challenges to deny the home side as they swarmed forward and Bunting was in fine form to fend off the home attack.

An uncleared corner brought the home side back to the brink of the game when the ball rolled slowly under boots and the diving Bunting on 37 minutes with Ken McKenna getting the final touch.

It was almost all Altrincham but Slough improved the range of their clearances to gain some breathing space and prevent the home side from levelling the scores.

The half time break came as a relief, not just for Slough to regroup but for the spectators to get their breath back. Everyone knew what to expect for the start of the second period. Altrincham's onslaught was denied by stoic defending and Bunting who saved from Brady at the far post and then McKenna who was clean through. McKinnon got in a vital leg to stop a goalbound effort and Slough were holding on.

But all credit to them. They didn't sit back and hold out. They didn't panic, they were brave enought to take on the Robins and play football and go in search of more goals. And with the home defence looking as poor as it did, and Slough as rampaging up front — it paid off.

Paul McKinnon was to provide the vital link to poach two goals at just the right time and kill off the home side. He was there in the right place when Thompson went flying through and blasted goalward, but his effort hit the post and rebounded out to McKinnon who slotted home.

His second was a great strikers goal, the magnificent Whitby, who ripped the home midfield to shreds with his pace and imagination on the right, latched onto a superb ball from Stacey, made the byline and crossed low and hard for McKinnon to fly in and get to the ball first at the near post. Now it was 5-2, and an amazing score — but it was not over yet.

The match was pulsating. Altrincham went forward, Slough counterattacked — and so it went on. With 61 minutes gone you would have though that the Robins were dead and buried. With the Rebels running riot, McKinnon won a header from a long clearance and it ran to Thompson who in turn flicked it into Pluckrose's path. He rode his marker's challenge, kept his feet and placed his shot past the exposed keeper.

But Altrincham still came back, banging the ball in from wide positions and Bunting produced a brilliant save from McKenna. Then McKenna was on target with 73 minutes gone when Mark Hughes's control, with a hint of handball, let him in at the far post for 6-3.

Both sides had chances. Pluckrose and Thompson both went close as they joined the attack when his thunderbolt was just the wrong side of the post. Superb work then sent Thompson screaming through for his hat-trick, and the goal of the game, beating two men before thumping a shot into the far corner. With the Rebels forward duo linking up so well, they are on the track to a lethal partnership this season.

No further goals were added though and Slough left the pitch to rapturous applause a memorable result.

Altrincham Line up

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