Morrys Blasts Warning

Slough Town

Slough Town

M. Scott (64, 67) Stanley (3-0)
Stafford Rangers

Stafford Rangers

League Attendance: 967 Mark Fiore
For two thirds of Saturday's encounter it seemed that somehow a desperately unimpressive Stafford Rangers side were going to thwart Slough Town's bid to regain the Conference top spot.

But suddenly there came a transformation and in 15 wonderful minutes the scene changed; Slough swarmed all over a side who had come to Wexham as the third placed team in the league, Town scored three, could, should have had more and thundered out an emphatic message to their rivals as they stormed, once more, clear at the top.

Morrys Scott, again not looking entirely comfortable leading the Slough line, volleyed his side in front and in that instant, became a different player, confidence replaced hesitancy and as it surged through his veins he added a second, was denied a hat-trick by the post and late on went close again with an acrobatic scissors kick.

With Neal Stanley giving former Wolves man George Berry, the proverbial 'roasting', and Mark Fiore as imperious as ever, the supply was endless and opportunities flowed, this was the stuff.

It hadn't always been so, and Stafford may count their blessings, their inadequacies — and there were many — went unpunished until Slough's golden final 30 minutes.

The first half an all too familiar mix of misfortune and frustration, Slough tending to rely on a vague aerial bombardment that suited neither Stanley or Morrys Scott (interesting to note that both Scott's goals came via the boot).

Fiore, getting forward more often than in recent weeks as Slough realised the impotence of the visitor's strike force, was a class apart and Rangers simply had no idea of how to best deal with this threat. To their credit they didn't kick him and they must have wanted to.

After the interval he was just as prominent but now so too was Stanley. Having missed a first half chance, shooting against the legs of Ryan Price, when clean through, Stanley clearly felt he owed the team something and set about humbling the big Berry.

He did so throughout but nevermore frequently than in that pulsating last third of the game, cruelly exposing George's lack of pace. Giving his rival a three yard start, five yards later Stanley was in front — Linford Christie, Berry ain't.

But despite the game being played out almost from start to finish in Stafford's half, it was not until the 64th minute that Town went ahead.

There was a touch of fortune about it as Fiore twice had shots from the edge of the area blocked, but the second rebounded to Morrys Scott and he turned and volleyed underneath the dive of Price from 10 yards.

The general feeling was more one of relief rather than joy, but the shackles were off now and Slough blossomed. Within three minutes Stanley had broken free from our George to whip in a cross beyond Price to the waiting Scott who completed the simplest of tasks from three yards —now he was enjoying himself and the game was over, as a contest it had never really started.

Stanley raced through danced round Price and walked Slough into a 3-0 lead and the 967 it attendance could scarcely believe how the scene had changed.

Scott thumped a header past Price but onto a post and when Price finally got in the way of one, it was again to deny poor Morrys. From Fiore's cross Stanley flashed a header just past the near post, hapless Stafford just wanted to leave.

Rangers had come with high expectations and a decent reputation, a first Saturday defeat at Welling had been the only blemish on a record that had swept them to third into the table. Indeed if Bromsgrove had not claimed a last minute equaliser in midweek, Slough would have demolished the league leaders.

Their top scorer Ahmed Mettioui drifted out of the game so badly that his 72nd minute substitution raised few eyebrows. Mettioui's one first half effort flew wide of Bunting's goal and that was about as close as the visitors came, Hemmings putting their only other chance wide.

Slough meanwhile were persistently frustrated, Fiore's close range half-volley was beaten out and Quamina dragged a volley wide. Steve Scott couldn't convert a Fiore cross and Stanley was another to suffer in front of goal as Rangers pluckily and luckily held out.

When Mark Quamina's 54th minute long range blast bounced past Price's dive but smacked off the inside of a post the doubters began to nod knowingly.
This wasn't going to be Slough's day they whispered — thankfully they were quite wrong.

Stafford Rangers Lineup


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