Staying Alive

| FA Trophy
Att: 709
Billericay Town
0 - 2
Slough Town
M. Scott (28), Sayer (0-2)
Mark Quamina
Slough Town kept their season alive with a more than comfortable victory in Essex on Saturday, the twin strike force of Scott and Sayer taking care of Diadora League side Billericay Town.

In truth there was a touch of deja vu about this one, Billericay for all their huff and puff never seriously threatened Slough much in the same way that had Hayes proved a toothless Tiger in the FA Cup qualifier back in October of last year.

Slough were competent —they didn't have to be any better than that — but it was good to see Mark Quamina revelling in his role on the right hand side of midfield and Paul Manning who has suffered rather in recent weeks at left back looked an altogether more composed individual alongside the veteran Briley in the engine room.

Typically Slough's reward is yet another long journey for the second round as they visit Morecambe taking on the role of giant killing bait.

Morecambe having already defeated Northwich Victoria in the Trophy this season also held Wycombe to a draw in the same competition last season and it is they and not Slough who will be wringing their hands in anticipation of the day.

For the moment however Slough should remind themselves that Billericay, going well in their league probably fancied their chances — and were outclassed. By the end of the game, played out on an unattractive heavy pitch which cut up badly within minutes of the start, Slough looked a very good side once again. Sadly one has learned to expect that come the next Saturday, the likes of Quamina, Mark Fiore, Ian Hazel and Manning will have found a reverse gear and Slough's standard will drop again. Hopefully not.

By the time Morrys Scott had opened Slough's account with his 15th goal of the season Slough had already demonstrated an obvious superiority.

Andy Sayer had seen his near post flick onto Fiore's low cross kicked off the line after 12 minutes and Paul Manning's strike with the outside of his right boot from a Darren Hancock corner suffered a similar fate, hacked clear at the last moment.

The encouraging signs were there though and when Quamina released Sayer on the right hand edge of the Billericay box, the little striker slipped the ball inside of his man and into the path of Scott arriving just before Dave Cass in the home goal and his long right leg did the rest.

Moments before that Scott had failed to connect with a swing at Quamina's curling cross so he possibly felt he owed the lads one.
To their credit after falling behind to that 28th minute strike Billericay's response was positive and they enjoyed their best spell of the match prior to half time.

Chris Payne had the opportunity to equalise running through onto Greg Allen's astute through ball but his shot was too close to Bunting and the Slough man made the save. A minute before the interval Bunting was called into action again leaping to turn away Allen's curling 25 yard free-kick and from the resulting corner Bunting had to tip the ball over his crossbar as Hannigan's header looped goalwards.

After the break Bunting came for and missed Lawrence's cross but so did everyone else and Slough were barely threatened again.

Sayer's emphatic left foot volley from close range rounded off a sweetly worked set piece move and the job was done.

Slough were cruising and Briley felt able to withdraw himself from the fray bringing on Neal Stanley for the last ten minutes.

As the home side tired Slough almost added to their advantage, Stanley having a shot charged down and Fiore's Sayer bound cross cut out in desperate fashion.

Billericay Town Line up

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