Rebels Hold All The Trump Cards

| League
Att: 1433
Slough Town
0 - 0
Woking
Trevor Bunting
How prophetic it was that as fans filtered out of Wexham Road after last week's disappointing draw with Northwich, the PA system belted out the song "When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going," for this is exactly what Slough have done over this Bank Holiday weekend, and on this Saturday afternoon they gave their downtrodden fans a match to savour against high-fliers Woking.

Only fine-goalkeeping and poor refereeing denied Slough a fine three points, as Wexham Road's largest league gate of the season - 1433 - witnessed a match played in a high wind and even higher spirits.

Briley finally got his tactics right, playing Morrys Scott up-front, just ahead of Fiore and Sayer, which gave Slough the attacking options that they have needed so urgently in the past few weeks.

After Sayer had tested Batty with a header early on, Woking's first shot was a swinging effort from Wye, caught by the wind, which almost turned into a nightmare for Bunting, but which he did well to handle.

Slough bustled at the start of the match, but could not penetrate the Woking defence, while the visitors were slow starters, and indeed, never really got out of first gear all afternoon.

The back-four showed an assurance and composure which has not been witnessed for a long time - Alsford looks like a good signing, while Lee gave his all for 90 minutes.

The Rebels harried and harassed their opponents - a very capable team, but somewhat subdued on Saturday. Chances were sparse, but the game was terse and lively.

Slough could not afford to be complacent, however, as Woking showed why they command such a lofty perch in the Conference table - quick, pincer-like passing movements bringing them into the Slough box, where Puckett's shot was superbly saved by an inform Bunting.

The Rebels were then shaken by several minutes of Woking pressure - Alsford had to diffuse a dangerous Puckett when on the verge of shooting.

Successive Whitby crosses found Manning and Morrys Scott in space but without their shooting boots on, as the opposing back-line was stretched. Woking were good....but not that good, while Slough were always close to scoring, but never quite close enough.

This is not to detract, however, from a fine defensive performance from Slough. Woking may have had a slight off-day, but they still knew the way to goal, as Rattray, Steele and Hay proved with their competent, ball-playing counter-attacks.

Peters was once again an inspiration on the wing, skipping past several lunging challenges a la Tony Daley, to set up Steve Scott on 25 minutes for an effort which was well-saved by former-Fulham goalkeeper Batty. Bunting proved that he too is a goalkeeper of fine pedigree with a versatile save from Steele ten minutes later.

Woking were content to break in numbers, but Alsford and Lee were sufficiently capable to deal with them on most occasions.

In the 49th minute, Batty uncharacteristically slipped on a back-pass, presenting a chance on a plate to Sayer, who decided to mimic the goalkeeper by throwing the chance away when it would have been easier to score.

From the slapstick to the desperately unfortunate - Peters' shot five minutes later looked a surer-fire bet for goal before the hand
Batty intervened to tip it round the post.

In the 68th minute, Sayer improvised on the edge to the area to send a volley just over the top via the hand of Batty. Slough's energy looked never-ending - the frustrations of a season taken out in 90 minutes of fine football.

Slough now had the bit between their teeth, and with the wind strengthening and the crowd behind them, Quamina and Sayer both went close in a goalmouth scramble, but the moment seemed to have passed.

A final surge into injury time provided the climax to an exciting game, as Morrys Scott released Fiore, who forced a corner. The in-swinging kick was never really cleared, and from Steve Scott's knock-down, Sayer was left with the simple task of slipping the ball home. As Slough fists punched the air, the victory looked complete, but they had reckoned without the linesman, who ruled the goal illegal in one of the most dubious decisions that you could hope to see this season. Still, that's the way it goes sometimes, Les....

It would have been criminal for Slough to have lost, and they can feel aggrieved to have lost two points, but the chance to wind the season down with dignity has now presented itself, and Rebels fans could finally allow a smile to creep across their faces as they applauded their team from the pitch.

Woking Line up

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