Rebels' fun on the road comes to a messy end

Telford Utd

Telford Utd

Myers (8), Fereday (2-0)
Slough Town

Slough Town

League Attendance: 808 Andy Clement
The Rebels seem to have spent most of the start of this season cultivating a very useful knack of stepping off the coach to away games and turning a gruelling four or five-hour journey into little more than a leisurely stroll up the road.

Home sides have frequently been devastated as Slough have emerged fresh as daisies and set about them ferociously, a tactic which has yielded well so tar - a record of four wins on the road which has been equalled only by Hednesford.

So it proved at the Bucks Head, the difference being that Telford - without a win in eight games - greeted their visitors a little more knowingly than previous hosts, let them run around in circles for a while and then closed in for the kill when they tired.

And the Rebels were certainly frisky in the opening minutes - they dominated for a good half an hour but never got past a defence which, very surprisingly, proved the best they had faced in the Conference.

Telford were suave, cool and totally sussed on how to make Slough look stupid. While Fiore, Bushay and Pye ran themselves into the ground to no avail, United say impassively back. Delroy Preddie had not had a sniff of the ball by the eighth minute, but one quick counter attack later he was picking it out of the back of the net after Simpkin floated a cross into the area and Myers squeezed his way between Clement and Paris and ghosted a header into the cop corner.

He should have been beaten twice more before the break - when Myers slipped past Baron and set up Ramsey for a sweet 25 yard-shot which screamed just wide and when the ball bounced off Gray's shin and worryingly close to the upright. Telford's keeper Goodwin had no such worries. While Slough held around 85% of the possession, only Clement and Bushay came anywhere near the six yard-box and a hopeful 20-yard free-kick from Catlin was the closest to a real shot during the 45 minutes, with West again pulled hack into midfield where he was simply swallowed up and never within a sniff of a goal.

Full marks for the Rebels' positivity - they never looked back and strode forward every time they held the ball. Unfortunately, it was always rushed and often thoughtless, while Telford were, by comparison, artists weaving a careful pattern on the grass. They created the masterpiece, Slough just made a pretty picture.

The second half saw tiredness inevitably begin to tell and ideas begin to dry up in the visiting camp, as United stumbled across the consistency they could not or would not find in the first 45. Trouble brewed straight after the break when Langford played Myers through with more than a delicate hint of offside, but Preddie pounced and stole the ball away from his feet as he made the fatal mistake of trying to round him rather than simply blasting it.

Their second goal was the result of an elementary and avoidable mistake from Mark Pye, who failed to get his foot under the hall on the edge of the box after Baron had headed clear from a near post attack. Simpkin collected the error and swept it low to the opposite side of the area where Fereday waited and placed a careful shot past Preddie.

Self-destruction was inevitable from there. Perennial hardmen Catlin and Clement both went into the book, the latter for a shocking tackle on Langford, while a heavily-involved Clement had to clear off his line after Myers had devastated the defence and drawn Preddie way out of his goal.

Langford hit the bar on 79 minutes after cleverly turning Baron, though Fiore and Bushay both threatened to provide a late consolation following a long string of corners in the last quarter of an hour.

What was a shame was that Slough had so effortlessly dominated most of the match and had they harnessed the energy and willingness to go forward they showed they could and should have found the net. Unfortunately for them, you need the brains to match your talent if you are to outwit opponents this clever.

Telford Utd Lineup


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