Bolt's goal sends Cup Kings Boro' out

Stevenage Borough

Stevenage Borough

Slough Town

Slough Town

Bolt (30)
FA Trophy Attendance: 3482 Unknown
The jubilant celebrations that broke out on the pitch and on the terraces at the final whistle told their own story, as the Rebels went through to the semi-finals of the FA Trophy for the first time since 1977.

A goal from Danny Bolt in the first half was all that separated the teams, but the hero tag belonged to goalkeeper Paul Wilkerson, who saved a penalty nine minutes from the end.

And Corey Browne, returning to the club where he spent two seasons, ran himself into the ground in a desperate bid to score against his old team, but at least had the satisfaction of knowing it was his hard work that set up the winning strike.

Browne's inclusion in the starting line-up, with Lloyd Owusu on the bench, and Paul Hardyman's return from suspension were the only two changes from the side that lost to Woking midweek.

The Rebels found themselves under early pressure as Stevenage created all the chances. Wilkerson had to save from Gary Crawshaw, soon afterwards Robin Trott headed just wide. Ryan Kirby volleyed over from Neil Trebble's cross, and just before the half-hour mark Cliff Hercules headed away Crawshaw's dangerous cross, as Giuliano Grazioli was waiting to pounce.

Up until then Slough's best effort had come from right back Garry Smart, whose shot from the edge of the box was saved by Des Gallagher. So the goal came slightly against the run of play, but was a fair reward for Browne's persistence up front.

Browne had been caught offside four times in the opening half hour, so when he was played through again and looked to be clear on goal, even he hesitated for a split second to look for a flag. But the flag stayed down, and Browne sprinted clear of the chasing defenders. His shot was brilliantly saved by Gallagher, who dived at full stretch to his left to claw the ball away, but Bolt and Gary Abbott were both following up and it was Bolt who got the vital touch to put Slough ahead.

Borough almost brought themselves straight back into it when Kirby hit a spectacular right foot shot from outside the box, but Wilkerson showed lightning fast reactions to get a hand to it and turn it away.

The home side may have just had the better of the first half, but Slough had the goal, and in the opening minutes of the second half they could have added another. Within seconds of the restart Abbott was put clear on goal but his shot was easily held by Gallagher.

A minute later Bolt was put through on the left by Browne, but the ball was just a fraction too far ahead of him and he could only lash it into the side netting.

And in the 48th minute Browne set up Smart on the right flank, then got a foot to Smart's cross but saw his clever flick come back off the crossbar. From that bright start the Rebels came under increasing pressure as the home side stepped up the hunt for an equaliser.

Grazioli's point-blank header was well saved by Wilkerson, who also did well to cut out a dangerous cross from Trebble minutes later. But the keeper saved the best for last when in the 81st he faced a penalty taken by Crawshaw, who had got on the end of Jamie March's through ball into the area only to be pulled down.
Wilkerson went to his left and at full stretch pushed the spot-kick around the post.

Even then the Slough keeper had another trick up his sleeve, as four minutes from the end he had to save Trebble's last-gasp effort. Borough kept pushing and pushing, but the final ball would not run for them and the Slough defence showed the kind of resilience the Wexham Park faithful have come to expect.

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