Rebels Held To Draw In First Home Game Back

Slough Town

Slough Town

Fiore (25), McVie (80)
Bishop's Stortford

Bishop's Stortford

Greene (27), Clifford (40)
League Attendance: 768 Graeme McVie
Slough Town's first league game at Wexham Park since the crisis, finished in controversy last night as striker Andrew Deaner was sent off for violent conduct.

The Rebels got off to a dream start when Wexham Park favourite Mark Fiore fired home a superb goal in the 25th minute. Picking up the loose ball, Fiore burst down the left wing jinxing right then left to make space for the shot which he drilled into the far corner sending the Rebels fans mad.

But the match turned sour in the 82nd minute when Deaner clashed with Stortford defender Roy Edwards. Straight from the kick-off Deaner was in the thick of the action tangling for much of the game with other centre back Ian Smith. But as referee John Pearce refused to take any early action tempers soon boiled over a marred what was a spirited Slough Town performance.

Fiore's wonder strike got the Rebels firing on all cylinders but the team looked tired after Saturday's miracle win against Sutton. Neville Roach caused havoc in the Stortford defence but lacked the support of Deaner who looks out of depth in the Ryman League Premier Division.

The lack of support for Roach forced him to go alone and he almost sneaked another goal for Slough when he fired a fierce shot just past the post from the right wing. But it always seemed that the tired looking Slough defence could crack at any time and sure enough two minutes later Stortford pounced after a careless mistake by Justin Channing.

Stortford's Dave Greene burst through the massive gap in the Slough defence and kept cool as he rounded Wilkerson and slotted the ball home into an open net.

The goal shocked the Rebels and the game grew very physical with Deaner taking most of the tackles. His inability to deal with Stortford's tough tackling found him spending most of the time on the deck. Deaner's battle with Smith took its toll on the former Newbury player and midway through the second-half he began to lose his temper.

Disaster struck for the Rebels in the 40th minute when Stortford capitalised on a sleepy Slough defence. Steve Conroy got in a close range header that Paul Wilkerson could only parry and when the rebound fell to Peter Clifford he fired the visitors into the lead.

The goal seemed to put more pressure on Deaner who was desperate to score his first goal for the club become the hero but his late challenge on keeper Gavin King was worthy of a caution.

Hardyman's half-time chat did the trick as the Rebels came out in search of an equalising goal but Deaner came out with his shoulders flying and started to use his strength in a bid to beat the strong Stortford defence. Slough were desperate to nick an equalising goal but with Deaner and Roach failing to gel up front Hardyman brought on another one of the Rebels old boys Gary McVie.

His inclusion brought life into the Slough attack and 10 minutes before full-time he rose above the Stortford defence to head home Justin Channing's cross and send the Rebels fans wild.

But just two minutes later, when Slough should have been looking for a late winner, Deaner clashed with Edwards. As the pair challenged for the ball Deaner got caught by a trailing elbow and wrestled Edwards to the ground with fists flying. There appeared to be a punch thrown by Deaner leaving Edwards flattened on the turf and once referee Pearce had calmed the players down he took action.

After a long chat with his assistant referee Pearce showed Deaner the red card suggesting that it was his hand that threw the punch.

Deaner quickly sneaked down the tunnel as his father burst onto the pitch protesting his son's dismissal to no avail. But Deaner's dismissal seemed to raise the Rebels as they looked for a winner. Fiore went on a final run hitting an audacious 40 yard effort which screamed just past Stortford's goal in the last dying minutes.

Director of Football at Slough Town, Alan Brazil, who spent the majority of the game on the touchline, was furious with the sending off. He said: "I saw it all. Andrew tangled with the defender but there was some nasty stuff going on all game but the referee took no action before. Andrew was battling with the other defender for most of the game and the referee didn't see it. In the end Deaner tangled with the other defender and they wrestled each other to the ground but there was no elbow in the face from Deaner certainly not an intentional one."

Bishop's Stortford Lineup


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