A night of real entertainment

| League
Att: 311
Slough Town
Browne (21), Pye (2-0), Hammatt (81), Denton (89)
4 - 0
Gravesend & Northfleet
Graham Kemp
The many Slough fans who decided to skip this game will be kicking themselves when they see the result, for they missed just about the best entertainment this season.

It was a match with bizarre incidents, the crossbar was rattled three times, the referee's cards remained firmly in his pocket and goals came from players whose names rarely appear on the score sheet. Another unique fact was that this was the first Slough Town match ever to be sponsored by Slough Borough Council.

Really, the only drawback was that only 311 bothered to pay at the turnstiles on a balmy spring evening. The Rebels still had Mark Hall, Paul Barrowcliff, and Lee Archer sidelined with injury.

In a tricky breeze, Gravesend almost opened the scoring when Bruce Sewell hammered a shot against the crossbar. But Slough took the lead in the 21st minute when Dean Samuels dribbled through the visiting defence to lay on a chance for Steve Browne to open his account.

The Rebels went two goals up when Mark Pye produced a perfect lob that went just under the bar. This was his second goal for the club, his only other strike was on January 14, 1997 in the 6-0 devastation of Buckingham Town!

Half time brought a couple of changes with the withdrawal of Chris White and Dean Samuels. Lee Francis and Simon Quail replaced them.

For the next 10 minutes Gravesend and Northfleet looked determined, but cool heads kept the visitors at bay. Mark Pye produced a tremendous shot that the keeper saved well, Steve Browne rattled the crossbar, and shortly afterwards Bryan Hammatt did the same.

With 10 minutes to go, the game came to a temporary halt as a surprise volley of golf balls landed on the pitch, one of them striking referee Mr Vosper on the shoulder, who looked rather surprised by this interruption.

A minute later, a wonderful cross from Micky Engwell was headed fiercely past Scott Tarr for Hammatt to put the result beyond all doubt.

Then, in the final minute, Eddie Denton, who had been an inspiration, burst through to hammer a fourth goal and hand the visitors their biggest defeat of the season. Simon Quail dribbled through a dispirited defence before being upended. The referee gave the visitors the benefit of the doubt, waving away penalty appeals.

The result gave Slough their only double in the Ryman Premier Division this season, having won 2-1 at Northfleet in September.

Graham Kemp in midfield had a storming match and Steve Daly was a rock in defence, but this was, all round, the most commanding performance at home this season with all the players deserving plaudits.

On Saturday, if they can defeat relegated Bromley, the Rebels might just scramble into the top half of the table. Such an achievement looks a distinct possibility.

Gravesend & Northfleet Line up

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