Slough suffer playoff final heartache

Chesham United

Chesham United

Marsala (2), Frendo (34), Fotheringham (68), Cotton (76)
Slough Town

Slough Town

Play Off Attendance: 1115 Jamie Jackson
Slough Town’s dream of promotion to the Zamaretto Premier Division was clinically extinguished by Chesham United, who ended their own four year absence from the Southern Premier after overpowering the Rebels in the Midlands Division play-off final.

First half goals from Dom Marsala and John Frendo put the Generals in firm control at half-time, and whilst Slough proved more of a threat in the second half, Chesham added a well-worked third goal through Dave Fotheringham in the 68th minute, with Kevin Cotton wrapping up the scoring nine minutes later, in front of a crowd of 1,115 at the Meadow.

After a thoroughly deserved win over Hitchin in the semi-final, Slough, backed by up to 400 supporters on the day, got off to the worst possible start.

With just 90 seconds played, Steve Wales turned his marker on the left and whipped the ball across the face of goal. At the back post, Dom Marsala was inexplicably unmarked, and he slotted easily past Jackson to kill any semblance of atmosphere behind Generals keeper Richard Hayward’s goal.

With both sides trading shots from distance, Elliot Buchanan and Steve Wales were off-target before Jamie Jackson was forced to turn over another Wales rocket from 18 yards.

Slough struggled to get into the game and found the Chesham side unwilling to concede possession cheaply or give the visitors much time on the ball. Richard Hayward was largely untroubled, but did have to produce a magnificent reflex save to deny Mo Sharif as the ball fell to him six yards out.

Soon after, Chesham launched a counter-attack and doubled their advantage in the 34th minute. The Slough defence was caught all at sea as the ball was pumped down the left channel to Frendo who lobbed Jackson, with the keeper committing himself early. Jackson got fingertips to the ball, but was powerless to prevent Frendo poking the ball into the net as the ball span towards goal.

After the break it was Slough who predictably flew out of the traps but Hayward was equal to Sean Sonner's stinging drive despite one of his own defenders obscuring his view.

Slough maintained a good level of pressure, but Chesham restricted them to long shots as Sharif and Adam Martin fired wildly over the bar. The Rebels continued to press but lacked the creativity that Chesham seemed to have in abundance, with man-of-the-match Steve Wales key to everything Chesham did going forward.

And it was Wales who played a key role in Chesham’s killer third goal. Picking the ball up 30 yards from goal on the left, Wales flew past his marker, reached the byline and cut the ball beyond Jackson across the face of goal, where Fotheringham ghosted in to drive his shot straight down the middle of the net and break Slough hearts.

Minutes later, substitute Kevin Cotton then put the seal on a comprehensive triumph, taking a delicious pass from Wales in his stride before squeezing the ball past Jackson into the bottom corner.

Wales came close to rubbing salt into Slough’s wounds with a fifth in injury time, but his curled effort missed the far post by inches. For Chesham, there were scenes of unbridled joy, whilst for Slough, this was perhaps one game too far - though Steve Bateman’s men will have every motivation to go one better next season after a very positive campaign.

Chesham United Lineup

Hayward, Kyriacou, Ledger, Leach, Talbot (c), Lambert, Fotheringham, Wales, Frendo (Burnell 78), Marsala (Cotton 55), Obeng (Gudgeon 84). Subs not used: Archer, Smith.


Slough Town FC is not responsible for content produced on external websites | Copyright Slough Town FC 2024