Goal of the season helps sink Stortford as tension mounts

Slough Town

Slough Town

Russell (7), Young
Bishop's Stortford

Bishop's Stortford

Worrell (53)
Isthmian Lge Cup Dave Russell
THE tension has begun to reach manager Laurie Churchill as Slough Town found the home turn in their best-ever season.

After this nerve wrecking victory had taken the Rebels into their second cup final Laurie admitted: "The players don't seem at all nervous but it's beginning to get to me.”

"At the start of a season you dream about winning a double or a treble, but it's only a dream. Now it's something more than that for us and after a long season it will all be over so quickly," he added.

After drawing 1-1 away last week, Slough needed two memorable goals to take them into the Hitachi Final against a talented Bishop's Stortford side who will surely give Dartford some problems in the semi-finals of the FA Trophy.

And one of those goals was quite the best I've seen at Wexham Park this season. It evolved from the quality of football you might expect to see now and again at Portman Road or Anfield, but which you feel you have no right to expect in the trenches of non-league football.

With only seven minutes on the clock, and Stortford committed to attack, John Beyer knocked the ball out of defence to find Pat Morrissey, the only Slough player forward, surrounded in the centre circle by three defenders. But an intelligent run by Terry Reardon on the left gave Pat the chance to curl a splendid ball across field and an equally effective run off the ball by Micky Kiely resulted in a quick exchange of passes, leaving Kiely free and deep on the left. All the time Stortford players were scampering back, but none faster than Slough's Dave Russell who had sprinted at least 80 yards to get on the end of Kiely's cross and plant it ever so precisely past goalkeeper Moore. In a word, superb!

Slough were really buzzing after this with Morrissey adapting well to his unusual role up front in the absence of the injured Eggie James and the cup-tied John Bishop. Eric Young turned a Vic Akers cross just wide and turned down inside 15 seconds when first Morrissey, then Kiely, went tumbling on the left edge of the area.

The subtle touches of Simmonds and the darting runs of Mitchell brought Stortford back in the game from the outset of the second half and they equalised in the 53rd minute with the simplest of goals, Sullivan crossing from the left and Dave Worrell, playing in place of the injured John Radford, nodding firmly past Teale. Then Mitchell's cross was hammered against a post by Simmonds as the FA Trophy finalists grew in stature.

But Slough have made a habit of scoring against the run of play this season and they did it again at a vital time when Eric Young's shot from the edge of the box fairly flew past the hopelessly beaten Moore.

That was the signal for Slough to take charge again and Young, Kiely and substitute Dodds all had chances to make the game safe, Dodds going closest with a fierce angled drive which cannoned off a post.

Slough will now meet Walthamstow in the final on a date to be arranged. Ironically the sides were due to meet in the league on Easter Monday, but Slough are playing Milton Keynes City that day in the final of the Berks and Bucks Senior Cup. Slough's next four matches are all in the league and it is in this crucial period that manager Churchill and his players will have to be at their bravest.

On Saturday they are at home to Croydon, followed by a tough and vital trip to Enfield the following Saturday. On April 14 the Rebels are at Hitchin and they return to Wexham Park for the game against Hendon on April 18. Slough had hoped to travel to Sutton on Tuesday night but their opponents must play in the Surrey Cup that evening.

Bishop's Stortford Lineup


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