Slough Win At Staines

| League
Staines Town
Reed (2), Adams (58)
2 - 4
Slough Town
Evans (8), Norman (35), Collins o.g. (64), Russell (87)
Barry Friend
Slough Town started the New Year in the best possible way at a muddy Wheatsheaf Lane on Saturday, when they collected the three points from a thrilling six-goal Berger Isthmian League, Premier Division match with local rivals Staines Town.

On an extremely treacherous pitch, which was still waterlogged in places, both sides found it difficult to play constructive football. Nevertheless they quickly adapted to the conditions and conjured up a match full of thrills and spills, coupled with several bizarre goals and excitement right up until the final whistle.

This was the Rebels first competitive match since they had won at Billericay on December 5, but it was not until the final quarter of the match that their recent lack of activity began to show as the players tired rapidly in the strength sapping mud.

And, for a period during the first half Slough produced without doubt some of their best football this season as they bounced back from being a goal behind in just two minutes.

With Steve Adams and Barry Friend, particularly in he first 60 minutes, outstanding in midfield where they battled for everything and promoted some fine moves, the front runners working hard throughout, and the back four giving a reasonably solid performance, manager Terry Reardon can be well pleased with his sides' start to the New Year. Although Steve Hardwick and Eggie James were both available, Reardon named the side which had won at Billericay almost a month ago.

The match was only two ninutes old when the conditions helped Staines to take an early lead. As the Rebels' goalkeeper Frank Parsons came to meet a harmless looking ball from Laurie Craker it skidded off the turf past him and Alan Gane turned the loose ball across the goal for Simon Reed to prod home despite a desperate challenge by Steve Norman to prevent the disaster.

However it took Slough just six minutes to get back to level terms when recent signing Dylan Evans scored his first goal for the club with a neatly flicked header into the corner of the net followng a Barry Friend corner on he right.

This goal heralded a spell of tremendous Slough pressure as they spread the ball around the park delightfully, using both wings to great effect. After Evans had seen a shot blocked on the line on 31 minutes, the Rebels went ahead through a superb Steve Norman effort four minutes later.

A short corner between Friend and Dave Russell ended with the latter crossing. The ball was only cleared as far as Norman, and from just inside the Staines penalty area he hit home a tremendous first time volley which dipped just under the bar giving Peter Allies, deputising for the injured Richard Teale, no chance.

The second half quickly developed into a pulsating encounter as both sides battled to conquer the sea of mud which the pitch had turned into.

It was Staines who now started to take control and after 58 minutes they equalised when first Slough failed to properly clear a corner and then after several shots had been blocked John Adams turned the ball home from close range.

With the advantage of having played a match in midweek, Staines now began to look the stronger side, but a tragic mistake at the other end by Alan Collins restored the Rebels' lead after 64 minutes and virtually settled the outcome of the game. A massive kick by Parsons was helped on by Evans and under pressure from Roy Butler, Collins sliced the ball into his own net.

However as Slough began to tire visibly and holes began to appear in their weary defence, Staines had their chances to again draw level, and both Reed and Leith Seager missed with only Parsons to beat.

But with just three minutes left Slough secured the three points with a goal which was created by the endeavour and battling of Butler, who once again had a fine match.
He picked up a clearance and ran almost half the length of the pitch to force the Staines defence into conceding a corner. And from the resultant kick, Slough's 12th of the game, Russell swung the ball straight into the net past a startled Staines defence, were hampered by the presence of Evans on the line.

In the end the referee's decision to play the match proved right and although conditions were far from ideal they provided an exciting match and gave Slough the three points which put them fourth in the table above Staines.

Staines Town Line up

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