Blues Pull Off Remarkable Senior Cup Shock

Slough Town

Slough Town

Turner o.g. (14)


Attrell (45), White (90)
B&B Senior Cup Attendance: 904 Steve Thompson
Battling Burnham evoked scenes of a little Wimbledon as they ploughed their way through sloppy Slough into the quarter finals of the Berks and Bucks Senior Cup on Tuesday night.

With a fearless display of physical prowess, a heroic performance by keeper Paul Tillen and a brilliantly taken last minute winner from Paul White, the Blues rubbed salt into the wounds of their illustrious neighbours who failed when they should have been victorious.

Slough did everything but show Burnham the ball in the first 20 minutes of the second round replay looking a class above the Southern Leaguers in almost every department.

Only Rebels' keeper Trevor Bunting and Burnham's Paul Tillen were beyond comparison simply because Bunting had hardly been called into action until minutes before the interval.

However, as events unfolded, it was Slough's lack of firepower in front of goal coupled with Tillen's outstanding goalkeeping, Barnes' tactics and one lapse in concentration from Bunting that proved crucial on the night.

And White's devastating finishing in the 90th minute which he produced in the first tie at the Gore piled on the agony for Slough who had the chance to wrap the game up with some scintilating football in the early stages.

Tillen, magnificent throughout the game, could only be beaten by a nasty deflection from the boot of skipper Martin Turner when Steve Thompson pumped in a drive for Slough's deserved opener in the 14th minute.

Earlier, Burnham had set the pattern of their master plan and later came close to the knuckle on more than one occasion with their aggressive play following Mudge's crunching foul on Thompson in the first minute.

But credit must go to the underdogs who fought and hassled Slough out of their one-touch rhythm after Blues' boss Colin Barnes seemed to have learnt a few lessons from their previous encounter.

Barnes was sharp enough to stick Hesk on Dennis after he gave North a roasting in the previous game with Ferguson shadowing Thompson again and Attrell switching to the left flank to run at Duffy.

As the game wore on, service to the Slough front men was stifled by the introduction of Moran Dodds to combat the effective Tony Knight with Gary Dodd shut out of much of the game as Burnham bolted up the midfield.

Davies however seemed to have Barnes' tactics beaten as Slough dominated the half with a powerful Duffy shot scooped wide by Tillen, Adams screwing wide from six yards and then again hesitation in front of goal. Thompson had flicked on the header for Adams to run at Tillen, but with the goal at his mercy, the ball bobbled, Adams stopped and laid to Thompson who shot wide as he charged towards goal.

Bunting was forced to deny the tricky Attrell before Slough's best chance to the half, and perhaps the best move of the game, faltered. In a crisp move, Dodd threaded through to Adams on the right flank with his low cross finding Tony Knight in the six yard box, but somehow Tillen smothered the Slough midfielder at point blank range.

Then, How fired in a fierce volley from the corner that struck the side netting and Tillen saved again, this time shrugging off Adams in his goal area with the ball running out to touch.

But on the storke of halftime the Blues struck back when an overhead flick from Moran Dodds was headed back by Knight with Bunting fumbling at his feet and Slough Town Supporters Player Manager Garry Attrell triumphantly tapping home the equaliser.

With the scores level, the game developed further into a typical bruising derby after the break with "liberal" Vauxhall Opel League ref Les Carr allowing some fiercely late challenges to go unpunished.

Adams took his frustrations out on Tillen shortly after the break, the Blues' keeper dropping like a sack as Slough pressured but couldn't find the net. Turner swopped roles with the ever present shadow of Ferguson on Thompson, dumping him to the ground twice from behind before being cautioned, then Moran Dodds jumped in desperately late on Keith White as stoppages and feverish blowing of the whistle interupted an otherwise entertaining cup tie.

With Burnham's confidence growing every minute they held Slough at bay, the Rebels frustrations at finding a breakthrough past a tight defence grew and their football deteriorated, the one touch disappeared and the high ball with the back played into the Blues hands.

Attrell almost grabbed a second when he controlled well with Duffy on his shoulder after a sweeping ball from Freddie Hyatt, but miscued while off balance in front of goal.

As Burnham took control, Attrell's dribbling skills shined, where he at one point beat Duffy, Greenaway and How on the byline to cross for Hutchinson to shoot wide on his unfavoured right foot.

The ball rolled unfavourably for Slough with a Bateman volley touched on by Thompson and across the goal and Adams unable to finish when he got behind the back four, lobbing keeper Tillen and seeing the ball drop behind the goal.

In a frantic last 15 minutes, Burnham defended remarkably as Tillen pulled off two outstanding saves from Thompson and Greenaway, and Hyatt fired a 30-yard screamer just wide of Bunting at the other end.

Slough's agony and Burnham's ecstasy was complete when Lansley pumped a ball through for the forwards to chase and How's desperate header aided Paul White who pounced with suitable skill and pace to take round the stranded Bunting and tuck clinically home inside the post.

Burnham now face Abingdon who knocked them out in the first round last year, but whoever tries to stop the Blues reaching the final at Marlow FC will have to do it the hard way — no messing about.

Burnham Lineup

Tillen, Dodds, White, Hutchinson, Turner, Ferguson, Attrell, Mudge, Lansley, Hyatt, Hesk. Subs: Alleyne, Chandler (not used).


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