Kamikaze men abort nosedive as Town go seventh

Slough Town

Slough Town

Stanley (41), Thompson (82)
Stafford Rangers

Stafford Rangers

Tuohy (75)
League Attendance: 815 Steve Thompson
Slough stifled their own suicidal tendencies and ended a run of four consecutive GM Vauxhall Conference League defeats when they beat Stafford Rangers 2-1 at Wexham Park on Saturday. The Rebels earned themselves a 1-0 half time lead when Neal Stanley beat keeper Ryan Price to a long free kick directed at the near post in the 41st minute.

But it looked as though they were about to play the same old song when Rangers striker Mike Tuohy emerged from a maul with the ball in the 75th minute and fired in the equaliser from eight yards.

It was left to Steve Thompson, a RAF man tensely watching the war in the Gulf, to add a touch of class seven minutes later when he collected a critical crossfield pass from Stanley which left him with only full back Russell Turley to beat before sliding the ball under Price and in off the far post.

The reception was rapturous, for Slough once more had held the stage and it would have been something short of criminal if they were to get nothing out of their superiority. But things were destined for a change after last week's humiliation by Bath, one of the handful of occasions on which the Rebels' will to win had been found wanting.

True once proud Rangers came with an abysmal away record to rectify. The Midlanders arrived for their 13th away game of the season with just one victory and just five goals to show for their efforts. But though they are suffering from a crippling goal-shyness, Rangers bragged one of the most effective and desirable keepers in the league.

Price, 20, has been fancied by several football league sides including Millwall with whom he has just completed a trial. He may soon follow clubmate Stan Collymore into the pro ranks, the striker recently snapped up by Crystal Palace in a six-figure deal which is going some way to solving Rangers' cash problems.

It therefore looked like being a battle of the defences as the two clubs locked horns on pitch which cut up fast and proved difficult to keep upright on. The pattern of play was further disrupted by overuse of the whistle by referee Daughtery who, in an inconsistent display booked Tony Dell and Gary Donnellan whilst choosing to ignore other tackles of a similar description. The Rebels mounted an all-out attack in the first half, restricting Rangers to just two offensive strikes from Lance Morrison and new-signing Tommy Lloyd which were rendered harmless

Meanwhile Price was busy punching clear from Stanley's flicked-on header from the left, held Sissons' header under the bar and parried Thompson's cross from the right. Rangers survived these dangerous moments and escaped again when Tony Knight scooped his shot across the face of an empty goal when the defence failed to clear Sissons' cross from the left.

Stanley struck with greater precision just before half time, turning in Gary Donnellan's long-range free kick with a timely interception, the ball apparently safely pouched by Price. The Rebels looked determined after the break but came under great pressure for 20 minutes which Rangers finally converted into an equaliser.

Donnellan had been replaced by lightweight forward Naseem Bashir, a player with considerable skill and agility. It was Bashir's incisive running on the flank and combinations with Stanley which finally produced the opening for the winner. Knight had already directed one good chance at Price, but when Bashir and Stanley combined to produce the defence splitter, Thompson wriggled past Russell Turley to inflict the winner.

Rangers came back again, Mark Hill twice needing to clear and Vernon Pratt surviving a handball call, before rejoicing could begin. And moving into seventh place in the league, the Rebels certainly had cause for that.

Stafford Rangers Lineup

Price, Pearson, Turley, Simpson, Essex, Bremner, Butterworth, Hendry, Morison, Lloyd, Tuohy. Subs: Khan (not used), Devlin (for Morrison).


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