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Dartford (A)
Sat Sep 28
15:00

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Dartford (A)
Sat Sep 28 15:00
The Vanarama National League South
8th
18pts

Super Slough's Stormer

| League
Att: 1769
Slough Town
Stanley (unknown), Wilson (61), Mallinson (90)
3 - 3
Altrincham
Brady (8), Showler (unknown), Daws (44)
Mark Mallinson
If results go against them and Slough Town are relegated this season, it would be a disaster for both the club and the Conference. The Rebels won't be going down without a fight and spirit and for not playing attractive and intelligent football either.

Tuesday night provided a footballing spectacular that was a credit to the game. The match had it all, it was spectacular, enthralling, tense and flowing with good touches and pace. Six thrilling goals and performances by two goalkeepers who produced acrobatics to deny their opponents.

The stage was set, Monday night's win for Barnet at Wycombe meant that if they win their final game at bottom placed Fisher, the only way Altrincham could win the league would be by winning all their last three games.

Slough really needed a win to make sure of their place next season, Sutton United being capable of overhauling 44 or 45 points on goal difference, provided they didn't draw or lose at Kettering.

A large crowd packed into Wexham Park and were to be entertained with 90 minutes of pure excitement. Altrincham were the season's success story until a recent run which has seen them slip further behind the leaders Barnet in a last week flurry of games.
But as the game got under way, Altrincham showed why they were title chasing, oozing into gear, looking strong, quick and ominously dangerous. They were slick on the flanks and hammered teasing balls into the Slough penalty area.

Early on John Brady beat the Slough offside trap and wasted with only Trevor Bunting to beat, but the Altrincham contingent were in ecstasy after eight minutes when superb interplay allowed Brady in to thunder a shot home.

Slough battled back and were on the scoresheet when Neal Stanley got his first goal since January, hustling Mark McCarrick into error, outpacing him and slipping the ball home. But Slough were to suffer for two errors which are always going to be punished by teams of Altrincham's class.

Straight after Stanley's strike, the visitors went back at Slough who were caught coming out of the defence and the skillful Paul Showler regained Alty's initiative in a one to one against Bunting.

The visitors got on top, Slough finding themselves caught square at the back at times with the title chasers showing that extra yard of pace and strength in the 50/50 balls. They dominated in the air and the Rebels were finding it hard, Tony Knight heading the ball off the line from Paul Rowland's overhead kick.

But as Slough looked to have weathered a hard first half, with only the goal deficit, a lapse in concentration seconds before the whistle allowed Showler in to whip the ball over and Nicky Daws to head home.

With it all to do Slough pulled off a masterstroke at half time when Davies switched to a 4-4-2 by pushing Junior Wilson into midfield and Trevor How from sweeper to central defence. Slough came out after the break looking a different side for the move, getting more men into midfield and driving forward with venom.

Altrincham suddenly looked in trouble against the skills of Steve Thompson and the exciting spirit of the battling Barry Rake. Slough forced a corner when Darren Anderson headed goalwards and Stanley's header was brilliantly tipped over by Jeff Wealands, just past the hour. From the set piece though, Junior Wilson rose mightily to head powerfully home and the Rebels were back in with a shout.

Alty came back at Slough, counterattacking with accuracy, pace and good direction and it was Trevor Bunting who pulled off one of the most incredible saves ever seen at Wexham Park. As Brady crossed to Gary Anderson from a break, the incoming player met the ball at full force from four yards out, but Bunting flew across goal, changed direction in virtual mid-air and parried the ball on the line, picking it up as he landed.

The final minutes saw Alty's title flashing before their eyes as the Rebels outclassed them and exerted terrific pressure. With seconds left, the visitors were tense and the Rebels won a corner on the left.

As Altrincham supporters shut their eyes and hoped, the ball was crossed in, fell to Wilson, his shot was cleared off the line, it fell to Mark Mallinson at the far post, who drilled it goalwards through the crowd of legs and it was in the back of the net!

If that wasn't enough, the referee decided to play nine minutes of excruciating injury time. Altrincham powered forward, Slough defended, they drove forward again, Slough defended, everyone looked at the unflinching ref. Then Stanley found himself on the end of a cross, his header looped goalwards and with Wealands beaten bounced off the cross bar after 96 minutes.

With 99 minutes played, the game was finally brought to a dramatic close amidst scenes of Slough jubilation.

Altrincham Line up

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