No final flourish for tired Town

Stafford Rangers

Stafford Rangers

Berry (33 pen)
Slough Town

Slough Town

League Attendance: 886
They started with four wins and ended with three defeats and David Kemp was quick to concede in the aftermath of Stafford Rangers' 1-0 victory on Saturday that his side were "glad the season was over."

At least Town showed some heart for the battle at Stafford, sadly lacking in the two previous disappointments against Yeovil and Witton Albion.

What they lacked on Saturday was a goal scoring threat. Mark Fiore's sequence of searching crosses going to waste as Paul McKinnon - in probably his last game for the club and Andy Sayer failed to challenge, let alone worry, Ryan Price in the hosts' goal.

Fiore not for the first time in recent weeks seemed to be the only Rebel intent on playing football, and that despite the attentions of former Wolves and Stoke defender big George Berry.

Berry now bereft of the Mungo Jerry hairstyle of his younger days, relied on his physical presence to thwart Fiore's skills and when this didn't work he wasn't above giving the Slough man the odd none too legal reminder - but Berry would remember this day for other reasons.

Slough, on this day, could have few complaints about physical opponents for it was they, in the shape of Anderson, Briley, Scott - eventually - and Edwards, most emphatically, who proved to be the schoolyard bullies.

It all made for a bruising, unattractive encounter settling, perhaps fittingly by a penalty.

Berry it was who stepped up to send Trevor Bunting the wrong way, after Brian Lee had been harshly adjudged to have tripped Dawson.

That 33rd minute opener might have opened the game up, got Slough going, lifted the 886 crowd - it didn't.

Russell Edwards who had missed the target with a first minute glancing header from a Briley free-kick, was unable to get any power on a close range volley while Mark Fiore, was a yard too high with a fierce half volley after Hazel's dogged persistence had won the ball some 30 yards from goal.

Perhaps Kemp's greatest strength this season has been lifting players at half time, and Town needed it here, disappointingly for the large contingent of travelling Rebels it didn't happen.

Instead Mark Quamina handled inside the area and Berry had the opportunity to double the Stafford advantage; he chose the same spot, Bunting didn't and saved comfortably.

Edwards - proving to be Slough's best hope of a goal forced a goal line block from Price with an eight yard header from Briley's corner and the same combination was a yard off target a moment later.

Lee joined Anderson and Edwards in the referee's book before making way for Friel.

But busy as he looked, he never looked likely to inspire Slough on a rather uninspiring day.

"You must remember that we've gone from 20th last season to fifth." said Kemp afterwards.

"We haven't scored enough goals in the last couple of months and that's been costly, but I don't know of many people at the club that wouldn't have settled for fifth last July when I came here."

Stafford Rangers Lineup


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