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The Vanarama National League South
3rd
24pts

Bushay hat-trick sends Rebels through

| FA Cup
Att: 660
Stafford Rangers
0 - 4
Slough Town
Bushay (6, 42, 74), West (88)
Ansil Bushay
Ansil Bushay scored a hat-trick as Slough swept Stafford Rangers aside in the FA Cup.

It's a strange thing this "Road to Wembley" lark. If it is a road, it stops at a lot of funny places and for Slough at least, never gets anywhere.

Being blatantly obvious, the chances of the Rebels jostling with Man United or Liverpool at the twin towers come May are laughable, but there is always that fairytale tie at a big club, or an early exit. Birmingham would be a big scalp for the Wexham Park mantelpiece, but could well spell a first round departure.

And so this is where it all began for the Rebels, at a rain soaked Marston Road on a dull Saturday afternoon. A further removed sight from a glistening packed Wembley would be hard to imagine. But still, let's not knock it, it gave Slough a confidence boosting victory over Conference strugglers Stafford, and provided a further kick in the teeth for the doubters.

The travelling support who braved the elements could not have hoped for any more than the dream start they got on six minutes, when a huge punt from Bunting bounced over Bradshaw and allowed Bushay to lunge in on debutant keeper Watson and slide the ball into the empty net. The goal stood, despite protests from the home support that Bushay had fouled the goalkeeper.

Rangers had little to say for themselves, preferring to let Slough set the pace, which they did admirably. While passing was difficult in the wet conditions, Slough were content to hit long balls over the defence. It wasn't pretty but it was effective.

As the sun came out a little and the pitch began to dry, Rangers first effort on goal in the 28th minute saw Bunting duck down low to parry a Drewitt shot onto the post. Apart from that, the only efforts of note from the home side came from over 20 yards out, and Ronald Koeman can sleep easy tonight.

Bushay on the other hand, was a veritable pulsating ball of footballing energy in the wet, jinxing past a defender, wriggling into the area and narrowly failing in a bid for Goal of the Month by shooting wide. Apart from that, it was hardly Match Of The Day stuff, crunching tackles, over hit passes and very low entertainment value. Bushay drew the half’s action to a close by repeating his earlier trick on 42 minutes, running onto a long ball and shooting past Watson for number tow.

It was bucketing down as the second period began, and as Slough supporters scurried for cover, Bunting tried his hardest to liven up proceedings with a Grobelaar-esque sprint from goal, but even when presented with a clear opportunity, Stafford were woefully ineffective.

Ansil Bushay should have had a hat-trick in the 57th minute, capitalising on a rebound to charge through and blast over the bar. Eight minutes later and he was at it again, this time shooting straight at Watson. There's no stopping the bloke.

When in the 70th minute, May tried the same tactic as Bushay, he found Bunting to be more durable than his own goalkeeper, although Bateman's help was needed to subsequently clear off the line.

Bushay got that hat-trick four minutes later, charging onto George Berry's back pass to knock it over the very unfortunate Watson.

And that really, was it. Long hoofs were sufficient to hold the lead, and most of the crowd had left with two minutes to go. They missed West run unchallenged to a cheeky fourth, but not many of the Rangers fans would have wanted to have seen that anyway.

As challenges go then, this was more of a Supermarket Sweep than a Krypton Factor, but they all count.

Stafford Rangers Line up

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