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Sat Feb 24

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Tonbridge Angels (A)
Sat Feb 24 15:00
The Vanarama National League South

Hello Sansom

Farnborough Town

Farnborough Town

Slough Town

Slough Town

Hercules (30)
League Attendance: 1069 Steve Bateman
Kenny Sansom became the most capped and most coveted player ever to wear Slough colours as he stepped out onto Farnborough's Cherrywood Road on Saturday. For Rebels fans - of whom there were many in attendanee - he has added new energy to an ailing season, but his presence was only one part of Brian McDermott's first victory and the club's first full-pointer in six games.

The McDermott manifesto is one of flowing football and this was a win achieved with some silky ball work and positive approach play, Cliff Hercules settled things on the half hour, but there was comfortable room for another couple of goals, with the new manager keeping himself on the bench and. allowing his players to do the talking.

Sansom himself gently wooed a crowd who were unsure what to expect. His balls over the top to Hercules and Mark West showed a speed of thought considerably faster than most at Conferenee level and, moreover. he lasted a full 90 minutes without the slightest fitness worry.

One well-timed tackle on Baker in particular showed what the 37 year-old is capable of, stopping the forward dead in his tracks, and he held his left-back position well enough to allow Mark Fiore for the first time the space to explore all the possibilities down the left wing.

He will probably remember the game more for a booking just after Hercules' strike, when he was left one-on-one with top scorer Boothe. He bravely put in a tackle and appeared to have won the ball but was called back as the striker fell and shown the yellow card.

The vital goal was more of a solo effort, however. Hercules chested down 12 yards out and bounced the ball off a defender rounding his man in the process and firing convincingly past MacKenzie.

Most impressive was the time all players were given on the ball, they were allowed to play themselves out of trouble rather than hacking clear, and it worked, giving Fiore and Barry Rake ample serviee which both could have utilised more than they did.

That the match would turn in the Rebels' favour was never in doubt. They never needed to create that many chances, and for most of the game merely held possession.

With one in the bag, the search for a second was leisurely, but the hosts were always second best and in Ben Miles found a goalkeeper of enviable confidence and considerable presence in the area.

He stopped Wingfield's shot from 20 yards and then scooped the ball away from Boothe's head as he stooped down to a low nod-in, with Steve Bateman always a pillar of strength in front of him.

Boothe looked to have equalised one minute into the second half when he lobbed one over the 'keeper front 10 yards out, but he hit the top of the net instead and Miles came out to stop Wingfield from reaching the area after he had been released following a needless Brian Lee mistake.

Fiore's probing gave him one opportunity which MacKenzie had to stretch to keep out on 68 minutes and Neil Catlin got on the end of Rake's cross with a firm header on target.

What would have been a sensational chip front Rake hit the netting after being launched front all of 25 yards. And when Andy Clement stung a long-range effort against MacKenzie's outstretched hands he was unfortunate to see the ball strike the post rather than the net. Hercules also shooting wide as the 'keeper came out to meet him.

There was enough here then, to give heart to an impartial spectator, the two sides' league positions might have appeared to be the wrong way round. As one Farnborough supporter commented as he watched the final seconds fly by: "They're a good side aren't they, Slough?"

Too good to go down, anyway.

Farnborough Town Lineup


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