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Sat Dec 5 15:00
The Vanarama National League South
17th
7pts

All Is Revealed As McDermott's Men Take Conference Sides Apart

| League
Att: 822
Slough Town
Bolt (pen) Abbott (44), West, Blackford
4 - 1
Stalybridge Celtic
Vine (39)
Gary Abbott
WAS IT the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse who scored for Slough Town when they opened their Vauxhall Conference campaign at the Park on Saturday with something out of the Book of Revelations?

Four goals from four different players - three making their debut - were a sign that much has changed for the better under the management of Brian McDermott. His conversion of the side is so extensive that a total of nine players made their league debuts.

First to show his skills to the Slough faithful was Danny Bolt, a signing from Fulham, who sent Harvey Willets the wrong way from the penalty spot after Mark West had been hauled down.

Bolt, an 18-carat left-footed player, made two more goals. The first came in the 44th minute, five minutes after Stalybridge were gifted a goal by Paul Wilkerson who misjudged the roll as Darren Vine trundled a chance rebound into the comer of the net.

But Bolt's classy cross to the near post was perfectly read by Gary Abbott, who rose to glance home untroubled.

Slough, though they had done enough to justify a 2-1 half-time lead, were by no means perfect. A tendency to let Celtic dictate the style of play - the deadly kick and rush - led to mistakes.

But with their feet on the ball, Slough soon went further ahead after the break through master poacher West.

Another superb deep cross, this time from Garry Smart, seem to hang forever. But West nipped in front of the waiting Craig Boardman as it fell, nodding it over his head and side footing home past the advancing Willetts.

Having seen Simon Stapleton miss a debut goal in the early stages, Gary Blackford glanced another Bolt cross just over the bar in the 73rd minute. With this sort of precision service - especially with Celtic reduced to 10 men for the last half hour, it was only a matter of time.

Blackford raced onto another clipped Bolt delivery seven minutes from time, steering it onto the upright before going through to net the rebound. Slough finished with a disciplined display of keep-ball which brought Celtic to a standstill.

The Stalybridge squad had arrived late after breaking down on the M40 and probably wished they were back on it - travelling north. When they eventually crossed the Chiltern Edge, did they hear the galloping of hooves behind them?

Stalybridge Celtic Line up

Willetts, Bates, Coathup, O'Shaughnessy, Boardman, Hine, Burke, Vine, Jones, Trott, Challender. SUBS: Frain, Powell, Heaton.

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