Young Rebel Sets Up Victory Before All Hell Breaks Loose

Slough Town

Slough Town

Smith (51), Stapleton (62), Bolt (pen)


League Attendance: 2055 Cliff Hercules
Teenage defender Rob Smith opened the door for the Rebels to bounce back into second place in the Conference with a victory over Woking which gave a further insight into manager Brian McDermott's vision.

Smith, who had been idling in the Reserves until McDermott took over in February, made the decisive strike from a comer in the 51st minute after Slough had been on the ropes in the first half against a Woking side that bristled with pace and skill and hunted like wolves.

But 18-year-old Smith's impact was felt at both ends of the ground. Though inclined through inexperience to muckspread his clearances, his tackling was exemplary. Together with Cliff Hercules - another of McDermott's `rediscoveries' now back to his commanding best - he kept the Woking pack at bay and former Chelsea striker Clive Walker, in particular, was continually frustrated.

Having weathered another storm after taking the lead, the Rebels got a second break in the 62nd minute when Gary Blackford, a doubtful starter for the game following a knock at Bromsgrove, carved through on the right. He wrong-footed the defence by pulling the ball back into the path of Simon Stapleton whose on target half volley took a helpful deflection on its way into the net.

A match which had everything except perhaps a streaker, enjoyed its moment of comedy moments later when Woking keeper Lawrence Batty thumped a clearance kick into Gary Abbott's backside and watched it rebound almost into his goal.

Woking, who had already seen Darren Hay strike the underside of the bar, then had Tom Jones strike the upright among a series of open goal chances they would have buried on another night.

However the inconsistency of Bucks referee Michael Tingey - his tally was seven bookings and two dismissals - had always threatened to spoil a typically competitive derby. The match spilled over when Kevan Brown was left motionless after a clash with Abbott whose complaints of being trampled seconds before had been ignored. The Woking bench joined in the chorus of disapproval for Mr Tingey's handling of the situation and Andy Ellis, who had been substituted, was sent to the dressing room.

Mr Tingey's decision to award a penalty when Lloyd Owusu, chasing a hanging Stapleton cross, was judged to have been brought down on the goal-line, brought a similarly furious response.

Teenager Danny Bolt, keen to bolster his confidence after a series of unconvincing performances, swung his sweet left foot to beat Batty with a low shot inside the post. A harangued Mr Tingey took full advantage of a police escort after signing off with a red card for Hay for a late tackle on Hercules.

Woking Lineup

Batty, Palmer, Taylor, Fielder, Brown, Jones, Thompson, Ellis, Timothy, Hay, Walker. Subs: Howard, Steele (75, for Ellis), Garner


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