Smiles back on the faces



Slough Town

Slough Town

Deaner (12), Hall (20), Hammatt (26), Kemp (33)
League Attendance: 225 Unknown
Slough Town turned the form book upside down with a devastating display on Saturday that left even manager Graham Roberts smiling and applauding the travelling supporters as they all celebrated the Rebels biggest win of the season.

High flying Purfleet were left shell shocked as Slough completely outplayed them and turned on a display of football in a 20-minute spell in the first half that left everyone speechless.

Playing with the breeze at their backs, the Rebels turned it into a whirlwind as in just over half an hour they were 4-0 up.

Significant changes were made from last week that surprised the fans. The introduction of newly signed defender Steve Daly was expected - but not that he would lead the team out as captain.
It had been decided that Graham Kemp should concentrate more on his own game and he passed on the armband to the 6ft tall powerful defender.

Then the decision of Graham Roberts to play himself alongside Daly and Chris White at the heart of the defence had all the tongues wagging. Was it right? Had Slough conceded that many goals in recent games to change things so dramatically?

By a quarter-to-five all the questions had been answered. The whole team seemed to raise itself inches taller, and playing with a flair and enthusiasm you would normally expect from a team taking all before them. Indeed, the whole 90 minutes was played exactly to plan.

Slough started the game with a determination to get a result movement down either flank, quick balls into the box which left the Purfleet defence floundering on many occasions, and even in the first ten minutes you could sense the writing was on the wall for the home team.

By the 12th minute it came as no surprise that the ball finally found the net. Following a shot by Roberts, the goalkeeper failed to secure it and Andrew Deaner found space to pounce and a quick sidefoot and the Rebels were on their way.

Then in the 20th minute, another brilliant move involving a one-two between Deaner and Mark Hall ended in the latter bursting through on goal to blast home from close range.

With things now going Town's way, the football began to flow. Paul Barrowcliff picking up loose balls in midfield and bringing all the players into play, plus the movement of Mark Hall was a revelation.

In the 26th minute, a long ball forward by keeper Paul Wilkerson was moved on by Deaner and, still bouncing high, found Bryan Hammatt who leapt forward to nod the ball past the outstretched hand of keeper Mead.

The striker's immediate reaction left nobody in any doubt how pleased he was with that one.

With three goals up and less than a third of the match played how could Slough improve on that? But to the delight of those who made the journey. Graham Kemp showed how.

In the 33rd minute with a real solo effort, Kemp moved on to a ball at least 30 yards out and penetrating through a crowded penalty box like a bullet from a rifle, he unleashed a shot no keeper could be expected to save. It was a masterful goal and one well appreciated by his team-mates.

At this stage everything was bubbling along nicely but then came a moment that could have unhinged things. Hall, who had been playing so well in midfield, fell foul of a sucker punch. A deliberate kick to stop him playing was immediately spotted by the referee, who gave the free-kick. But then in a moment of madness. Hall took the law into his own hands and kicked out at the opponent. The referee had no alternative but to send him off. It is a blow that he will now miss three games having just shown his effectiveness but the player signed from Hayes is a masterful touch from manager Roberts and will prove invaluable in the months ahead.

The remaining minutes of the half was played with Hammatt dropping back into midfield and leaving Deaner as lone striker. Slough continued in the second half to play with authority and with Roberts, Daly and White solid in defence, Wilkerson punching away any high balls, and Lee Archer and Micky Engwell tucked in well to form a defensive wall. Purfleet could find no way through.

Changes were made on the hour as Eddie Denton came on for Kemp. Mark Fiore replaced Deaner, whose departure was greeted with a deserved applause for his performance which underlined the strides he has made since the start of the season. Then Simon Quail came on for a tired but delighted Hammatt.

This was a team performance that gave the Rebel army plenty to talk about on the return journey and on this showing. They may have seen the emergence of a Slough Town team that could go places.

Purfleet Lineup


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