Rebels Battle But Bishops Progress

Bishop's Stortford

Bishop's Stortford

Wiltshire (27), Southam (52)
Slough Town

Slough Town

Miller (32)
FA Trophy Attendance: 217 Alan Foster
Slough Town travelled to Woodside Park, the home of Bishop's Stortford for an exciting encounter that would decide who would meet Kingstonian in the second round of the F.A Trophy. After the controversial 2-2 draw at Stag Meadow this replay would have to produce a winner and if scores were still level after the initial 90 minutes, extra time and penalties would be played.

The Rebels battled hard but in the end the Premier opposition were just too strong for Eddie Denton's men and Stortford ran out 2-1 winners on the night. However the Slough performance was encouraging and the Return of striker Tony Boot meant the team is getting back to full strength.

Stortford must have had Saturdays F.A Cup match with Mansfield of their minds, and they showed they wanted to get this cup match out of the as soon as possible in the first minute when they could of taken an early lead. Dave Rainford made a great chance for McKeown, his powerful shot was well saved by Alan Foster however the ball was still lurking on the goal line, Danny Steer done well to clear but only as far as Southam, fortunately for Slough the follow up went wide.

Just two minutes later Stortford had another equally good chance but this time Foster was able to hold onto the shot from Gareth Gwillam. Stortford were on a roll and Adrian Browne gave them a great chance to score when he committed a foul on the edge of the area.. Grant Cooper took the free kick well but the ball went just over Alan Fosters cross bar.

Bishop's Stortford were in total control of the match but the Slough defence showed them how it should be done. Michael Murphy went in for a great tackle, the Stortford player went flying but Murphy won the ball so there was no foul committed.

However you could sense a Stortford breakthrough was just around the corner and it was down to debutant Darren Wiltshire to give the home side the lead. Another free kick was awarded to Stortford, Cooper whipped in a fast kick, no Slough defender was able to get on the end of it, Wiltshire met the ball with his head and Foster could not reach the ball as it flew into the top corner.

Against the run of play Slough were able to get a surprising equaliser and get back into the game. Ryan Spencer was able to side step the Stortford defence and cross into the area, Miller connected with the ball it ended up sliding into the right side of the goal.

Stortford could of immediately retaken the lead, Southams close range shot was brilliantly save by Alan Foster, the danger was dramatically scrambled away by Danny Steer. Slough's defence were in tatters and Stortford could of scored a few more before half time but fortunately a number of first class saves by Alan Foster meant Slough were still in the tie when the two teams went in for the half time break.

Mark Bartley replaced an injured Nick Gyoury at the beginning of the second half, and it was slough that came out the stronger of the two teams, unlike the second half's at Welling and Lewes where Slough fell apart.

Five minutes into the half Glen Harris went in alone and took the opportunity to strike when he spotted the Stortford keeper off his line, unfortunately for Slough the ball bounced off the cross bar and Stortford cleared the rebound into safety.

Unlike the first half Slough were definitely matching the premier division side, however the lack of pace at the back once again caused Slough a problem, Adrian Brown, who was otherwise having a fine game was side footedand Southam was given enough space to muster a shot from 25 yards, amazingly the shot flew underneath Alan Foster and Stortford had regained the lead once again.

Tony Boot came on to replace Freddie Hyatt to register his first game since the home tie against Welling. Immediately Boots presence lifted the Rebels and Hodge went close with a header but the ball flew wide.

Slough Town pressed on and were definitely the better of the two teams for the remainder of the match, however the Rebels were unable to break Stortford's defence and crashed out the F.A Trophy for another season.

This was an encouraging performance from Slough and we continue to improve with every match. With the return of Tony Boot have we finally turned the corner? Local rivals Staines Town visit Stag Meadow this Saturday and will provide another tough test. 3 points on Saturday are vital, any one else see that top six place on the horizon, or is it just me?

Bishop's Stortford Lineup


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