Four-midable Rebels



Slough Town

Slough Town

Boot (36, 81p), Hodges (48), Harris (56)
League Attendance: 226 Ian Hodges
Slough made their way back into the coveted top six spots against Bromley with a fantastic team performance. The team, inspired by the midfield four of Darron Wilkinson, Ryan Williams, Glen Harris and Veli Hakki, dominated the game from start to finish and Bromley could have no complaints about the one sidedness of the scoreline.

The only change from Saturday’s victory over Horsham was the return of Wilkinson from suspension, and the robust midfielder replaced Alex Haddow in midfield. This meant that Ryan Spencer and Martin Moller, both returning from injuries, once again started on the bench along with Andy Deaner, Matt Miller and Danny Steer.

Slough started the game at a fast pace with the first chance coming as most Slough fans were still walking around the ground. Lee Riddell, looking more comfortable with every game at right back, whipped in a good cross and Mark Willy got a head to the ball which luckily for him landed just over his own crossbar.

It wasn’t a good night between the sticks for Danny Harwood who made a number of mistakes throughout the match, the first of which came after four minutes. A venomous strike from Hakki was spilt by the home keeper and Williams reached the ball but his cut back evaded Slough’s strikers and was cleared by Colin Luckett.

Slough continued to press with more good play from Williams and Hakki, allowing the latter to fire another shot at goal which went well wide. Bromley’s chances were few and far between, their best opportunities coming from crosses into the box, but Jason McKoy and Adolph Amoako missed their best chances.

Further pressure was applied by the Rebels throughout the first half with Ian Hodges, Tony Boot and Harris all going close with Harwood continuing to spill anything when he was under pressure. Slough fans may have been wondering whether they had wasted their best spell of the match when the move of the season created the first goal. Slough’s keeper, Alan Foster claimed another cross from Mark Hammond and immediately threw the ball out to Paul Barrowcliff. His short pass inside found Hakki who played a superb 50 yard ball with the outside of his foot towards the forward running Hodges. The ball was so accurate that it cut out Luckett and gave Hodges space to run into. He squared the ball early to Boot who, after an excellent first touch to control, slid the ball under Harwood to give Slough the lead.

Another Hodges break down the left could have led to the second goal, with Boot once again having the final chance. Hodges low cross just evaded Hakki and Williams but was controlled by Boot, whose shot on the turn was weak and easily saved by Harwood.

After the break, the away sides pressure was just as relentless and Harwood’s goalkeeping errors became more costly for Bromley. More good work from Harris gave Boot another chance to add to his tally but his shot was poorly directed and ended up well wide of the near post.

Three minutes into the second half, Slough did double their lead, as top scorer Hodges got himself on the scoresheet once again. The work for the goal was done by Williams down the right whose hard working running and then pin point cross left Hodges with an open goal as he slid the ball home from six yards. It capped, for Williams, what was arguably his best performance in a Slough shirt, as his hard work and passing ability followed on from his much improved performance against Horsham on Saturday. Slough fans will hope that the player, affectionately known as ‘the crab’, will now start to consistently perform to the standard which made Eddie Denton bring him back to the club this season.

Seven minutes later and the game was sealed for Slough as this time Hodges became the provider once again. Wilkinson, another player probably enjoying his best game of the season, charged down a Michael Harney clearance and the ball seemed to be rolling out for a goal kick. However, Hodges didn’t give up and after robbing Harney right on the goal line cut the ball back towards Harris and Boot. After both players had initial attempts at goal saved by a mixture of Harwood, Luckett and Willy, the ball finally fell to Harris once more to give him the easiest of tap ins.

Relentless Slough pressure followed with fantastic football being played between Harris, Hakki, Williams and Boot. As the team continued to perform, the vocal support grew and some songs from the Conference days started to reappear. This was most evident after a fantastic one two between Harris and Hakki which led to the prolonged singing of ‘Brazil of the Ryman League’. The next chance fell to Boot who hit a long range effort, which Harwood once again didn’t gather but luckily for him Hodges couldn’t quite reach the follow up before Willy cleared.

With just under quarter of an hour to go, Slough thought they had the fourth as once again a cross from the right, this time from Wilkinson was
initially missed by Williams but Boot tapped home from 6 yards. Despite the lack of a flag from the linesman the referee ruled out the goal, long after all of the players were ready to kick off. After the game two reasons seemed to be given, with some people saying Boot and Williams were offside, while others said it was because Boot kicked the ball out of Harwood’s hands.

With nine minutes left the most controversial moment of the match arrived as Hodges went through on goal. As he went round Harwood, the keeper seemed to get the slightest of touches and the striker went to ground. Referee Mr Hoare gave the penalty and then, despite protests from both sets of players and the Slough fans behind the goal, sent off Harwood for the foul. The penalty, which was converted expertly by Boot past Harney (who covered in goal for the remaining minutes), would have been punishment enough and the decision to send Harwood off was harsh on the home side.

In the dying minutes Miller, Spencer and Deaner were all given run outs off the bench and Miller had a great chance to improve on his recent run of goalscoring form in the final minute. Good work from Spencer gave him the chance but despite a wicked deflection off Steve Potterill, Harney expertly caught the ball just as it was about to creep into the top corner.

Ironically, Harney looked more comfortable in goal than his predecessor, Harwood, who was extremely unlucky on the night after Bromley fans had been praising him prior to the match. As the final whistle blew, Slough fans were able to applaud their team off the park, having seen a wonderful performance from the team as a whole, and hoping that the from could continue into Saturday’s game at Staines, which is in doubt after Staines drew 1-1 with Halifax in the FA Trophy. The replay for this is on Thursday night, and a Staines win would see Saturday’s match postponed to a later date.

Bromley Lineup


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