These articles are published in the Slough Town FC programme. The Rebels play in the Southern Premier - just seven leagues below the Premier League. I’ve been supporting Slough since the beginning of time despite now living in Brighton. After nearly 14 nomadic years we finally have a brand spanking new home in Slough.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

SLOUGH NAIL THE WOOD

Printed in the FA Cup 3rd Qualifying round game v Hanworth Villa
Saturday 19th October 2011. We drew 2-2 in front of 525 people
including some very pleasant Hanworth fans.

The whole of southern England seemed to be heading for Brighton to
enjoy the hottest October day ever. Except me. I needed to go the
other way via the hell that is the London underground. I arrived at
Slough to be greeted by that lovable stuffed dog Station Jim as cup
fever gripped the town.
Er, maybe. Still FA Cup Day 2nd qualifying round day certainly had me
entranced with Slough Town at home to Conference South team Boreham
Wood. No disrespect to Boreham Wood but when the draw was announced I
was disappointed. We have played them many times before and they don’t
exactly pack in the crowds. But the more I thought about it; well
Slough had already beaten Binfield, Banbury and I reckon we could make
it a hat trick of B’s and defeat Boreham Wood.
A few pre-match pints in the Alpha Arms then that long, expensive cab
ride up to Beaconsfield. With a planning application for a new ground
being submitted in December, hopefully this financially draining ride
won’t be for too much longer.
The sun might have been baking but Slough players came out and began
to batter the Wood. Within seven minutes Stuart Swift had scored a
fantastic free kick. Steve Sinclair then went off injured and it was
time for Charlie Mpi to replace him. Superquick Charlie has only been
getting brief substitute appearances so this was his chance to shine.
On half an hour he had this chance, clean through on goal with just
the keeper to beat. We all held our collective breath, then let out
roars of approval as he netted his first Slough goal. 2-0 Slough and
that’s the way it stayed at half time.
We knew Boreham Wood would eventually have a go, and in on the 55
minute they pulled a goal back. Just two minutes later one of their ex
players Sean Sonner scored again for Slough and the Sonner-BorehamWood
song began. But then straight from the kick-off Boreham Wood scored
again making it 3-2.
Then Boreham Wood went and bloody scored again. Our hearts sank until
we saw the lino flag for offside.
Just what is it with football? You look forward to the game all week,
come all that way, spend all that money, then just want the bloody
game to hurry up and finish! I felt sick with nerves for most of the
second half until finally the 4 minutes injury time were up and the
Rebels go marching on.
Today it’s the turn of Hanworth Villa who play a level below us in the
Combined Counties. Formed just 35 years ago we have never played them
before and this is their first ever season in the FA Cup. Both clubs
can almost smell the 1st round proper, but please let’s not take any
team for granted. Remember last season, when we lost to Erith Town in
that wonderful athletics stadium? Or at home to Harrogate Railway
Athletic who left us at the sidings as the got to play Bristol City.
Or what about Wroxham who turned us over in the Norfolk Broads.
For any club, FA Cup money is welcome, but for a club without a
ground, the nine grand we have now earned is fantastic. As we basked
in the victory in the clubhouse, our chairman got the drinks in for
the players while we got the leftover hospitability sandwiches!
Then the tweet came through from Sean Sonner saying simply ‘I love
football’.
Who could disagree with him on a day like that?

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