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, March 09, 2014

QUICK MARCH TO THE POTTERS BAR


Printed in the Southern League Central Division One game v St.Ives Town on Saturday 8th March 2014. We won 1-0 in front of 252 people.

I'm always a little underwhelmed when people boost that they have visited all 92 Football League clubs. So what? If I really wanted to show off I could reel off at least 150 grounds I've graced over the years - and that doesn't include league clubs. From Gateshead to Truro, Boston United to Bridgewater Town, I’ve been there, done that. Not as some sad ground-hopper but with my Slough Town bobble hat on. Thing is with football, I can't watch it as a neutral with anywhere near as much enjoyment. Which is why I can't be arsed watching games like Chelsea v Man United because I want both corporations to lose. 

So despite the pull of Lewes v Dulwich and a rail replacement service ahead of me, when I got the text that the Potters Bar game was on, I grabbed my coat and headed to boldly go where no Slough Town team had ever been before.

Three hours later, and I’m joining the fat old Rebel gits in a Weatherspoons for a pre match pint. The very ones who according to one particularly irate Dunstable player have got nothing better to do on a Saturday than grace the very same non league terraces he plays in front of.

PottersBar didn't exist until 1960 when they were known as Mount Grace Old Scholars. And their new (ish) turnstile block comes from the old Wembley Stadium and they have a certificate to prove it! The old wooden one, surrounded by mud and debris, was something ground-hoppers would go all weak at the knees for. The ground staff had done a good job at getting the game on, but getting round the ground was like re-enacting the Battle of the Somme. We lost 3 fans down a sink hole while a Scholarly official thoughtfully laid down old doors across the bog. Dashing young Rebels made a rope bridge out of scarves so Clubshop Sue wouldn't muddy her Prada shoes.

Slough really are playing some lovely football at the moment, and have also discovered that Wilko spirit with some of their tackling. We coasted to a 3-0 victory and rejoiced as most clubs around us dropped points. Oh the immediate joy of twitter; it was made for non league football. Whereas once we used to wait days to find out scores delivered by carrier pigeons now its just an endless stream of results.

The crowd was just 141, the vast majority were Slough and you've got to take your hats off to the volunteers who've obviously put in masses of unpaid hours to get Potters Bar to where it is. So it seemed rude not to have a drink in the bar afterwards and it was good to chat to one young lad who has decided to watch some real football than the soap-opera Sky sell us (and where the plot line is usually so predictable). He had hardly seen a game or goal this year and told us how just recently a coach load of Watford fans turned up to for a County Cup match only for it to be called off. We either need to stick County League Cup games into the dustbin of football history or play some of the early rounds as part of pre season.

Also joining us for a beer was our chairman Steve Easterbook. The more you talk to this man, the more you realise just how lucky Slough are to have such a clued up, down to earth chairman.

On the way back we bumped into some friendly Sunderland fans staying over night and hoping to put one over the money men from Manchester. Even the rail replacement journey that took me all the way to Littlehampton before finally depositing me at Brighton at 11pm couldn't dampen another great away day with the Rebels.

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