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.

Monday, April 30, 2018

GUT CHURNING, NERVE SHREDDING PLAY OFF TIME

To be printed in the Southern Premier League play-off semi final v Kettering Town Wednesday 2nd May 2018

Blimey what a finish to the season that was. 99 points and 111 goals; a points tally that would have won the league in 31 of the previous 34 years which just goes to show how competitive the Southern Premier has been this season.

Or to put it another way, Weymouth were fifth with 97 points. That many points in Championship, League One and League Two would guarantee you automatic promotion!

But now it's back to the future, with a play off semi final against Kettering Town.

Who can forget that day four years ago, the first season in charge for our new joint managers, when we went from 2-0 down at half time to winning 3-2 and finally gaining promotion after endless play-off defeats. My favourite photo is our chairman Steve Easterbrook hugging Dave the Programme on the pitch at the end of the game. Dave Pearcy saw us get promoted but unfortunately never saw us back home. As for the scenes back at the Herschel Arms later with players, officials and supporters celebrating. Let's just say many of us didn't make it to work the next day.

But what about Saturdays match. League positions changed several times over the course of the game, but in the end it was ‘as you were’ with Slough finishing in third place. However, Royston were the width of a crossbar away from denying Slough a home tie when they hit the frame of the goal deep into second half stoppage time and took a few more days off my life. 

It’s been an incredible season, with so many highlights to choose from. The TV cameras coming down to Slough. The thrashing of Gainsborough away in the FA Cup first round. Beating Merthyr 5-4 after being 4-0 down at half time and listening to a punch-drunk Rebels Radio star Ady losing the plot at the end. Securing a home tie had looked beyond Slough until an incredible late run of form, with 11 wins from the last 13 games, including 9 of the last 10 away games.

And I couldn't help feeling proud at the end of season awards or how Slough fans have finally found their voices. Before the Royston game, one supporter couldn't quite believe it was our chairman pulling pints (and clearing up the sick in the bogs) But to me that down to earth attitude from Steve is why we are in such a strong position now. How many of our volunteers see much of the game anymore? I know I sound like the drunk bloke at the bar but the transformation of this club has been incredible and the people who make the club tick should take a bow. So it was great to see the awards being delivered by people like club shop Sue and Julie Sliski with Barry Hiron getting clubperson of the year for the amount of work he puts in on matchdays. Barry said it was 'totally unexpected but proud to receive an award bearing the name of Chris Sliski. The epitome of the true Clubman.'

So now the play-offs. Can you enjoy these games? Or is just a gut churning, nerve shredding hair greying experience which you glimpse through the fingers in your hands? Win it and we will have another gut churning, nerve shredding game to look forward to with a place in the Conference South up for grabs. Still at least I can throw away the calculator. The maths are now very simple (even for me).

Win our next two games and we are promoted. If only it were as easy as typing those words.



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