These articles are published in the Slough Town FC programme. The Rebels play in the National League South in a swanky new ground. I’ve been supporting Slough since the beginning of time despite now living in Brighton.

Saturday, December 01, 2018


Printed in the FA Cup 2nd Round game v Gillingham Sunday 2nd December 2018  We lost 1-0 in front of Arbour Park record crowd of 2,084
While Slough Town have pocketed a tidy sum from another fantastic FA Cup run, the opposite has been happening to my bank balance. From Bristol to Southampton on Tuesday nights to Eastbourne and Sutton where we attempted the world record of how many Slough fans can be squashed in one pub. I just hope my children don't mind that instead of Christmas presents they will be getting mementos instead. I can't wait to see their little faces light up when I present them with FA Cup matchday stubs, old train tickets and programmes.
As a few people asked if I would be sneaking out after the full time whistle went against Sutton, I thanked them for their concern but that unlike Sholing I had contingency plans in place this time.
Sutton was one of those nights that our managers seem keen to give us. Starved of success for so long – just 10 years ago we were homeless and losing at Beaconsfield to AFC Hayes in front of 240 people. Now we are gorging and it's all a bit surreal. Kettering, Weymouth, Kings Lynn, Merthyr, Gainsborough Trinity....
The best atmosphere there has ever been at Arbour Park saw us more than match a top National League side. And then it came down to penalties I could hardly look - which combined with my height and the shallow terracing often happens at home games. Bud even left before a penalty kick was taken, unable to take the pressure but hopefully hearing the roar of victory as he got to Wexham. After 10 perfect penalties it all went a bit Pete Tong for both teams but eventually was won by perhaps the worst one of the lot as it slipped under the keepers body to send the Rebels into raptures – and finally to the bar. How can anyone not like football when it serves up nights like these?
I even saw our chairman relaxing at midnight with a beer in his hand – admittedly probably after a 12 hour day where he'd unblocked drains, served drinks, dusted away spiders webs and other activities you expect the man in charge to do. One day I promise I will pin him down to do an interview for the programme. It's not for want of trying!
After just three hours sleep Neil Baker was off to Hartlepool to see Gillingham come back and win in extra time after being 2-0 down at half time. Cold as brass monkeys was Neil's verdict which was apt seeing as Hartlepool are famous for monkeys. Apparently during the Napoleonic Wars, locals held an impromptu trial of the only survivor of a stricken French ship which just happened to be a monkey dressed in a French uniform. Since the monkey was unable to answer their questions and because they had seen neither a monkey nor a Frenchman before, they concluded in Trump-esque logic that it must be a French spy. The poor creature was found guilty, duly sentenced to death and hung. Still I suppose if we do get a replay I wont be raiding the children's money boxes to get to the North East on a Tuesday night.
Slough already hold the record for number of times they've been in the second round proper but never progressed to the third round (eight, since you ask). Today is going to be one almighty test as according to FA Cup FactFile this is the joint biggest league gap of the round. The big gobs will be gathering in the South stand to get behind the boys. So don't be shy; the songs, given the calibre of those that make them up, aren't that taxing to learn - although i'm still trying to add 'girls and non-binary individuals' to the 'Slough Town Boys' one.
So come on make some noise. Isn't it about time we got this FA Cup second round monkey off our backs? 
* Once again there will have been a monumental, military style operation from an army of unpaid volunteers to make sure the game goes smoothly. Non League clubs rely on these volunteers and they have all helped bring the success the club is now having; so why not get involved if you have a few hours to spare on matchdays?


Post a Comment

<< Home