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.

Thursday, January 03, 2019


Printed in the National League South game v Bath City on Tuesday 8th January 2019  We drew 0-0 in front of 520 people.
Every football fan knows that away games are more fun and over the festive period we've been spoilt with some Christmas crackers.
Dulwich Hamlet's timing to go back home for Christmas couldn't have come at a better time for Slough and our game at Champion Hill felt more like a carnival than a football match.
The last time I saw Slough play there was February 2004. Both teams were doing well in the Isthmian League Division South but just 226 people paid to see us win 4-2; at least half of those Slough fans. Fast forward 14 years and 2,900 are packed into Champion Hill – at least 226 of them Slough fans who never stopped singing or drinking. Christ, I even got a halloumi burger rather than the usual soggy, under cooked chips that seem to be a football speciality. I've said before that Slough fans are more hip replacement than hipster, but its an easy insult to throw at Dulwich who have worked bloody hard to create a welcoming atmosphere for families. Thankfully Slough is blessed with supporters like Kieran who with his camo shorts and bobble hat showed the beards whose boss when it comes to the fashion stakes. 

It's great they are back home for at least 18 months but they have definitely outgrown their current facilities. Apart from the seated stand one Slough supporter commented that the ground looked more like an Eastern European prison camp. And it can't be much fun when it rains. Or when you need the loo. We crossed our legs and Slough delivered a proper smash and grab to earn three more points.
Goodwill from the home fans was in short supply for our Boxing Day trip to Wealdstone, who under the stewardship of long term manager Gordon Bartlett shot up the leagues and eventually found a home again at the tranquil surroundings of Ruislip. Clocking up 22 years, Bartlett was the longest serving manager in the whole of the football pyramid, but stepped down in the summer of 2017 to take on a backroom role. But all is not well and a club who were gearing themselves for the next step up look on that performance like heading back down (Wealdstone have of course got the last laugh beating us on New Years Day at Arbour Park). We battered them in the first half so having to leave at half time wasn't ideal. Yes I got a birthday double header of football and saw Brighton play Arsenal but really when you pull a goal back I expect the Brighton ground to be rocking. Sometimes it feels like i'm in a theatre with people nervously looking at their watches leaving early to queue for public transport. So I was more than happy to give my season ticket to one of my eldests friends and miss the Brighton – Everton game so I could indulge in some Hamlet.
Sloughs support has been getting bigger, louder and more of a laugh (well apart from at home where I’m wondering if they are putting tranquilizers in our beer). Even when we were homeless in the dog and duck playing Small Village United (and losing) we traveled well. But after watching the highlights of the win against Dulwich in 2004 the language and abuse of the ref made my hair curl.
I can't say at Wealdstone I was that impressed with the abuse former player Matt Lench was getting. A former hero now zero, I get he's easy to wind up and he probably felt he had something to prove but come on, unless someone’s been a proper plonker let's knock that and the 'your s*** ahhhh' goalkeeper kick chant into touch. We can and do do a lot better and have more fun while were at it. So it was good to see a couple of tweets from Dulwich fans praising us, comments like 'nice to see enthusiastic away supporters without the boring baggage you so often get unfortunatelycredit to your club.' I'm just surprised they didn't mention our fashion sense as well. 

The legendary Wealdstone Raider. Wantsum? 


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