‘The first three games were an anomaly’ – How Slough Town have recovered their swagger

Slough Town players celebrate. Photo: Philip J.A Benton/philipbenton.com
Slough Town players celebrate. Photo: Philip J.A Benton/philipbenton.com

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It started with three defeats in a row, but Slough Town are now on a 10 match unbeaten run in the Vanarama National League South that has seen them move up to third in the division.

Football in Berkshire were on hand as the Rebels endured a frustrating 1-0 defeat at Hungerford Town in August.

A misjudged header by goalkeeper Jack Turner was pounced on by the Crusaders experienced striker James Constable to score the only goal in a game marked by Slough Town having to make all three substitutions in the first half of the fixture due to injuries.

That was preceeded by a 1-0 defeat at home on the opening day by newly promoted Dorking Wanderers and followed by a 2-1 defeat away to Concord Rangers. Things did look a bit grim.

Hungerford Town vs Slough Town. Photo: Philip J.A Benton/philipbenton.com

It was on Tuesday 13th August though the 10 match run started with joint manager Jon Underwood describing the 1-1 draw at home to Weymouth and 1-1 draw away at Maidstone United in front of 1,800 spectators as ‘giving some belief again’.

Speaking to FiB, Underwood said: “After the opening three defeats when we had a number of injuries, we worked hard to grind out two battling draws against two good sides, Weymouth and Maidstone United, which started to give us some belief again.”

Listen to Slough Town managers Neil Baker and Jon Underwood on the Berkshire Football Stories podcast:

The turning point

He said though the real turning point for his and Neil Bakers side came over the August Bank Holiday weekend: “That weekend was definitely the turning point, two 3-2 wins in three days against two of the fancied sides, Bath City and Dulwich Hamlet, both times coming from 2-1 down really gave us the belief and confidence we needed and we have pushed on from there.”

The Rebels, who as well as the early injuries suffered were also without new recruits Joe Grant (injured) and Dan Roberts (suspended) with the latter contributing five goals to the cause.

Dan Roberts. Photo: Philip J.A Benton / philipbenton.com
Dan Roberts. Photo: Philip J.A Benton / philipbenton.com

Rebels supporter Mark Godding, who contributed to the FiB pre season preview, called the first three games of the season ‘an anomaly’.

He said: “I would say that the first three games lost is an anomaly. We finished last season in great form. At the start of this season we had unusually high injuries which meant that we had a bit of a patched together team.

“Once we’ve got going we have been superb, Bakes and Unders seem to have this incredible skill of ensuring the highest possible work rate in the team. I think even Jamie O’Hara [Billericay Town manager] alluded to it when he talked about us being 3-0 up and still fighting for every ball.

“If we can keep this momentum and group of players together we are in for one exciting season.”

Former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder O’Hara, speaking on the BTFC website, called the Rebels performance: “Superior in every aspect yesterday, the Rebels stifled Billericay in a way not seen previously.”

And long may they continue!

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