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2005/06 Review

Season Review 2005/06
by Nathan on 29/04/2006

A season review of the 2005/06 season - a difficult season for the Rebels.

Season Review 2005
Season Review 2005/06
Following yet another summer of speculation as to weather the club would be able to pay the 25000 rent for Windsor's Stag Meadow ground, the club had somehow managed to cough up the money and survive for at least another season.

Slough started their pre-season campaign at Burnham's impressive new stadium "The Gore" to see former Rebels Matt Miller, Ryan Williams and Danny Honey take on their former club. Glen Harris gave Slough an early lead before the home team equalised, but the ever-reliable Ian Hodges netted the winner to make sure that Slough's pre-season got off to a winning start.

This preceded a 3-1 win at Beaconsfield SYCOB in which Alan Lague and Matt Seedel got the goals for Slough. Slough then visited Uxbridge for a match that was abandoned at half-time due to violence on the pitch. The score at that stage was 0-0.

Then followed two defeats at Hemel Hempstead and Brackley Town, 1-0 and 2-1 respectively. Matt Murphy, who was Slough's top goalscorer during the previous season netted both goals for Brackley. The Rebels ended their pre-season campaign with a comfortable 3-1 at arch-rivals Maidenhead United.

Slough started their league season with a trip to Essex to face promotion hopefuls Billericay Town. A good turnout from the Rebels faithful saw Slough defeated 3-1. A 0-0 home draw with Leyton followed before a 2-0 defeat at home to AFC Wimbledon meaning that Slough were still searching for their first win of the season. Slough travelled to Hampton on Bank Holiday Monday and although Alan Devonshire's side raced into a 3-0 half time lead, Slough fought back and almost gained what would have been a undeserved point in a 3-2 defeat.

September started brightly for the Rebels, who won three on the bounce, 2-1 at home to eventual title-winners Braintree, 3-2 at home to struggling Redbridge before Slough got their FA Cup campaign off the mark. The Rebels, with the memories of last seasons run still fresh in their minds comfortably saw off Oxford City 4-1 at Stag Meadow.

The Rebels fought back from 2-0 down at half-time to draw 2-2 at Margate and almost did the same at East Thurrock 3 days later, although a late goal from former Rebel Tony Boot meant that a depleted Rebels squad with only 2 substitutes were defeated 3-2. Disappointingly, Slough couldn't emulate last season's FA Cup run as they went down 2-0 at Wroxham in the 2nd Qualifying Round.

October opened with a 4-1 home win against Maldon Town before a run of 4 straight defeats including a 3-1 scoreline at home to Croydon Athletic in the FA Trophy 1st Qualifying Round. This run was forgotten however as the Rebels picked up a rare win in Essex, running out 4-1 winners at struggling Redbridge. Slough ended the month with a late comeback from 2-0 down at Wealdstone to level the game at 2-2, with Assistant Manager Mark West scoring his first goal since his return to the Rebels.

The Rebels faltered at home to Hendon losing 2-0 before Slough opened their defence of the Bryco Cup (this season called the Westview Cup) with a narrow 3-2 win against Redbridge. The Rebels then travelled to Dulwich to take on high-flying Fisher Athletic at the Champion Hill ground. Fisher, who were 2nd at the time were odds on to pick up all three points but Slough fought back from an early deficit to win 2-1. November also saw the arrivals of goalkeeper Clark Masters on loan from Brentford and forward Gareth McCleary from Oxford United.

The Rebels failed to build on the Fisher win however, as three more defeats followed; 2-1 at home to East Thurrock; 2-0 at home to Walton & Hersham and 3-0 at Folkestone Invicta. Slough were hovering dangerously above the drop zone and needed to improve their results quickly.

Almost a year since the Rebels took on Yeading in the 2nd Round of the FA Cup Slough travelled to Bromley. Things weren't looking good for Slough as they were 2-0 down at the break, but goals John Mousinho who was on loan from Brentford, new signing Gareth McCleary and a 90th minute winner from Ian Hodges completed the comeback and a 3-2 win.

Slough then went on to comfortable see off Harrow Borough 5-2 at Stag Meadow before losing 1-0 at Heybridge. A 2-0 win at Leatherhead in the Westview Cup followed before the before the Boxing Day derby against Windsor & Eton.

A brace from Ian Hodges and a Jamie Jarvis own goal meant that Slough claimed the local bragging rights and piled more misery upon Windsor's relegation troubles.

Slough lost 1-0 at home to high-flying Hampton on 2nd January before a 2-0 defeat at home to Billericay meant that Slough lost their first 2 games of 2006. Josias Carbon, who had only been on the pitch for a few minutes scored a 90th minute winner at Leyton in a 2-1 win before the Rebels saw off Chesham United 5-4 on penalties in the Quarter-Finals of the Berks & Bucks Cup before 2 successive 2-2 draws against Margate and AFC Wimbledon in front of a crowd of almost 3000 at Kingsmeadow.

Slough rounded off the month with a 3-0 defeat of Heybridge Swifts in the Quarter-Finals of the Westview Cup with defender Andy Ballard netting a hat trick. At the end of January, Slough had two cup Semi-Finals to look forward to.

Another 2-2 draw, this time at home to Bromley in which Matt Seedel played his last game for Slough coming on as a substitute. A 1-0 win at Walton & Hersham, a 3-2 home win against Wealdstone, a 2-0 defeat at Chelmsford and a 6-1 defeat at the MK Dons in the Berks & Bucks Cup Semi-Final made up what was a mixed February for the Rebels. The 6-1 scoreline at the MK Dons didn't tell the full story though, as the Rebels matched their "League One" opponents for much of the game.

Slough conceded a late equaliser at Hendon in a 1-1 draw before a 4-0 defeat at home to Fisher Athletic in what was the first of three games against the London side in less than 2 weeks.

The second match ended 5-2 to Fisher in the 1st leg of the Westview Cup Semi-Final before a 2-0 win at Maldon.

The Rebels produced a brave fightback from 5-2 down in 2nd leg of the Westview Cup Semi-Final, especially after an early goal made it 6-2 on aggregate. Slough won 3-1 on the night, but bowed out 6-5 on aggregate and the Rebels had failed to defend their trophy.

Slough ended March with a 3-0 home defeat against Worthing, made worse by the fact that "super Chuck Martini" hardly had a shot to save.

The sad death of Rebels fan June Cousins somewhat overshadowed Slough's 2-1 defeat at Staines. Journalist Ashley Hames took over the helm for the visit of Folkestone Invicta in front of Bravo TV cameras who saw Slough all but secure their Ryman Premier status with a 2-0 win.

Glen Harris had given Slough the lead at league leaders Braintree, but Slough couldn't hold on and fell to an unfortunate 2-1 defeat. In the Easter derby, Slough entertained landlords Windsor & Eton who had just been relegated 2 days earlier. Slough gave away the lead three times, including a freak goal from Windsor 'keeper Kieron Drake which sailed over Clark Master's head meaning that both sides shared the spoils with a 3-3 draw in a match that meant little to either side.

Following the tradition of walking to the final away game of the season, a group of around 40 Slough fans walked to Harrow in aid of the Supporters Trust and the Homeless Charity "Shelter". The match had the unavoidable end-of-season feel about it and Harrow took a deserved 2-0 half-time lead. Leigh Mason gave Slough hope with a 2nd half free kick, but the Rebels couldn't find the elusive equaliser and lost the game 2-1.

Slough ended what was a forgettable season with a 2-1 home defeat against promotion hopefuls Heybridge Swifts, with Richard Jolly scoring an 88th minute winner for the Essex side. it was also the 300th appearence for Rebels defender Steve Daly.

It will be another summer of speculation as to where the Rebels will play next season (with Burnham and Beaconsfield SYCOB being rumoured as possible cheaper alternatives to Stag Meadow) and weather Slough will be playing in the Ryman League or the Southern League.

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