With only a handful of players left over
from the previous campaign, a new-look Slough squad took to the field
for their opening pre-season friendly against Maidenhead United. Leon Woodruffe,
captain Steve Daly (pictured right), George Moleski, Leigh Mason, Gareth McCleary, Rav
Briach and Ian Lovegrove remaining following the summer clearout,
manager Eddie Denton was forced to turn to relegated landlords Windsor &
Eton, from whom the Rebels poached a trio of players; striker Adam
Wallace, goalkeeper Kieron Drake and the highly controversial defender
Jamie Jarvis. They were joined by the experienced Iain Duncan, Marc
Leach and Matt Glynn, to replace the highly rated Ian Hodges & Glen
Harris, Michael Parkin, Andy Ballard, Josias Carbon and Mark Avery
amongst others who had left.
result was a credible 3-3 draw at York Road. More draws followed at
Enfield (where Ancalet Odhiambo from Abingdon United made his debut) and
Beaconsfield SYCOB before the Rebels picked up their first win at Team
Bath at the beginning of August, in front of a meagre crowd of 30. It
was to be the first of only a handful of victories for the Rebels over
the course of the season.
A further draw came at Thatcham Town
before Slough finished their pre-season preparations by being defeated
2-1 at neighbours Burnham.
Slough opened their competitive campaign
in not-too-impressive fashion, losing to Leyton at Stag Meadow by the
odd goal. The Rebels travelled to Harrow Borough and made up for the
poor opening start by out-playing the home side and winning convincingly
by 2 goals to nil. But then the rot started. Defeats to Margate, Horsham
and Bromley followed before picking up their first home point of the
season, courtesy of a goalless draw versus AFC Wimbledon. Slough then
made it 3 defeats in Kent in quick succession by losing 3-2 at Tonbridge
Angels, but progress in cup competitions was achieved. First, a 3-1 win
at Arlesey Town saw the Rebels through in the Westview Cup 2nd Round where all
three Slough goals were scored by substitutes. Then a 2-1 win at
Combined Counties League side Cobham followed in the 1st Qualifying
Round of the FA Cup.
However, further league defeats to
Folkestone Invicta and Carshalton Athletic,
both at Stag Meadow and both
by 2-0 scorelines. Slough rounded off September by being dumped out of
the FA Cup at Farnborough Town, again by 2 goals to nil.
Another trip to Kent ended in yet another
defeat, this time a 2-1 scoreline at Ramsgate where new midfielder Terry
Davies made his debut and Slough were unlucky
to lose. Slough lost out to eventual winners Ashford Town (Mx) side in
the Westview Cup by 4-0,
ending Slough's recent success in the
competition. In the middle of October, Slough had been knocked out of
two cups, and lay adrift at the bottom of the table with a mere 4 points
from their opening 10 league games. This wasn't helped by another exodus
of players; with Matt Glynn and Ian Lovegrove amongst those to leave
this time round. The money problems that have dogged the club for years
and were getting worse and worse even drove manager Eddie Denton
(pictured right), who had been at the club since 1998, to resignation.
a player strike over pay before the home game against Billericay Town,
newly signed Errol Telemaque (who was originally going to sign for the
club during the summer but joined Staines Town instead) sealed a rare
win by scoring the second goal in a 2-0 victory over the high flying
Essex side. It was an eventful debut for Telemaque who was sent off.
This turned out to be Slough's only home win of the entire season,
against a side who, ironically, went on to reach the play-off final.
The Rebels made it back-to-back league wins
for the first and only time during
the whole season, as goals from Mark Bartley and a spectacular overhead
kick from Terry Davies won the points 2-1 at Staines and had all Slough
fans thinking the tide had turned.
then, disaster struck. A side ragged with injuries and suspensions
travelled to Leighton Town who were struggling at the foot of the
Division One South & West; where they
humiliated 4-1. Even the return of fans
favourite Matt Miller (pictured
right), who gave Slough an early lead, could not lift the
teams morale that was mortally damaged that
day and from which they never seemed to recover from. A 6-0 defeat at
Boreham Wood ended what had ultimately been a mixed October; the
continuation of the bad run, the short-lived upturn in hopes and
fortunes, and the almighty crash upon the return to Earth.
November was a dreadful month for the
Rebels, but they were to get used to that before long. A 2-0 home defeat
to Heybridge Swifts came as little surprise, but a hard-fought 2-2 draw
at Worthing provided something for the Slough faithful to cheer about,
if not for the 4 red cards Slough picked up that day. A 2-1 defeat at
home to Aylesbury United, who were homeless and struggling at the foot
of the table one step below Slough, ended Slough's interest in knockout
competitions for the season at the end of the month. On top of all that,
Adam Wallace, Jamie Jarvis, Marc Leach, Leigh Mason and Errol Telemaque
all left the club at during November.
Bad whether meant no matches for the
following three weeks, but it bought no turnaround in league form, with
all three games possible in December ending in defeats against Hampton &
Richmond Borough, Chelmsford City and Ashford Town (Mx) respectively.
Into the new year, and Slough started 2007
just as badly as they had ended 2006. A 5-1 defeat at Carshalton
Athletic preceded defeats against Leyton (1-0) and Harrow Borough (5-0),
a game which Slough went 4-0 down within the first 8 minutes of the
game. Now, a mere 3 players who started the season with the club remain
at the club.
had little reason to be optimistic about their chances going into the
game at Heybridge Swifts. Already at
this stage of the season, they looked doomed to relegation, their bad
form showed no sign of stopping, and Slough had lost on their previous
two league visits. Also, Mark West (pictured left), a fans favourite
from our Conference days had just resigned as manager, with Darron
Wilkinson taking over the reigns, with former Slough Striker Steve Hale
later being signed up as his assistant. At half-time Slough were 1-0
down and looked well on their way to an 8th successive defeat. However,
Slough came onto the pitch for the second half a completely different
team and a brace from Terry Davies and a goal from Matt Miller secured
Slough's 4th and final league win of the season.
The joy at winning was short lived however,
and as little as three days later, Slough travelled to Horsham, and lost
became the only side in the league to fail to beat Slough as an own
goal for practically the last touch of the game earned Slough a deserved
1-1 draw at Stag Meadow which temporarily lifted Slough off the foot of
the table on goal difference. But normal service was soon resumed as
defeats against East Thurrock, Hendon and East Thurrock again sent
Slough straight back to the foot of the table.
March began with a goalless draw at
Folkestone Invicta, but a disallowed goal could have won the game for
the Rebels. However, a fixture backlog (which had nothing to do with
Slough's (lack of) success) meant that there was a further 8 games
during March. It mattered not though, as Slough lost each and every one
of them and, having been relegated at fellow strugglers Walton & Hersham
4 days previously, were thumped 9-0 at AFC Wimbledon on the 31st.
bought temporary relief, with a 2-2 draw at home to Margate where a last
minute goal prevented Slough from gaining what would have been their
5th, and only second at home, league victory. A 1-1 draw at Ashford Town
(Mx) gained Slough's final point of the campaign, before Bromley came to
Stag Meadow and thumped Slough 8-0, and Chelmsford did the same a week
later, winning by 4-0. Staines Town provided the last home game of the
season, and despite showing signs of improvement, Slough lost 2-0 and
the final chance to improved on their record of only 8 home league goals
all season was lost.
dramatic final game was in store however, as Slough were presented the
chance of denying league leaders Hampton & Richmond Borough (managed by
ex-Maidenhead manager Alan Devonshire with ex-Rebels Glen Harris and Ian
Hodges (pictured right)) the Ryman League title. Despite the expected
dominance of the table-toppers on their home pitch, Matt Miller gave
Slough a shock lead which amazingly they held until right before
half-time, when none other that Ian Hodges bought Hampton level. From
then on their was only one winner. Ian Hodges put the home side in front
right after half-time as well, as league winners in-waiting
Hampton continued their dominance. But they
did not build on their lead, and were
(almost) made to
the ultimate price as Matt Miller, himself a former Hampton player,
popped up to net Slough's equaliser with only 5 minutes remaining on the
clock. But from the restart, Hampton went up the other end and re-took
the lead, which they consolidated soon afterwards to end a amazing final
day of the season, where the bottom-side almost denied the top-side
(with 2 ex-players) the title.
so ended probably the worst season any Slough side has ever had to
endure. Slough Town now enter the lowest level of football they have
ever been at, while the club have got no closer to finding a home in
Slough than they have been for the last 4 years.