At Home With The Crows
The Rebels of Slough Town FC
Royston Town v Slough Town
Evo-Stik League Southern Division One Central
Saturday 6th April 2013
Kick Off: 3pm
So on Saturday it is Grand National day and by 5pm I would hope we have romped away! Romped, get it? Never mind, but on a horse racing punditry note we are up against Slough Town who many people had as pre-season favourites for the title. Unfortunately the backlog of games seems to be catching up with them and the championship would seem a distant dream now.
But let’s talk about Slough baby. I used to work there many years ago at the Mark One shop in the town. Now like my money, gone a long time ago! What struck me about Slough on a Monday morning at 7am was the smell of the Mars bar factory and the smell of the dog food factory integrating just as I fancied breakfast. Not pleasant to say the least. Mars Bars and Dog Food..mmm
Let me tell you about the wonderful borough of Slough! Well it is actually in the county of “Royal” Berkshire…oh ho, don’t forget the Royal part. The Slough Trading estate makes it the most important business centre in the South of England, puts our Orchard Road to shame.
During the 13thCentury, King Henry III had a Palace in nearby Cippenham and staying on the Royal theme, the Queen had a branch line built from Slough to Windsor in 1849.
At least the people of Slough have something to smile about as the comedians Jimmy Carr, Ricky Gervais and Sean Foley all come from these parts. On a negative note, Slough gave us Geri Halliwell of Spice Girls fame. For that I shall never ever forgive them. I had a girlfriend many years ago who inflicted the Spice Girls at Wembley on me. She became an ex very shortly afterwards. On a positive musical note, they did give us Gary Numan of “Cars” fame. That became number 1 in the UK in 1979. I really am showing my age now!
They were originally formed in 1890 and played in that magnificent Southern Alliance league. They regularly beat the Spurs who were also members of this league.
In that great year of 1921 when only 13 spectators turned up to watch Leicester City v Stockport County (Well would you want to watch that rubbish when you could be watching The Crows v The Rebels), Slough attempted to join the Isthmian League, unfortunately they were outvoted in favour of Wycombe Wanderers. A decision that still grapples to this day. Let it go Rebels, you are much better than the Chairboys or Choirboys or whatever they call themselves! Slough decided to join the Spartan league instead.
A familiar story in “The Rebels” history happened in 1936, when the owners of their ground sold up to a greyhound racing consortium. They were kicked out and forced to ground share with Maidenhead United for several years.
They eventually merged with Slough Centre FC under the guise Slough United FC and returned to the town.
After the war, Slough United did not fancy the Spartan league and this led to a breakaway movement to form a new league, the Corinthian League. This is where the nickname “The Rebels” came from! The Rebel blood also continued within the club as the two factions within Slough United decided to split and the former Slough FC became Slough Town FC.
They won this league in 1951 but in 1961 the league went pop. Slough Town decided to join the expanded Athenian League. They won this one 3 occasions. The third championship culminated in promotion to the Isthmian league in 1973.
During the 1980’s they were league champions on two occasions, the second of which brought them promotion to the Football Conference. They lasted four years before being relegated back to the Isthmian League. They bounced back at the first attempt and all looked rosy, but there is a twist in the tale fellow Crows.
In 1998, the consortium that had purchased the club several years earlier decided that they were not prepared to pay for ground improvements that were required for continual Conference Membership. Blimey, have you seen Alfreton’s ground or Barrow! The Rebels were relegated back to the Isthmian League.
Another relegation followed in 2001, however the club regained its Premier place in 2004. In 2007 it all went wrong again as the club finished bottom and were relegated, but this time decided to try their luck in the Southern Football League Division One South & West (Now that is a match day announcers worst nightmare! I was out of breath just typing that!).
In 2008 they finished 2nd bottom but were reprieved due to Halifax Town going into administration
Over the next couple of years Slough started to improve and finished 5th in 2011 but lost in the Play-Off Semi Final 4-1 to our local rivals Hitchin Town.
Last year saw a second place finish but were defeated 2-1 by their Landlords Beaconsfield SYCO’s, sorry SYCOB’s!
Their Season So Far
An impressive run in the FA Cup, only ended by Blue Square Champions elect Mansfield Town has given the rebels an almighty task in catching up with games in hand and this seems to have affected them recently. Currently sitting in 7th place and 5 points outside of the play-offs, their stats read as played 33, won 20, drawn 5 and lost 8. They have scored 82 times and have been breached 40. Last time out saw the Rebels surprisingly beaten by Northwood by two goals to one. The game before saw them tumble to an away defeat at leaders Burnham. The Crows though need to beware, a wounded tiger can do serious damage and their fans will be looking for an immediate response.
One to Watch
Scoring goals has not been a problem for Slough so we will start by talking about their forward line.
With 28 goals so far, striker Danny Burnell is going to be a real handful. A signing in 2010 from Ryman Premier Wealdstone, big Daz has established himself as a fans favourite scoring 28 goals in 40 appearances in 2010/11. Last season saw him win the Golden Boot with 24 goals. Previous clubs include Maidenhead United and Beaconsfield SYCOB.
Partnering him up front, we should expect to find Edward Smith. Eddie has 23 goals to his name so far and found the back of the net in their 2-2 draw against Barton Rovers. Strong and excellent in the air, he will keep Jack and Joe busy.
As I mentioned earlier, The Rebels have a mean defence so a mention for stopper James Warrington. A signing in 2011, Slough Town have high hopes for this lad. Former clubs include Fulham and Crystal Palace FC (Endo will be after his autograph then!) James was very impressive in our defeat at their gaff earlier on in the season.
Another former Crystal Palace man, David Woozley joined the club from defunct Windsor & Eton FC. Dave started out with the Eagles in 1997 and played 28 times for them. He eventually got fed up with “The Dave Clarke Five and Glad All Over” and made the move to Torquay United where he played 60 times. A brief stint as Assistant Manager of moneybags Crawley Town before Dave decided to become a Fireman. Other spells at Non League clubs took in the delights of the Staines Massive and Carshalton Athletic.
A former player at the club, Steve Bateman become the clubs first team manager in 2009 and saw an immediate improvement on the previous dark days. He has led the club to the 1stround proper of the FA Cup this year. The Rebels were agonisingly beaten on penalties by the Stags of Mansfield Town. Paul Cox stated that Slough were deeply unlucky in both games.
Steve started out as a professional with Hemel Hempstead before signing for Everton. Things did not quite work out at the Toffee’s and he moved to Chesham where he made over 300 appearances. A former manager at both Berkhampstead Town and Hemel Hempstead Town, Steve is building a very competitive team that were outright favourites for promotion.
Have We Met Before
Just the once and that was in early December when we gift wrapped 3 points. The Rebels won 3-1 that day with goals from Bowden-Haase, Smith and Swift. Kaan Fehmi got the goal for the Crows.