Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Good Day at The Office for Slough

Home keeper Grant walks back from the right edge of the box after Slough take the lead

Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Tuesday 8 March 2011 at Farm Park
AFC Hayes 2 Slough Town 4
Southern League D1 Central (step 4)
Venue #380 on the lifetime list – chosen for its nearness for a midweek evening hop.
This match in one sentence
Slough twice came back from behind, scoring four second-half goals to quell a plucky performance from the home side.
So what?
Slough Town move up to fifth in the battle for play-off places in this division.  AFC Hayes are close to the drop zone but should be safe as Atherstone Town are in a planned freefall to the step below.
The drama unfolds
In the first few minutes, Hayes got more shots on target but they were easy saves for Rob Bullivant.  Slough were more elegant in their approach, but lacked the final touch.  Javier Catlyn put Hayes ahead, somewhat against the run of play, when he drilled a low first-time shot into the bottom corner after 25 minutes. 1-0.

Slough almost equalised immediately. Stuart Swift dinked the ball through for Danny Burnell but Simon Grant saved bravely.  The rest of the half comprised attacking play by Slough and the occasional attempted break by Hayes.  Sean Sonner was at the centre of the best attacking moves, but Grant’s handing was secure when required.  Slough almost had an equaliser of comic value just before the break.  A Hayes defender stooped low to head the ball back to the keeper only for it to bobble alarmingly over his head in the box.  Luckily for him, the attackers were just as surprised by the bounce.

Three clips from the first half show why Slough would have been unhappy to be losing.  1-0 at half-time.

The Slough supporters, aka the Rebels on the Road, had been the more vociferous with a mixture of sparkling wit and charmless venom.  They started the second half getting on the back of the lino, whose decision to flag for offside and disallow an early second-half goal was spot on.  I was right in line, they weren’t.  However, the equaliser arrived as expected from the play on 52 minutes.  The ball was pulled back from the left flank and Chris Seeby buried the volley. 1-1.

The visiting fans then turned their attention to Grant, the home keeper.  As the bench sent a replacement ball in his vague general direction, they berated him for alleged timewasting.  The ref harshly booked him, cueing chants of, “We got you booked!” followed by, “You’re going off in a minute!”

The underdogs, however, took the lead with a well-worked goal by Dennis Maharjan after 63 minutes, 2-1, and a shock looked on the cards for a few minutes, until, six minutes later, a sweeping move involving Steve Sinclair, Burnell and Sonner presented Seeby with a straightforward header and the best goal of the night. 2-2.

Slough took the lead for the first time in the 75th minute.  The previously reliable Grant went walkabout towards the right-back position but was beaten and the ball was squared to substitute Simon Martin who slid into the six-yard box to equalise.  2-3.  Five minutes later, Burnell turned and made space before finishing with a low shot into the corner. 2-4. There was time for Hayes’ Maharjan to miss unluckily by the narrowest of margins to ensure that the final scoreline was a tad flattering.  Result 2-4.
Alternative activity of equal excitement for tourists in Hayes
Nothing comes close.  A very entertaining game for the passing neutral.
A snippet from the programme
On International Women’s Day … “The girls are currently preparing some wonderful culinary delights in the kitchen and the babes in the bar are gearing up to sell gallons of lager, bitter, spirits, alco-pops and soft drinks.”

No comment.
Something random
Glenn Hoddle was born in Hayes, Ray Wilkins grew up in Hayes, and Cyrille Regis, Les Ferdinand and Jason Roberts all played for a club in Hayes in a previous incarnation, though possibly not this one which was known as Brook House FC.  The other Hayes club merged with Yeading a few seasons ago.
What Next?
No definite plans – watch out for upcoming chances on Twitter to help determine my hopping fate.

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