Blues look to tame Rebels

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BLUES will look to put two defeats in the space of three days behind them when they travel to FA Cup heroes Slough Town, on Saturday.

The Rebels finally went out of the Cup in the second round on Monday night as they went down 4-0 at home against Rochdale in front of the BT Sport cameras.

Dulwich Hamlet, Poole Town and Folkestone Invicta were all beaten on their way to the competition proper where they hammered Blues’ former Conference North rivals Gainsborough Trinity 6-0 away from home.

The Rebels are sixth in the table with 38 points from 16 games and have matches in hand over all of the sides above them.

Their FA Trophy run did not last quite so long as their Cup success beating Kidlington and Maldon & Tiptree 4-1 before a pair of 1-1 draws against Hendon resulted in a penalty shoot-out defeat.

The last meeting between the clubs  came in 2001/2  and the 15 years since haven’t been kind to the Rebels as they lost the use of Wexham Park and spent over ten years playing outside Slough before returning home to the new Arbour Park (complete an artificial pitch) shortly after the start of last season.

The move certainly gave them impetus, and with crowds up 126 percent to an average of 631, they reached the play-offs before losing 1-0 at league runners-up Leamington.

When the clubs last met in the Isthmian League , Blues were on their way to promotion as they completed a double with a 3-2 home win and a 1-0 victory on the road.

A year later the sides met in the FA Trophy, and after a controversial goal scored after Stortford had kicked the ball out of play following an injury helped the Rebels draw 2-2 in a game played at Windsor, Blues won the replay 2-1.

Slough have been our opponents in two of the biggest games in Stortford’s history. A Lyndon Lynch hat-trick saw Blues win 4-1 at Wexham Park in December 1982 to send us through to the FA Cup third round at Middlesbrough and national fame. That was sweet revenge for the Blues as Slough had broken their hearts in the 1973 FA Amateur Cup semi-final with a 1-0 win at Vicarage Road, Watford.

Author: Dave Ryan