05:00PM, Friday 30 August 2019
Neil Baker has called on the Rebels not to become complacent after this weekend’s magnificent come-from-behind victories over Bath City and Dulwich Hamlet lifted the club back to within touching distance of the play-offs.
Hampered by injury – and with players playing out of position – the Rebels somehow managed to battle back to beat Bath 3-2 at Arbour Park on Saturday before doing the same thing against Dulwich at Champion Hill on Monday.
Both victories were secured in the final minutes and in scorching hot bank holiday weekend temperatures.
In the 87th minute on Saturday, Slough were staring at the possibility of another defeat after Tyler Harvey and Tom Richards netted to put Bath City in the driving seat.
But a first win at the sixth attempt arrived in thrilling fashion, thanks to goals from Manny Williams in the 87th and Warren Harris in the 94th minute. Dan Roberts had netted to put Slough 1-0 up in the first half.
The Rebels left it late again on Monday, with Matty Lench netting the winner from the penalty spot in the 87th minute, adding to goals from Warren Harris (5) and George Wells (78).
It means the Rebels are now unbeaten in four matches, have risen to 15th in the table and are just three points off the play-offs.
“We deserved to win both games to be honest,” said Baker. “But trailing 2-1 to Bath at half-time, the players came in dejected having not won in five matches.
“But we came in really positive, asked them to be brave and to put in another big effort and they were excellent in the second half. At 88 minutes we were staring at another defeat but six minutes later we had our first win and were up to 15th. It gave everyone a massive boost.
“Jon (Underwood) and I could have panicked after the start we made. We could have brought in new players but we had belief in this group.”
Baker added: “It’s been a really good 10 days for us.
“We’re unbeaten in four games against some top sides and football is all about confidence. It’s a huge part of the game.”
Guy Hollis and Sean Fraser both limped off injured against Bath, while mid-week injury setbacks for Ryan Bird and Dan Harris meant the Rebels had plenty to contend with at Dulwich on Monday.
But they coped with those setbacks admirably.
“On Monday we had Lee Togwell starting in defence and Warren Harris playing in central midfield, but they’re intelligent footballers,” said Baker.
“Joe Grant was making his first start at step two and we were asking Dan Roberts – who’s played only six or seven games at this level – to be the lone striker but he caused them real problems. They didn’t know how to deal with him.
“Ben (Harris) was brought on with a few minutes to play, even though he wasn’t fully fit, as did Nis (Mark Nisbet) who hadn’t trained and only had his operation last week. That maybe wasn’t the brightest of ideas but they all did a job and helped us get the win.”
Next up for Slough are two home tests against 18th-placed St Albans City tomorrow (Saturday) and high-flying Hemel Hempstead Town – currently second – on Tuesday.
“We can’t get lulled into a false sense of security by those wins,” said Baker.
“St Albans finished above us last year and have pretty much the same team. They haven’t had the best of starts but won on Monday (2-1 against Concord Rangers) so that will give them confidence. Hemel have been going great guns and I expect them to be right up there this season.”
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