Slough Town boss Steve Bateman seeking cup glory
By Rob Stevens • Published 21 Sep 2012 08:00 0 Comments
click to enlarge
Stuart Swift celebrates his late goal against Hungerford Town in the FA Trophy on Sunday. Picture courtesy of Horsham Rebel.
SLOUGH Town boss Steve Bateman hailed the 'gutsy' FA Trophy preliminary round win against Hungerford Town on Sunday.
And the Rebels supremo has targeted further cup joy - starting with this Sunday's FA Cup second qualifying round tie against Eastbourne Town - to restore confidence in their bid for the Southern Division One Central title.
Slough have revelled in cup action this month - earning over £7,000 in prize money - but had to do it the hard way at Holloways Park after striker Sean Sonner was sent off for a late challenge on Bradley Gray.
Bateman told the Observer: "I am very pleased, it was an excellent performance.
"We got off to a good start by scoring early, capitalising on indecision in their back four, but then suffered a setback when losing Sean to a straight red.
"I have seen them given and not given - it is just frustrating, you want the letter of the law applied consistently.
"But I cannot really argue, you can't tackle the way he tried to these days."
The Rebels boss continued: "Over the course of the game we created 25-30 per cent more chances than Hungerford and their goalkeeper pulled off some fantastic saves.
"We worked hard and increased the lead thanks to a great Stuart Swift strike so all credit to us.
"We saw the job through and I thought we were full value for the win."
Bateman insists the win confirms Slough's ability to be a major force this term and declared further cup progress can only be good for the Holloways Park-based club.
He added: "Sometimes - because of the manner of the result - it is good for the soul, it gives everyone a lift.
"Our focus is on cup football at the moment - I would love to stay in both competitions as long as we can.
"We have disposed of two lower league teams, which you would expect, and beaten a Hungerford side that I expect to be in the top five with the squad they have got.
"We want to use both competitions as a springboard to better things and transfer it to what we do in the league."
Looking ahead to Sunday's visit of Isthmian League Division One South & West outfit Eastbourne, Bateman commented: "It is a one-off FA Cup game with decent prize money on offer (£4,500).
"We could have drawn out a higher level team but equally this will be no easy game. We have had a look at them, I know what they are about, and will put out a side that can beat them."
Captain Dave Woozley and midfielder Adam Logie are expected to return after missing the clash with Crusaders but ex-Windsor FC star Kyle Anthony will not feature after signing for Southern Premier Division club Hemel Hempstead Town.
** PICK up a copy of the Observer for all the latest football news and action **
** FOLLOW the Observer on Twitter @Observer_sports **