Slough Town v Dorking Wanderers, National League South, Arbour Park, Slough, Saturday 3rd August - Kick-Off 15h00
The league season starts here! It is back to league action with a home encounter against promoted Dorking Wanderers.
The Wanderers were founded in 1999, just two seasons after Slough Town played in the Football Conference.
During these twenty seasons they have been promoted eleven times. Their journey to Conference National (level 6) started in the Crawley & District League (level 17), then progressed through West Sussex League Divisions 4, 3, 2, 1 and Premier to the Sussex County League Divisions 3, 2 and 1 before joining the Isthmian League Division One South and ultimately the Premier Division which they won last season by an impressive 22 points. Their seasonal record being: Home W16 D2 L3 : Away W12 D7 L2 : GF87 GA31 - Points 93.
They lost just five times during the campaign - 2 - 3 (Carshalton Athletic), 1 - 2 (Lewes) and 0 - 1 (Tonbridge Angels) at home: 3 - 2 (Haringey Borough) and 4 - 1 Merstham on their travels.
In the F.A. Cup they were knocked out in the 3rd Qualifying Round 0 - 3 (H, replay) against Gloucester City after drawing 3 - 3 away. In the earlier rounds they beat Leverstock Green 2 - 4 (A) and Hartley Wintney 2 - 0 (H).
In the F.A. Trophy they reached the 1st Round Proper before losing 1 - 0 (A) against Carshalton Athletic. In the earlier Qualifying Rounds they beat Poole Town 2 - 3 (A), Tonbridge Angels 1 - 0 (H) and Sevenoaks Town 2 - 1 (H).
In pre-season Dorking Wanderers have played six matches - Alfold D 1 - 1 (A), East Grinstead Town W 2 - 1 (H), Kingstonian W 3 - 2 (H), Leatherhead W 2 - 1 (H), Charlton Athletic XI W 2 - 0 (H) and Hastings United L 2- 1 (A)
Wanderers squad in their last pre-season game at Hastings United was 1. Slavomir Huk (GK) 2. Ed Harris 3. Isaac Philpott 4. David Ray 5. Luke Moore 6. Niall McManus 7. Jake Gallagher 8. Matt Briggs 9. Jason Prior 10. Tom Richards 11. James McShane
Subs: 14. Ben Dyett 15. JJ O'Sullivan 16. Jerome Beckles 19. Giuseppe Sole 20. George Membrilla
They have a squad that is experienced in playing at a higher level in the non-league game and, as such, made only three close season signings to equip themselves for this campaign - Jake Gallagher (Aldershot Town), Ed Harris and Rory Williams (both from Havant & Waterlooville).
Rebels played Dorking Wanderers in the 2015/16 F.A. Cup 1st Round Qualifying winning the away tie 0 - 1 thanks to a late Adam Martin penalty in added time.
The Wanderers squad in their last pre-season friendly included three players that appeared in the Cup tie - Slavomir Huk, Ben Dyett and Jerome Beckles.
Bookies Odds: Slough Town Win 13/10; the Draw 11/4; Dorking Wanderers Win 38/17
Prediction: A bit of an unknown. No-one wants to lose their opening league fixture, it could be close, but Rebels have home advantage.
Slough Town 2 - 1 Dorking Wanderers