THERE was unusual drama at Arbour Park on Saturday when Slough Town supporter Alan Meredith was sourced from the crowd to be a substitute official in the match against Hereford.

Meredith is the Slough Town Pan-Disability team manager and was called upon after referee Paul Johnson pulled up with an injury four minutes before half-time and could not continue.

The Southern Premier Division fixture, which finished 2-2, resumed after a 15-minute delay with the 57-year-old running the line in borrowed kit.

Meredith had not officiated in a competitive match for at least seven years and admits there were some nerves, but he is thankful there were no contentious decisions to be made.

He told the Observer: "I was only there to watch the game and was behind the goal with my wife when we saw the referee clutch his thigh.

"People that know me joked you had better go and get ready and I was asked. I'm not a complete novice but there were nerves because I was so under-prepared.

"It happened so quickly that I didn't have time to think about it until half-way through the second half. All I can remember is leaving my money in the changing room and thinking that my wife would not be able to get a cup of tea.

"I didn't get any stick, in fact I did not see or hear anything like it. I think people were pleased by the novelty of it all and enjoyed it, made people laugh.

Royal Borough Observer:

PHOTO: Injured referee Paul Johnson was unable to continue despite receiving treatment at Arbour Park on Saturday.

"I got some cheers and a laugh because the kit was not mine. It was a bit of a squeeze with bright blue boots borrowed from the council as well.

"I can't say they wasn't some pressure with it but quite a few people at the club know me so it was quite encouraging, and thankfully there were no contentious decisions to be made.

"I could have been in a better position preparation-wise but didn't have a lot of choice really because the only other person to step forward had only officiated at step seven before.

"I had done two Slough Town friendlies behind closed doors recently but not refereed officially for a few years."

Commenting as a supporter on the Rebels' performance, Meredith said: "Slough played very well for 90 minutes but don't seem able to hold on recently. It has got into their pysche and it's not easy to get out of.

"It might be difficult to win the league now but we can get into the play-offs and hopefully go one step further than last year."

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