All square at Northcourt Road
Date: Saturday, August 30th 2008 | Competition: FA Cup | Attendance: 156
Man Of Match: James Pritchard
Starting Line Up
- Jamie Jackson
- Dean Harper
- Eamonn McConigley
- Luke Evans
- Ryan Fenton
- Adam Durrant
- James Pritchard
- Laurence Brown
- Danny Jordan
- Matthew Platt
- Byron Bubb
Though August has not yet passed, Slough Town travelled to fellow Southern League outfit Abingdon United in an effort to hopefully start a successful run in the FA Cup after barren years since the historic defeat of Walsall.
Derek Sweetman made four changes to the side that had two points snatched away against Thatcham on Monday. Three new signings all came in for debuts with Luke Evans replacing Lee Riddell in defence, Byron Bubb starting his second spell at the club replaced Roberts, Durrant coming in for John Gray and Matthew Platt returning from injury to start in place of Thomas Attrell.
Hot weather greeted the Rebels but this did not stop them making a bright start and two new signings quickly linked up with a Byron Bubb corner being met firmly by Evans who headed straight into the arms of a relieved Farrow.
Incisive running from Matt Platt carved open the Abingdon defence after nine minutes and he created space for his own shot which flew just over the bar and into the Pagoda behind the goal.
Strong running from Durrant and quick link up play with Bubb created room for a cross which evaded McConigley who was surging forward from a more advanced left wing position.
Incessant pressure from Slough was beginning to tell and a succession of corners seemed to be heading towards goal. Bubb drilling one corner towards the near post and a flashing Harper header was luckily deflected clear.
Slough were temporarily reduced to ten men when Dean Harper clashed heads with Curtin. He had to leave the field with blood pouring from the back of his head and Kevin McGoldrick was set to work to try and patch him up.
Platt almost benefited after Woodley put Farrow under enormous pressure with a poor back pass which he could only slice clear. Platt played in Pritchard who shot tamely allowing Farrow to atone for his error.
Little time passed before Woodley again tested Farrow's kicking ability. This time he could only volley as far as Platt who seemed to dwell on the ball for too long before shooting weakly at goal.
At this stage Harper had to concede in his efforts to return to the fray and he was replaced by John Gray. This lead to a reorganisation by Sweetman with Fenton moving to centre back, McConigley returning to left back and Gray taking up position on the left wing.
Gray was immediately in the action, playing in Pritchard whose cross evaded a despairing Platt dive.
Intense pressure finally had to tell and Slough benefited from a huge slice of luck as Platt shot and the ball somehow ricocheted through Farrow's legs allowing Pritchard to nip in and tap the ball into an unguarded net after 35 minutes.
Abingdon seemed determined not to learn from their lesson and another panicked back pass allowed Jordan to link up with Bubb but Slough failed to convert the chance. More good work from Bubb saw Platt have a shooting opportunity from six yards but he fired wide.
Regrettably Slough had not fully capitalised on there domination and Abingdon sounded a warning when just on the stroke of half time Beechers was played in by Curtin and fired a shot against the bar. Jackson was furious although it was unclear whether it was with the defence which had been carved open or the assistant who kept his flag down. Either way he was booked for his troubles.
It proved a sound warning as moments after the restart Slough failed to take another chance with a wicked Bubb free kick going inches wide. Seconds later, Abingdon scored with their first clear chance, ex-Rebel Odhiambo played the ball to Curtin who crossed for half time substitute Holden to head the ball home. Abingdon had spread the play well and it was the best move of the game.
Slough roared back looking to regain the lead and excellent forward play from Jordan teed up Bubb who fired wide. Amidst it all Fenton was booked for a crunching challenge. Fenton then had the opportunity to surge forward from centre back before chipping a delicate ball down the line for Gray who cut in and hit a cross shot just inches wide and passed a despairing Bubb. Platt finally got hold of a shot when played in by Pritchard forcing Farrow into a fine fully length save.
More pressure was to follow as Jordan showed a great touch to control the ball to turn and shot before Farrow turned the ball round the post for another corner. Sweetman decided to throw on fresh legs in an effort to avoid the replay with Attrell and Roberts coming on in quick succession for Bubb and Platt.
Attrell had an instant impact as he nipped passed Smith and was chopped down. The resulting Pritchard free kick was curled over the bar. Pritchard himself was fouled moments later and as he landed he appeared to twist his ankle. He was heard to be crying out in pain and the Slough faithful will be hoping for a swift recovery.
Slough played through the final few minutes with just ten men and suddenly found themselves under pressure and Abingdon almost snatched the win when former Rebel Brooks showed great skill to beat two men and drill a shot come cross towards the far post. It was impossible to tell whether the ball was going in but Odhiambo popped up to ram home and make sure. However, he was clearly offside and his delight turned to despair.
Slough in the end were thankful to be given a second opportunity on Tuesday night's replay which was hard to believe given the nature of their first half dominance and the countless opportunities that they created.
Abingdon Utd: Farrow, Davies (Smith), Organ, Franklin, Woodley, McCalmon, Austin (Brooks), Herbert, Beechers (Holden), Odhiambo, Curtin. Subs not used: Janes, Warrell.