Slough feel they were cheated

Slough Town

Slough Town

Somers (55)
Maidstone United

Maidstone United

Gregory (84)
FA Trophy Kieron Somers
Slough Town manager Joe Arpino felt his side had been cheated of victory in Monday's F.A. Trophy first round replay which was abandoned because of a frosty pitch in the first minute of extra-time.

He stormed: "Their goalkeeper Barry Watling moved too soon when he saved Alan Gane's penalty, and Maidstone's late equaliser should have been disallowed for 'hands'. The linesman had his flag up and was much better positioned than the referee who over-ruled him."

But Watling, Maidstone's player-manager, countered: "We felt Slough's goal was offside so a draw was a fair result." Both managers agreed one thing - that the match should not have started.
Mr. Arpino was particularly upset about the decision of Woking referee M. E. Jermey to play the match and then abandon it when he did. Had Mr. Jermey called a halt during the first 90 minutes, the game would have had to be replayed at Slough, but, because he completed normal time, the replay must be on a neutral ground.

So now the teams will meet again at Carshalton on Monday (7.30 p.m.) to decide who meets Cheshire League champions Winsford United away in the next round on February 4.

The absence of injury victims Russell and Beal did not seem to affect Slough as they were the first to adapt to a bone hard pitch.

Lee, always a ‘bundle of tricks’, cut in from the right to fire narrowly wide and then Cooke produced a low drive which keeper Watling smothered on the line.

It seemed the pressure had paid off when Lee wriggled his way into the penalty area and was sent sprawling by Hill to give Slough a 24th minute spot kick. But Gane's low shot to the right was stopped by Watling.

The fact that Watling once set a Football League record by saving six successive penalties while with Notts County in no way excuses Slough's poor record of four penalty misses this season. Gane almost made amends when he sent in a swerving shot that looked likely to go in until the last moment when the keeper changed direction to grab it.

Maidstone's attack had been strangely quiet but in the 36th minute Crush went past Reardon and shot narrowly wide. A minute later Reardon and Crush were involved in a clash which resulted in Reardon needing treatment.

Slough started the second half on the attack but Cooke and Feely both missed good chances following brilliant crosses from the left by Lee. Friend received a lecture from the referee after being involved in incidents with first Hill and then Stonebridge, but the rest of the Slough side remained calm and they took the lead in the 55th minute with Maidstone waiting for an off-side whistle that never came. Somers ran forward to collect Feely's pass and as Watling came out, he steered the ball neatly to one side of him.

This stung Maidstone into action and Porter had to make a great finger tip save to foil Crush.

With 17 minutes remaining Maidstone brought on substitute Brian Gregory for Budden - and it proved to be a master stroke. Gregory dramatically put the Southern Leaguers level with a controversial 84th minute goal after Coupland's shot had deflected.

Slough claimed that Gregory had handled the ball past keeper Porter and a flagging linesman obviously agreed with them. But the Slough players did not protest loudly enough and it was Maidstone who clustered around the linesman and referee until Mr. Jermey, after a brief consultation with his fellow official, signalled a goal.

Gregory said afterwards: "I definitely headed the ball, I got to it a split second before Davies.”

Maidstone United Lineup


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