Late Akers Goal Salvages Draw

Wootton BC

Wootton BC

Newsom (3), Handy (42)
Slough Town

Slough Town

White (unknown), Akers (87)
FA Cup Keith White
Every club which plays in the FA Cup has its own moments of horror locked away in the record books, and on Saturday Slough Town came within three minutes of writing one in theirs at United Counties League side Wootton Blue Cross in the preliminary round of the competition.

The Berger Isthmian League champions, looking for some lucrative later rounds in the FA Cup, were almost dead and buried by last season's United Counties League runners-up, before a sensational sending off of Wootton's central defender Ronald Simons tilted the game in the Rebels favour.

And that with just three minutes left Vic Akers saved the game for Slough must be attributed to the sending off of Simons. He was not dismissed for dangerous play by the referee Mr Woodhams, but for continual verbal abuse, and there can be little doubt that he must have been the most unpopular man in the little Bedfordshire village on Saturday evening.

From the start it was an odd afternoon. The kick off was delayed for several minutes while cracks in the pitch were filled, and within six minutes Frank Parsons had picked the ball out of the net twice.

The first time was when Ray Newsom scored a scrambled goal while Slough's defence was in disarray and the second when danger man Mike Handy netted, but the effort was ruled out by an offside decision.

This let off did not spark the Rebels into any sought of urgency, and with the midfield struggling to find any rhythm the forwards were given little chance and the Wootton defence not much trouble.

A collision between Joe Moloney and Newsom ended with the Wootton goalscorer leaving the field to be substituted by Richard Bunker, but still the home side looked more dangerous and just before the interval they went further ahead.

Mike Handy drew Les Barrett and then left him flat footed before striding on and firing past Parsons. Two minutes later Handy went desperately close with similar effort.

The second half started with Slough still struggling, but then after 50 minutes Simons received his marching orders.

Suddenly the Rebels found just that extra space and gradually their ability began to show itself and good control by Keith White, cutting in from the left, ended with him shooting past Peter Hanman to give Slough new hope.

Manager Laurie Churchill, brought on Steve Hardwick in place of Peter Wesson as Wootton fought hard to maintain their lead. However, they had a let off when a fine header from Eggie James was punched against the inside of the post by Henman before bouncing away to safety.

And then a cross from Dave Yerby was headed against the outside of the other post by James.

As the minutes ticked away Hardwick shot just past the post and the general feeling around the ground was that Slough would never equalise. But then with just three minutes left Barry Friend, who had gradually regained his touch in the second half in his first competitive match this season, found White with a fine pass. White played the ball on to Akers who had arrived undetected into the penalty area, and the Slough full back drove the ball triumphantly into the net to save the day with surely his most important ever goal for the club.

Wootton BC Lineup


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