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Sat Apr 20

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Welling United (H)
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The Vanarama National League South

Tough On Town

Ashford Town (Middx)

Ashford Town (Middx)

McRobert (1-2)
Slough Town

Slough Town

McKinnon (0-1), Stanley (47)
FA Cup Attendance: 1051
Somehow you feel that Slough deserve better than an away tie at Conference champions Colchester United in the FA Cup first round proper after the battle scars endured making their way there.

Saturday's problems at Ashford Town were perhaps self-induced as Slough much to the chagrin of their manager Dave Kemp, seemed to settle for the advantage given them by Paul McKinnon's first half header and Neal Stanley's shot within moments of the resumption.

Predictably they suffered somewhat; after soaking up an unhealthy amount of pressure they had their lead halved and were given a torrid last 30 minutes that Trevor Bunting, for one, didn't enjoy.

Bunting, who it should be said, was otherwise impressive, misjudged Jordan's free-kick and his heart surely missed a beat before Anderson thumped the loose ball somewhere over the Kent coastline.

Stanley could have eased the tension but his low shot — some three minutes into injury time —brought a full length diving save from Stuart Weaver, and it was another full minute later before referee G. Willard gave the visiting supporters in the 1,051 attendance, reason to breathe easy once more.

It really need not have been so, Slough were handsomely the better side for the first hour and by 10 past three, Steve Whitby, Andy Sayer, Darren Anderson and McKinnon had all gone close. For Ashford, Reilly shot just wide after a misunderstanding between Bunting and Alan Pluckrose.

Midway through the half however Slough looked to have come to terms with a dubious, uneven surface and Briley and Hazel were in charge, dictating proceedings from midfield.

Typically though, and after Slough had failed to make anything of a succession of corners, it was Sayer right in the thick of it as his side took a deserved lead.

Hazel found Slough's leading scorer on the edge of the home area and the touch back gave Stanley the opportunity to cross for McKinnon who headed home amid a cluster of defenders.

If George Friel's brilliant turn and shot from 25 yards had gone under rather than into the face of the crossbar moments later then it would have been no more than Slough had merited, at this stage they were comprehensively the better side.

Immediately after the interval Slough did increase their lead as Stanley romped forward to strike hard and low from distance and beyond Weaver.

Now with hindsight Slough might have adopted a different approach for the remainder of the contest, but heck this was the FA Cup, the job was nearly done, now was not the time to be caught out pushing forward.

So instead they retreated and let the Beazer Homes League side come at them, and the Kent boys loved it, nothing to lose now all guns blazing they had a real go as Slough began to panic. Clearances were now directed out of the ground rather than into areas of the pitch and usually cool heads seemed to become a little clouded.

Ashford however for all their new found possession composure department too and before they could peg one back nearly went three down as Whitby saw his header cleared off the line.

Almost immediately Bunting had to block from Jordan as Ashford broke away, Anderson couldn't clear, Bunting blocked again but Slough paid for hesitating as McRobert smashed another rebound past Bunting and in.

The sizeable home contingent were understandably delighted and sensing all was not so well with the side placed second in the Conference they bayed for more.

That they didn't get it was due perhaps more than is obvious to the grit and determination Kemp has installed in Slough. "We would like a home draw, but it's a league side and a game we can win," said a rather disappointed Kemp on Monday.

Ashford Town (Middx) Lineup


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