Rebels' Resolve Broken By White

Cardiff City

Cardiff City

Dale (22), Saville (55), White (115)
Slough Town

Slough Town

Owusu (5), Angus (87)
FA Cup Attendance: 2343 Lloyd Owusu
Slough Town came within five minutes of forcing a penalty shoot-out at Ninian Park on Tuesday and the chance of an all non-league second round tie against Hendon.

Instead, Cardiff City went through after substitute Steve White grabbed a late winner to break Rebels' hearts.

It was another brave performance from Slough, who opened the scoring through Lloyd Owusu after just five minutes, and found extra time thanks to Terry Angus's first goal for the club.

Owusu, who had had a chance to win the tie first time around, found himself in the same goalscoring position five minutes in. He was put clear on goal from a long ball forward after his pace caught Cardiff out. Bearing down on goal unchallenged, the young striker made no mistake this time round as he slotted past goalkeeper Tony Elliott.

The goal sparked a spell of pressure from the home team, who forced a string of corners. But Rebels defended well, with Gary McGinnis, Cliff Hercules and Terry Angus strong and committed at the heart of the defence.

Given Slough's ability to deal with intense pressure, it was disappointing that Cardiff's equaliser came after a mix-up. Paul Wilkerson came to the edge of the box to make a clearance in the 22nd minute, but ended up flapping at it. Carl Dale, who had continued his run past the keeper, seemed surprised that the ball had reached him and side-footed into the net from a tight angle.

Slough clearly saw Owusu's pace as their best weapon and twice it found him clear on goal in the half, with Elliott forced on one occasion to scramble out of his area and make an important sliding tackle. The home side appeared quicker to the ball and quicker to close down but constantly frustrated their fans by their failure to carve out chances.

The second half saw those chances materialise, and Andy Saville saw his header flash wide. And ten minutes in, Cardiff were in the lead, when Saville's overhead kick in the box caught Wilkerson by surprise and flew into the net.

Slough manager Brian McDermott responded by bringing on Derek Simpson for Paul Hardyman and minutes later replacing captain and sweeper Gary McGinnis with striker Mark West. With West and Gary Brazil buzzing behind the front two of Owusu and Gary Abbott, they had to survive a couple of scares before drawing level.

Dale had the ball in the back of the net on 70 minutes, but referee Dermot Gallagher ruled it out, saying the ball had crossed the line before Saike could cross. Two minutes later, Dale's powerful header was just the wrong side of the bar.

The equaliser gave travelling Slough fans the lift they wanted and from that point on, the Rebel army ruled Ninian Park. Who would have thought 200 Slough fans and a drum could make more noise than 2,000 Welshmen? They did, though.

And in extra time, it looked as though the Rebels would come through. Eight minutes in, Abbott did well to chest down a poor clearance but his shot on the volley was just off target. A touch of brilliance from Brazil almost produced a spectacular winner - his dipping effort from fully 35 yards out had to be tipped over by a desperately retreating Elliott.

Just before the turn-around, Abbott and Bolt did well in the box to set the ball up for Owusu to slam in a first-time shot that was well saved. And midway through the second period Bolt drove in an excellent free-kick from a dangerous position that made it through the wall, but cannoned off a defender to go clear.

The Rebels fans kept urging their side on knowing victory was a real possibility. But minutes to go, Steve White, who had only just come off the bench, had the final say. As Cardiff pressed forward and the Slough defence tried desperately to clear the danger, the ball put in to find the veteran Cardiff striker unmarked at the far post.

It seemed to catch him by surprise as he took a moment to control, then the goal was at his mercy all it took was a simple sidefoot to strike the last cruel blow.

Cardiff City Lineup


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