From the kick-off Macclesfield took the game to Slough and passed the ball around with a confidence befitting a team 65 places higher in the pyramid scheme. And their early pressure paid off on seven minutes with a goal that set Slough back on their heels.
The ball was knocked in from the righthand side by right wingback Steve Hitchen and Ben Sedgemoor timed his run perfectly to flick a header in at the near post to give the Silkmen just the start they wanted.
Slough could easily have let their heads drop against the Second Division side who had more time on the ball and got men into space well, but instead kept up to their game. And they could easily have broken back after ten minutes when Macclesfield keeper Ryan Price miskicked a clearance but Bryan Hammatt, after intercepting the ball and looking to have a clear chance in front of goal, hurried his shot and the opportunity was lost.
But the balance was redressed after 14 minutes as Slough livened up the crowd again by drawing level. Following some good work down the right, Justin Channing got in a good deep cross and the ball came to Kenny Hughes who hit a super left-foot volley which rocketed into the net.
Macclesfield came back immediately to pressurise Slough but the Rebels were alert at the back and Steve Browne neatly cleaned up one dangerous moment and shortly afterwards Thorp, too, put in a timely tackle. Slough were showing their character and started tomove the ball around more confidently. But Macc could always threaten and Paul Wilkerson was called on several times to show that he is one of the finest goalkeepers in the league.
Roberts, who was directing the defence well, put in one heavy tackle too many for the referee's liking and received a yellow cards after 35 minutes.
In the second half, the experienced Silkmen again started strongly and spread the play well and showed plenty of patience in their build-ups. Approaching the hour mark, Roberts came off to be replaced by Paul Hardyman. And shortly afterwards, it seemed that disaster had struck again. Macclesfield's dangerous striker Graeme Tomlinson got away in the box and attempted to go round Wilkerson and, in a diving attempt to grab the ball, Tomlinson was brought down. The referee duly booked the keeper and awarded a penalty. Tomlinson stepped up and Wilko had the crowd on its feet when pulling off a brilliant save to keep Slough very much in the game.
Extra time came and within minutes Macclesfield were down to ten men. Not for the first time Efetobore Sodje crashed into the back of a Slough attacker. Having already been booked for a late challenge on Deaner, this time it was Hammatt who was caught, and the referee showed Sodje the red card.
But Slough did not seem to use the extra man well and Macc came back as if they had the full complement. The tension mounted towards the end as chances came at either end, but the whistle went and it was penalties.
The fans were encouraged as Wilkerson again saved from Tomlinson to give Slough the advantage and Slough's kicks went in with Macc equalising which left Hammatt the last man of the five with a kick to take them through. But the keeper, who had been waging a taunting war all game, seem to get to the young striker again and Hammatt stepped up, chinked and clipped it over the bar.
Then it was sudden death and it went to the 20th kick before Mark Holtzman kicked it wide.
Slough Town Line Up
- 1 Paul Wilkerson
- 2 Justin Channing 15
- 3 Kenny Hughes
- 4 Graham Roberts 12
- 5 Richard Peirson
- 6 Michael Thorp
- 7 Eddie Denton
- 8 Graham Kemp 16
- 9 Andrew Deaner
- 10 Brian Hammatt
- 11 Steve Browne
Macclesfield Town Line up
Price, Hitchen, Ingram, Tinson (Lonergan 112), Wood, Sodje, Askey, Sorvel, Tomlinson, Sedgemore (Griffiths 84), Whittaker (Howarth 95). Subs not used: Clyde, Davenport.