FA Cup Tension For Slough After Host Of Missed Chances

| FA Cup
Att: 620
Slough Town
Deaner (25)
1 - 0
Carshalton Ath
Paul Barrowcliff
Andrew Deaner kept Slough Town on the FA Cup trail with a fine goal but missed several others as the Rebels made heavy weather of beating Carshalton on Saturday. His 25th minute goal was surprisingly the only goal of what was a very scrappy affair with endless chances for both sides.

The Rebels appeared to be in the driving seat though in the first half with Bryan Hammatt, returning after his loan spell at Billericay, looking extremely lively up front. And within a minute Hammatt should have given the home side the lead when he found space inside the penalty area for a shot with just the keeper to beat, but his effort was well blocked.

David Timothy, who is still seeking the form he showed prior to missing five games through injury, nearly put through his own goal when defending a ball into the area. Danger was lurking from Carshalton's attempts to get the ball over the top of Slough defence for the lively Junior Haynes to chase. Haynes, who was in Spurs youth with Leon Townley, was thwarted by the linesman's flag several times but the Rebels defence looked comfortable in dealing with other threats.

Attacking centre back Leon Townley had a header pushed wide by the Carshalton keeper Adrian Blake and Deaner missed a great opportunity to score after 23 minutes. Younis Nabil worked his way into the box and slipped the ball across to Deaner who drove the ball perfectly low and hard towards the right-hand corner of the goal. But a superb save from Adrian Blake just turned it round the post. From the corner, Deaner had a second bite when he tried to force the ball in but again he was denied.

Two minutes later Slough found the breakthrough and this time Deaner made no mistake as he punished a slack Carshalton defence. Paul Barrowcliff, who was instrumental in the Rebels victory with some superb midfield play and pin-point deliveries from out wide, floated over a cross into the Carshalton box. The ball fell to Carshalton's Dale Stevens for a simple clearance but amazingly he missed the ball totally, leaving Deaner to fire the ball into the top corner albeit with a deflection.

Hammatt working enthusiastically, had a chance minutes later. Paul Barrowcliff got in an early cross, Deaner headed back across goal but Hammatt put the ball over the top. Hammatt could have scored a trio of goals and when he was picked out again by Barrowcliff he could only direct his header away from goal. Slough were playing with plenty of confidence now and moving the ball around well at a good pace. Former Sutton player Junior Haynes did well to dispossess Steve Daly after 33 minutes but his excellent cross was hit erratically wide by Gary Bowyer.

This seemed to move the initiative away from Slough as the Rebels suddenly hit a bad patch, and the confident passing changed to a carelessness in their play as they gifted passes to Carshalton. Slack marking too reared its ugly head which allowed Carshalton sight of goal and in one attack, Phil Barber hit the bar when attempting to lob Danny Honey.

Dave Rainford gave Deaner a great chance to score a second goal, crossing low for the striker, just yards out but his shot went agonisingly wide. He admitted later: "I just think I had too much time and got in two minds." And Deaner once more was to blame for missing another chance to settle Slough's nerves, but when put clean through by Nabil he choose to take the early shot rather than round Blake.

Two minutes later, Nabil was sent crashing from a tackle from behind by Gary Bower who was booked. But Hammatt got involved and with hands raised in the subsequent scuffles could so easily have been punished, but escaped his red mist moment thanks to the leniency of the referee.

The second half again saw Slough slow to settle and it was ten minutes into the half before they began to put some decent moves together. Slough showed little patience in midfield to build attacks and instead relied on quick balls up field. But the forwards failed to hold the ball up long enough to enable the midfielders to get in to support.

Hammatt was given a tremendous appreciation from the supporters for his hard work when he was replaced by Graham Kemp on 65 minutes, Graham Roberts deciding to add an extra defender. Deaner had the best opportunity of the match to put the game out of reach when in the 69 minute a neat backheel from Nabil put the big striker through with only the keeper to beat. He had plenty of time to round the keeper but instead chose to aim the ball straight for goal, and Blake had little difficulty in blocking it out.

A minute later it was Nabil's turn to miss an easy chance as he headed wide after Leon Townley had headed the ball across following a well worked move. Carshalton tried to exert some late pressure but Slough's defence remained strong, Honey having hardly had a save to make. Slough's early ball forward was easily read by the visitors' defence and with Nabil and Timothy insisting on beating players more than once instead of whipping in early crosses, it gave the Rebels little chance to surprise the Carshalton rearguard.

The latter stages of the second half saw Slough defending for their lives to avoid a last gasp equaliser and they survived, although Carshalton's Richard Newbery volleyed a golden opportunity high over Honey's goal with just seconds left.

They will certainly need to be more positive yet controlled up front if they are to have a decent run in the FA Cup and indeed to challenge for the league.

Carshalton Ath Line up

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