Jacobs To The Rescue As Slough Snatch Draw

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Jacobs (90)

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Dover Athletic

Ovard (82)

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Date: Saturday, October 25th 1986 | Competition: FA Cup | Attendance: 801

Man Of Match: Graham Cox

Jimmy Jacobs turned the critics into his biggest fans as he gave Slough a sensational FA Cup kiss of life. With 90 minutes on the clock and the Rebels reduced to 10 men by Tony Knight's sending off, the little midfield man banged home a spectacular equaliser to set up Tuesday's fourth qualifying round replay.

Jacobs' cracker rounded off a final eight minutes on Saturday, that was just as dramatic as any of Slough's epic cup struggles of last season. After a typical blood and thunder cup tie, which had seen fights breaking out on and off the pitch, the plot thickened after 82 minutes when Dover sent their large contingent of fans delirious by taking the lead.

With their first real attack of the half danger man Frank Ovard carried the ball down the left past Jeff Bateman before firing a low shot across Graham Cox into the far corner. Slough's immediate response was an ugly one. Two minutes later Knight, not content with having fouled Ovard from behind, kicked the Dover striker before he had the chance to get to his feet.

It was a crude and stupid action on Knight's part, in no way excused by the heat of the battle, and St. Albans referee Taylor had no option but to banish him to the sideline. As Slough desperately tried to get their depleted troops up into Dover territory they were frustratingly held back at their own headquarters, Cox denying Tim Dixon with his feet and then saving low from Lennie Lee.

With time just about to run out Jimmy Brown did well to chase and win the ball at the byeline, although his cross seemed to have been hit too hard to the far post. But Jacobs, with whom the fans have been less than patient during his bad run, galloped on to the scene and hooked a magnificent volley back into the net before disappearing under a wave of ecstatic team-mates and supporters.

There was still time for Dover to draw Cox out of position and fail to force the ball in during the ensuing scramble and enough time for Slough to hit a few more hopeful balls into the box before the referee brought blessed relief from the almost unbearable tension.

Grasping a stiff drink, Slough manager Alan Davies was quick to laud his hero of the hour. "I hope all the people who have been on Jimmy Jacobs' back now give him a little bit of praise," he said. "I have stuck with him and he knows he has been struggling. But he is the type of player who doesn't give up and you couldn't wish for a better equaliser."

Davies would, of course, have settled for any kind of equaliser at that point and he said: "It was always going to be a hard, game. They battled well and we didn't play particularly well. I think we had enough chances to win the game — but in the end we were lucky to snatch a draw."

Of Knight's dismissal Davies could only comment: "He got what he deserved." If Slough needed any hint about the difficulty of the task ahead of them they got it after eight minutes when Cox did well to stop an awkwardly bouncing shot from Mick Pittaway.

That came after a period of early Slough pressure, but it was not until the 20th minute that the Rebels seriously threatened as Rowan Dodds hammered the ball across goal and saw it wanting for the final touch.

With Dover happy to go at Slough and keep the pace of the game going at a cracking rate the visitors gave as good as, they got up to half time, Daran Wilkins squaring the ball for Ovard to slide his half volley past the post. Slough, giving away space in midfield and struggling to find their rhythm against eager opposition in a swirling gale, forced the first save out of Kevin Hudson when Jimmy Brown met Tilley's cross with a downward header.

When Dover won a free-kick 20 yards or so out there was never any doubt that Ovard would be the man to have a go. But again Cox handled safely, despite the ball bouncing just in front of his diving body.

Kenny Wilson and Jacobs linked up to get the ball dangerously into the Dover box before Wilson finally poked it wide and Hudson plucked a Keith White drive out of the air. The picture after the break became one of Slough dominance, Brown badly miskicking with the goal at his mercy.

Paul Whites, who got himself a bit lost in the first half but had more of the say as the game went on, tested Hudson from 20 yards before Jeff Bateman met White's corner with a header that had to be swept off the line by Mark Harrop.

When Tilley nudged a free-kick to White 20 yards out his shot seemed to be rising beautifully into the corner before somehow carrying just over the bar. Wilkins brought down Bateman and when he stood over the ball to prevent the kick being quickly taken Waites unceremoniously shoved him to the floor. In flew Pittaway to his colleague's assistance, bringing Wilson and a few others into the fray.

When the debris cleared Waites, Wilson and Pittaway were booked, an action which did not please Revels boss Davies, who complained: "The referee stressed that all players would be made to go 10 yards and everyone saw what happened. Waites went to take a free-kick and two of our players get, booked on the strength of the referee not doing his job properly."

When the proceedings finally returned to something resembling football rather than tag team wrestling, the result was no less explosive as Ovard set off on the run that signalled the beginning of the game's grand finale.

Dover Athletic: Hudson, Harrop, Bartlett, Pittaway, Carr, Wilkins, Neat, Ovard, Green, Lee, Walker. Subs: Dixon (for Green 75 mins), Lineham (not used).


The Vanarama National League South Vanarama Motorama

Saturday, 13th October

vs Welling United

Lost 2-1 (Away)

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