Singfield shocker

Slough Town

Slough Town

Barton Rovers

Barton Rovers

Singfield (49)
FA Cup Pat Morrissey
A 49th minute goal from Rob Singfield and a brilliant last gasp save by Barton Rovers' goalkeeper Bob Taylor ended Slough Town's interest in the FA Cup at Wexham Park on Saturday.

This third qualifying round defeat was the Rebels' first in a competitive match this season and ended a 15 match unbeaten run. Once Barton had scored Slough staged a succession of attacks but despite numerous chances and near misses the visitors held out for a well deserved victory.

Despite playing in two divisions lower of the Berger Isthmian League, Barton matched Slough in every department and never really allowed Laurie Churchill's side to settle into their stride and pattern of play which has brought such a fine string of results this season.

With Richard Teale pulling a muscle in his back while warming up in the morning, Frank Parsons played his first game in goal since signing from Woking last month. Once again the blustery conditions made life difficult for both sides, but in the first 10 minutes it was Barton who took control of the match. They built up several dangerous attacks and gave Slough an early indication that they had a real battle on their hands.

The first real chance, however, fell to Steve Norman after 11 minutes. A corner from the left broke to the Slough full back on the edge of the Barton penalty area. He struck the ball first time, but his effort was blocked by Billy Baldrey and flew away for another corner.

After 21 minutes Slough had the ball in the back of the net. A searching cross had Barton 'keeper Taylor in trouble, and Micky Kiely bundled the ball home. However the referee adjudged that Kiely had fouled Taylor in the process of scoring. Then in the space of three minutes Kiely twice saw efforts just fail to open the scoring.

However the best chance of the half, after 35 minutes, fell to Barton. A through ball from Denny Devis caught the Slough defence square, and left Steve Hodge with a great chance. But from close range and only Parsons to beat, he mishit his shot and Parsons was able to divert the ball for a corner.
The second half started with Eric Young heading a corner from Friend over, after he had outjumped the Barton defence.

Three minutes later Barton shocked the large Slough crowd when they went ahead. A corner on the right was headed on by Joe Brown and Singfield turned to crack the loose ball home from five yards out, giving Parsons no chance. Minutes later Singfield had a great chance to increase Barton's lead. But with the Rebels' defence beaten he hurried his shot and placed it well wide.

This heralded a series of Slough raids on the Barton goal, as the Rebels settled down to play some constructive football and showed more urgency in their attacks. First a Kiely header was well saved by Taylor, and then Pat Morrissey chipped a free kick just wide of the post, with the 'keeper struggling. With 69 minutes gone a Morrissey free kick found the head of Kiely, but his effort was stopped on the line, and after a tremendous scramble finally hacked clear for a corner.

The Rebels' best chance to equalise came after 70 minutes. A cross from Dave Russell found Eggie James six yards out and unmarked. Nine times out of ten James would have buried such an opportunity, but on this occasion he directed his header yards wide of the target, to the surprise of the stranded Barton defence.

Slough maintained the pressure and Kiely was set clear by Micky O'Sullivan, but his final effort was scooped over the bar. Taylor then foiled a smart turn and shot from James.

With 14 minutes remaining, Keith White replaced Friend in a last ditch effort for Slough to salvage something from the match. Barton, now fighting desperately to keep their lead intact, had Hodge and Alan Dunn both booked in quick succession, and then with four minutes left Taylor made the save of the match.

Morrissey chipped a free kick over the Barton wall, and Russell latched onto the ball with a terrific volley. But from point blank range Taylor managed to get his hands to the ball and push it away for a corner - a save which almost certainly won his side the match.

With just seconds remaining a 25 yard effort from Morrissey almost crept in, but Taylor managed to scramble the ball away at the foot of the post.

That proved to be Slough's last chance in this season's FA Cup, and at the final whistle they left the pitch a bitterly disappointed side. On the day Slough cannot complain about the final result, they have played far worse this season and won but the cup often proves to be a totally different game and Barton deserved their glory.

The Rebels, however, will have an early chance for revenge when the sides meet again in the Hitachi Cup at Wexham Park next month.

Barton Rovers Lineup


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