Russell Goal Saves Rebels Blushes

Slough Town

Slough Town

James (28), Russell (79)
Chalfont St Peter

Chalfont St Peter

Clark (48)
FA Cup Eggie James
Slough Town seem to make a habit these days of struggling to overcome inferior opposition in cup matches, and on Saturday it took a Dave Russell goal 11 minutes from time to save their blushes against Athenian Leaguers Chalfont St Peter at Wexham Park in the first qualifying round of the FA Cup.

The Rebels now entertain Wokingham Town in the second qualifying round at Wexham Park on October 3.

In the previous round of the competition, Slough came desperately close to defeat against United Counties League side Wootton Blue Cross, and although on Saturday the Rebels never really looked like losing, with 11 minutes remaining Chalfont were in with a chance of producing a shock result and earning themselves a replay.

But following some fine work in a confined space on the left, Roy Butler delivered a cross to the far post which beat the Chalfont defence and Dave Russell rose superbly to head home from close range and end a nervous period for Slough supporters.

It seemed hard to believe that this was the same Slough side which had performed so superbly at Hitchin during the week, because while they were always in control, they found a resolute and well drilled Chalfont defence hard to break down.

Twice in the opening 25 minutes, the hard-working Butler went close for Slough, but it was not until the 30th minute that the home side forced their first corner of the match.

However, three minutes later they took the lead which they had always been threatening to do from the start — with a glorious goal. A short free kick by Vic Akers found Butler and his cross to the right of the penalty area was controlled by Eggie James on his chest before he cracked home his fourth goal of the season from 12 yards.

Slough, still recovering from the shock resignation of Laurie Churchill the previous weekend, should really have built on this lead, but Rob Williams and Ray Clark were dominant in defence for Chalfont and John Fancourt made several timely saves.

The second half was just three minutes old when Chalfont, struggling at the wrong end of the Athenian League, scored a dramatic equaliser.

A cross from Mick Fitzryk on the left beat the Slough defence and found Clark racing in unmarked on the opposite side of the penalty area. The Saints' defender steadied himself and then unleashed an unstoppable shot past Frank Parsons into the top left hand corner of the net.

This shock goal suddenly seemed to bring Slough back to life and they mounted a constant barrage of attacks on the Chalfont goal.

Once again James looked the player most likely to put Slough ahead and with his lightning bursts of speed, he began to give the Chalfont defence plenty of headaches.

After 61 minutes he had a shot blocked on the line by Williams and then a superb run after 74 minutes finished with his effort running just inches past the far post.

And when Butler missed a fine chance with 13 minutes left it looked as though Chalfont's courageous performance, which belied their lowly league standing, might be rewarded with a draw.

However then came Russell's goal which keeps the Rebels on the FA Cup trail and hopefully an extended and lucrative run in the competition this season.

Chalfont St Peter Lineup


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