Last-minute strike robs the Rebels

Slough Town

Slough Town

Deaner (39)
Cambridge City

Cambridge City

McCann (89)
FA Cup Attendance: 771 Danny Honey
A dramatic 90th minute equaliser by Cambridge City at Wexham Park on Saturday sent a downcast Slough Town into a replay which they should not have had to face.

Christian McCann entered the frame late in the second half with the Rebels leading and, with just seconds left to play, struck a rasping shot from 20 yards which flew past goalkeeper Danny Honey, to the delight of the Cambridge bench who raced onto the pitch in celebration.

It was a below par performance from Slough showing little Cup spirit, but having gone ahead somewhat against the run of play shortly before half-time, they did create enough chances in the second half to have wrapped up the game.

But the stunning equaliser from late sub Christian McCann should never have had the time to have occurred. The crime was the thoughtless tactic of kicking the ball upfield in the vain hope of finding a Slough player. It only served to allow Cambridge possession they should have been denied.

Have the current Rebels no concept of running time down when holding a lead? It would appear most of the Slough players cannot think of keeping possession, working the ball around while the seconds tick away.

Slough seem to have lost the flowing football which encouraged the fans at the beginning of the season. Graham Roberts' team on Saturday looked disjointed, with Town's best midfielder Mark Hall playing the role of striker alongside Andrew Deaner. It left the midfield short on playmaking, and Mark Hawthorne, Mark Pye and Paul Barrowcliff sat off the opposition too much, failing to get in quickly to support the front men.

Ian Cambridge and Scott Taylor were a constant threat to a Slough Town side that looked particularly out of sorts. And inside the first 15 minutes Cambridge scuffed one shot wide in a good position and wasted a great chance just yards out from a superb Taylor cut back. It was ten minutes before Slough's first attempt at goal, which came via Deaner, whose hopeful shot was easily dealt with.

Honey was almost caught napping in the Rebels goal as City defender Dave Thompson hit a speculative 40 yard lob which was tipped over in the nick of time by the Slough keeper.

Slough's second real chance came on 25 minutes when Hall headed over with his back to goal. Slough, though, were showing no cup-tie urgency and little movement in getting forward.

Although Cambridge looked the more likely to score, six minutes from halftime Slough stole an undeserved lead from their first inventive move of the game involving Mark Pye and Mark Hawthorne who found Micky Engwell in space on the left wing. His pinpoint cross picked out Andrew Deaner, who hit his fifth goal of the season, heading back across the face of the goal and past City keeper Martin Davies.

Boosted with that goal, Slough began the second half in a more confident fashion. They put concerted pressure on Cambridge and had a series of corners where the ball was driven in by Engwell towards the near post and Pye was flicking on with his head. On the fifth one, Al-James Hannigan's header was cleared out and Leon Townley drove the ball back in which was cleared off the line.

With Cambridge surviving, frustrations began to build and Pye was booked for charging in with a tackle from behind on 55 minutes. Roberts not wanting to risk a repeat of the double yellow Pye picked up last week, pulled him off ten minutes later and brought on Eddie Denton.

City appeared to drift out of the game as Slough continued to miss good chances to kill off the match, the best a shot from Deaner which rattled the crossbar and rebounded to Eddie Denton inside the box, but his shot was poor and found Mark Hall yards from goal who slipped and allowed the chance to pass.

With ten minutes left Bryan Hammatt was introduced for Deaner and the fiery forward got himself booked immediately following a clash with Keith Newby, also booked.
Cambridge brought on Christian McCann for Andy Pincher and the onetime Chelsea player helped the visitors to a late rally.

Slough were repelling the attacks capably but showed poor control in their build-ups. On 86 minutes, Dave Rainford took over from David Timothy at right wing back, and joined in the nervous quick releasing down the flanks. And disaster struck for Slough as the home defence opened up, allowing McCann to hit the telling blow.

The ball came wide out to McCann who cut inside from the right, and as Slough defenders backed off and he kept going and found plenty of space for a driving shot which gave Honey no chance.

Cambridge City Lineup


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