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Hampton & Richmond Boro' (A)
Sat Dec 21
15:00

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Hampton & Richmond Boro' (A)
Sat Dec 21 15:00
The Vanarama National League South
2nd
37pts

Rebels force replay in Trophy

| FA Trophy
Att: 241
Slough Town
O'Connor (70)
1 - 1
Mangotsfield Utd
Bater (5)
Paul Edgeworth
Craig O'Connor netted an equaliser, before being sent off minutes later as Slough forced a replay against Mangotsfield in a game of three red cards.

O'Connor and Ryan Fenton were dismissed in the second half, making the game 9 vs 10 after a first half dismissal for Mangotsfield, in an otherwise unremarkable game.

The match started in the worst possible fashion for Slough, as Mangotsfield took the lead after just five minutes. Geraint Bater’s speculative long-range shot looked to carry little menace, but evaded Jamie Jackson's dive and found the back of the net.

The visitors from Bristol then had a great chance to double their lead, but Mitchell Page slipped as he turned in the box, and his shot dribbled harmlessly wide.

The first real test for visiting ‘keeper Tony Court was a simple one, as he stooped to gather Tommy Hayes’ 25-yard drive, and he then comfortably gathered Bowden-Haase’s header as Slough attempted to up the tempo - but with the Rebels missing natural width in Sealey, Herron and Sinclair, creativity was lacking.

Hayes, playing on the right side of midfield, went close as he powerfully volleyed Craig O’Connor’s cross a yard or so over the bar.

Slough’s injury woes continued as Danny Murphy was forced off with a leg injury after a painful-looking challenge with Jason Wood, which the referee missed. The left-back was replaced by Ryan Fenton in a like-for-like switch.

The first real controversial incident of the game occurred shortly before half-time with the dismissal of Mangotsfield’s Dan Spill. Having previously been cautioned, the midfielder engaged in a fair-looking challenge for the ball with Rob Kean - however the referee decided that his challenge was dangerous and dismissed Spill, to the genuine bemusement of many around Holloways Park.

With the man advantage, Slough looked to gain control of the match, and started the second half positively, Simon Martin sending a left-foot shot wide after a mistake by Arndale.

Slough began to pile on the pressure, Martin sending a header inches over from Hayes’ corner, before Hayes himself wastefully side-footed wide from the edge of the box after a Martin flick.

Mangotsfield were restricted to counter-attacks, and almost caught Slough out as a long ball forward put Tom Knighton clean through, but Jackson spread himself to block superbly.

Midway through the half, Slough were reduced to ten players with the dismissal of Fenton for his second yellow card in the space of five minutes. Jason Wood got free on the right, and after one Slough tackle was evaded, Fenton hacked Wood down with a lunging challenge, leaving the referee no alternative.

The game took another twist on 70 minutes with an equaliser for the Rebels. Hayes delivered another super cross from a corner, and Graeme Edwards headed back into the middle for O’Connor to nod home his second goal in as many games.

However, just a few minutes later, O’Connor was dismissed for an incident which the referee interpreted as aggressive behaviour. As he was chasing for the ball by the dugouts, he attempted a clearance which cannoned back off the wall near the Mangotsfield bench. In another controversial decision, the referee decided that there had been aggressive intent and dismissed the striker, making it 9 vs. 10 for the remainder of the game.

Handicapped by this decision, Slough still looked to push on and win the game, and Court had to parry away Martin’s shot as Arndale blasted a cross-shot just wide at the other end. Court was then tested again by Edgeworth, the ‘keeper making an excellent save at full stretch.

The visitors brought on Luke Prosser and Matt Knapman in an attempt to freshen things up and stretch Slough further, and there were chances for both sides to take the tie in the closing stages. Hayes beat Court to the ball from Buchanan’s cross, but was only able to fire over the bar. Then Jackson made another good save from Knighton, before an almighty scramble in the goalmouth, but the danger was cleared.

Dean Harper replaced Graeme Edwards in the closing stages, with the former Crystal Palace player having picked up a shoulder injury, to give manager Steve Bateman yet another problem and much to think about for the replay at Cossham Street on Tuesday evening.

Mangotsfield Utd Line up

1. Tony Court, 2. Neil Arndale, 3. Rob Smith, 4. James Pilling, 5. Rob Scott ©, 6. Mike Trought, 7. Jason Wood (14. Luke Prosser), 8. Geraint Bater, 9. Mitchell Page (15. Matt Knapman), 10. Tom Knighton, 11. Dan Spill. Unused subs: 12. Ryan Bennett, 16. Daine O'Conner, 17. Jack Alward.

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