The hosts looked to stamp their authority in the opening stages of the game, but whilst Tooting had most of the possession and a strong wind on their side, the threat to Ricky Perks’ goal was restricted mainly to long shots.
Slough came into the game strongly and enjoyed a good spell of pressure. Chris Herron, returning from injury, crossed to the near post but the ball was nicked away from Martin just in time. From the resulting corner, Paul Edgeworth’s header sailed wide.
Another dangerous cross from Herron, who ran onto the ball following clever build-up play involving Martin, resulted in a goalmouth scramble as the Tooting defence started to look shaky.
The Rebels were made to regret not scoring in this spell of pressure, as Tooting scored two quick-fire goals against the run of play with their first two real chances.
On 24 minutes, a cross went over the head of Bowden-Haase and the ball fell to dangerman Paul Vines, who reacted quickly to rifle into the bottom corner.
Tooting doubled their lead when, following a blocked shot, a cross came back in to the far post where Dean Harper was left exposed against two strikers. Nelson knocked the ball down to the unmarked Aaron Goode who finished low and hard past Perks.
More poor defending followed as Simon Parker latched onto a simple long ball over the top, but his attempted lob over Perks was too high.
The next goal would be crucial to the game as a contest, and Mo Sharif replaced Craig O’Connor at half time as Elliot Buchanan moved to operate through the middle.
The change almost had an immediate effect as Sharif combined with Buchanan, but the latter blazed his shot well over the bar. Harper headed wide from a corner as Slough started the second half strongly. However the Rebels were soon dealt another injury blow as Edgeworth limped off, to be replaced by Sam Bateman.
Just a minute later, Tooting punished Slough from another long ball as Hamlin’s deep cross was headed across Perks and into the far corner by Jamie Byatt, to all but seal the Terrors’ progress.
However, Slough were not dead and buried and defender Nathan Bowden Haase continued his superb goal-a-round record in this season’s FA Cup run by bagging his fifth goal of the season. A fine inswinging corner from Tommy Hayes, who had just replaced Herron, was volleyed into the roof of the net to give Slough hope.
Slough continued the pressure as Sharif’s shot was blocked, but with Steve Bateman’s side throwing caution to the wind, Tooting were finding acres of space on the break, and a ball across to the middle was almost converted by Vines, but Perks made a brave stop low at the striker’s feet.
Aaron Goode had another sniff at goal soon after as Tooting looked to kill the game off, but Perks saved and gathered the ball with Vines again lurking.
On another break, Allan McLeod’s scuffed effort was tipped wide by Perks, but Slough snatched another goal back on 87 minutes to ensure a frantic last few minutes. Hayes, who had really made a difference after entering the game, crossed from the right and Buchanan controlled before finishing low past Dave King.
Slough were well on top in the closing stages, but were left disappointed after Simon Martin was bundled over by a Tooting defender in the box, but the referee waved the appeals away and Slough pressed forward again.
At the death, every Slough player including Ricky Perks went forward for a late corner, but Simon Sweeney headed over as Tooting held on to claim their place in the Fourth Qualifying Round.
Slough Town Line Up
- 1 Ricky Perks
- 2 Simon Sweeney
- 3 Danny Murphy
- 4 Rob Kean
- 5 Nathan Bowden-Haase
- 6 Dean Harper
- 7 Chris Herron
- 8 Elliott Buchanan
- 9 Simon Martin
- 10 Craig O'Connor
- 11 Paul Edgeworth
Tooting & Mitcham Utd Line up
Dave King, Dean Hamlin, Jamie Byatt, Mitchell Nelson, Joe Vines (c) (Mike Haverin), Matt York, Allan McLeod, Aaron Goode, Paul Vines, Simon Parker (Craig Pitterson), Colin Hartburn (Sam Clayton). Subs not used: Jason Henry, Adam Fletcher.