In the unexpected October heat wave, Slough started superbly and took the lead with just seven minutes played. Stuart Swift, standing in for the suspended Danny Murphy at left-back, blasted a superb shot past Michael Jordan in the Boreham Wood goal from a free kick 25 yards out.
Swift went close with another free kick and Adam Martin was inches away from converting from a whipped corner kick, with Wood looking rattled.
The Hertfordshire side started to find their rhythm as the half wore on though, and James Warrington made a superb double save from Darren Currie and Woking loanee Nathan Koranteng.
With Slough well on top, the Rebels again lost Steve Sinclair to a recurrence of a hamstring injury which forced him off the previous Saturday against Daventry.
Warrington made another top save soon after, but, slightly against the run of play, Slough extended their lead with half an hour played. Boreham Wood lost the ball in midfield and Sinclair’s replacement, Charlie Mpi made an instant impact, sprinting clear and firing past Jordan from the edge of the box to register his first goal for the club.
Slough could have gone into the half-time break with a three goal lead, but Sean Sonner headed against the bar after Dan Burnell showed great footwork on the left wing to evade Charlie Hunter and make space for a cross.
Boreham Wood made changes at half time in an attempt to get back into the game, and ten minutes into the second period, the visitors pulled a goal back. Nathan Koranteng’s cross from the left deflected off Simon Sweeney and fortuitously onto the head of David Bryant, who headed past a stranded Warrington.
But just two minutes later, Slough restored their two goal cushion. Paul Coyne’s deep free kick was heading towards Nathan Bowden-Haase, and the big centre-back was dragged down to the ground by his shirt – but Sean Sonner got up at the far post to head across Jordan and into the far corner from an extremely tight angle.
Amazingly though, Wood scored again within a minute of the restart. Slough claimed that Koranteng had fouled Sweeney on the left wing, but play carried on and the winger crossed in for Bryant to slide in his second at the near post.
With energy levels sapped in the heat, Slough spent much of the final half hour on the back foot. Hearts were in mouths as Warrington spilled a long shot from Akinola, and Bryant nipped in to put the ball into the net and claim what he thought was his hat-trick – but he was thwarted by the linesman’s flag, as he was in an offside position when the shot was struck.
Charlie Mpi came agonisingly close to scoring again for Slough, which would have reduced the tension as the clock ticked down to full-time. His header from Sonner’s cross cannoned back off the bar, and straight back to him – but Jordan spread himself to block the follow-up shot superbly on the goal line.
With Slough starting to sit deep and allow Wood more time on the ball, Rebels supporters had a nail-biting wait for the final whistle, and Luke Wilkinson fired two yards wide and Akinola fired straight at Warrington from distance as the visitors piled on the pressure.
The game ended with some controversy before a nail-biting four minutes added time, as Wilkinson was shown only a yellow card after he appeared to catch substitute Ben Abbey in the face with his arm as the striker looked to break clear of the last defender – but Slough held on to claim a place in Monday’s draw for the Third Qualifying Round.
Slough Town Line Up
- 1 James Warrington
- 2 Simon Sweeney
- 3 Stuart Swift
- 4 Adam Martin
- 5 Nathan Bowden-Haase
- 6 David Woozley
- 7 Steve Sinclair 12
- 8 Paul Coyne
- 9 Danny Burnell 14
- 10 Sean Sonner
- 11 Adam Logie
Boreham Wood Line up
Michael Jordan, Charlie Hunter, Daniel Braithwaite, Justin Cochrane (c), Osei Sankofa, Luke Wilkinson, Sam Lechmere, Chez Isaac, David Bryant, Darren Currie, Nathan Koranteng. Subs: Inih Effiong, Simeon Akinola, Mark Jones, Karl Beckford, Elvijs Putnins.