A point apiece does not do much for either side’s promotion hopes, with Daventry trying to keep in touch with the top sides and Slough needing to pick up maximum points from their games in hand, but Slough were perhaps fortunate to come away with a draw.
Steve Perkins made a surprise return for a Slough side short of central defenders, whilst Daventry handed Marcus Jackson a debut at right-back.
Daventry, attacking the bar end in the first half, went closest to scoring as James Warrington pushed a shot from Ross Oulton away, with Adam Confue denied in the resulting goalmouth scramble.
The first of a few controversial decisions came on the quarter hour mark as referee Mark Engelbretson awarded Daventry a penalty kick. Jamie Gould’s long throw in found Neil King, who got in a shot which looked to be flying over until it hit Adam Martin, with the referee adjudging it to have hit the Slough man on the arm. Martin and others were furious as the ball was struck from such close range, but Gould made no mistake in sending Warrington the wrong way from the penalty spot. Frustration at the decision was clear to see as Martin was cautioned for dissent, as was Dan Burnell in the second period.
With 28 minutes played, Slough were awarded a penalty which was probably more controversial than the first. Daventry goalkeeper Richard Morris rushed out of his goal to get a hand to the ball and divert it away from Ed Smith, but Engelbretson saw it as a foul on the Slough striker and awarded the spot-kick, much to the anger of the visitors. Smith, on penalty duty after Burnell’s miss at Hayes, stepped up and calmly beat Morris with a strike down the middle of the goal. It was to be Smith’s last meaningful contribution, as he limped out of the action on the half-hour mark with a calf injury, to be replaced by Ryan O’Toole.
Ten minutes into the second half, Slough’s frustrations spilled over again with the dismissal of Stuart Swift. The midfielder was shown two yellow cards in quick succession by Engelbretson. It followed a decision by the referee to give a corner after Neil King had struck the outside of Warrington’s post from 30 yards, obviously having seen a deflection which Swift disputed.
Slough responded as the industrious duo of Ashley Deeney and Jake Parsons combined, with the latter firing wide from the edge of the box.
Daventry had the better of the chances in the second half, notably for Liam Dolman, who blazed a shot over the bar after Gould’s free kick was headed down by Kyle Cartwright.
Later, Adam Confue stormed through the heart of the Slough defence and played in Ryan Howell, whose strike beat Warrington but was kicked off the line by Danny Murphy to deny Daventry again.
Slough were by no means finished though, and Daventry were themselves reduced to ten men in the final ten minutes when Oulton brought down Martin 20 yards out and was shown his second yellow card. From the resulting free kick, Ollie Burgess looked to have scored a dramatic winning goal, but saw his shot bounce down off the crossbar and away to safety.
Daventry Town Line up
Richard Norris, Marcus Jackson, Jamie Gould, Guy Sanders (c), Liam Dolman, Kyle Cartwright, Adam Confue, Neil King, Ashley Robinson, Ryan Howell (Scott Cross), Ross Oulton. Substitutes not used: Joss Holford, Eyasin Hussain, Mykel Beckley, Nat Liburd.