While Slough’s quality and superior finishing ability shone through in the end, it was far from plain sailing for Steve Bateman’s side, as the visitors took a 26th-minute lead and matched their higher-ranked opponents for much of the game, spurning a number of chances - and Slough only sealed the win five minutes from the end of a contest interrupted in the second half due to inclement weather.
With Alex Brown absent as well as James Warrington, Simon Grant continued in goal with Ollie Burgess coming in to the starting eleven. Bateman opted for a 4-4-2 formation and it looked to take Slough some time to settle into the game.
The visitors looked lively and up for the challenge, and after Danny Murphy had fired Slough’s first attempt well wide, Adam Logie did well to tackle and prevent a scoring opportunity after Corinthian forwards Alfie May and Adam Marsh had failed to get a shot in.
With around twenty minutes played, Slough were awarded a penalty after a Corinthian defender handled. Dan Burnell stepped up, but his effort came back off a post. Less than a minute later, Burnell had a chance to redeem himself, but Corinthian keeper Ryan Burbridge denied him when one-on-one.
Slough were made to pay though as Corinthian scored on a break. Rob Denness strode forward, cut inside and left Ashley Deeney grounded, and fired past Grant’s fingertips and into the bottom corner.
Soon after, May fired inches wide as Corinthian looked to snatch a half-time lead. But a minute before the break, Burnell won a free kick which Burgess delivered into the six yard box towards an unmarked Nathan Bowden-Haase, who gave Burbridge no chance with his header into the bottom corner.
Early in the second half, Slough came closest to going ahead, twice through Bowden-Haase again – first, a blocked shot and soon after, a good save from Burbridge denied him after Burnell had cleverly laid the ball off.
Corinthian could easily have gone ahead as a poor throw from Grant ended up at the feet of May in an excellent position, but he blazed over. Then, dangerman Denness was a threat again, skipping past the challenges of David Deeney and Bowden-Haase before curling a shot wide.
But Slough went ahead with 63 minutes played with an exceptional goal from Burnell. Corinthian let a long ball from the back bounce, and Burnell latched onto it, smashing a volley in off the bar and into the far corner from a seemingly impossible angle – an early contender for goal of the season.
Just three minutes later, it was 3-1. For all their good work, space opened up on the flanks and Burgess fed Burnell on the right, whose first-time ball across the face of goal beat two defenders and reached Sean Sonner, who side footed in from close range.
Corinthian made a triple substitution to try and change things around, but with about twenty minutes remaining, a massive rain and hail storm descended on Holloways Park, making play extremely difficult for all concerned, so much so that referee Matt Eva took the players off for around ten minutes and waited for the rain fall to lighten.
Slough had also brought on Sean Fraser and Stuart Swift for Burgess and Murphy, and the enforced break changed the dynamics of the game. Within a minute or so of the restart, Corinthian pulled a goal back. A ball across from the right was touched on by Fraser but only to James Billings, who beat Grant at his near post. The goal was initially in doubt due to a linesman’s flag for offside, but referee Eva awarded the goal as Fraser, and not a Corinthian player, had touched the ball through.
Sonner could then have scored again, but Burbridge tipped over his attempted chip, and Dave Woozley headed the resulting corner just over.
Corinthian then hit the post as Slough gave the ball away cheaply - not for the first time – Denness again the man responsible.
With five minutes left, Slough finally killed off the spirited challenge from Corinthian. Ashley Deeney found space for a low cross from the right which was blocked by a combination of Burbridge and a defender; Burnell was tackled as he looked to pounce, but the ball rolled on for Sonner to shoot high into the goal and seal Slough’s progress.
Burnell could have added a fifth late on, showing excellent control to bring down a long pass from Sonner, but he was denied by Burbridge and James Lyons covering in the goalmouth.
Slough Town Line Up
- 1 Simon Grant
- 2 Ashley Deeney
- 3 Danny Murphy 12
- 4 Ollie Burgess 15
- 5 Nathan Bowden-Haase
- 6 David Woozley
- 7 Adam Logie
- 8 David Deeney 16
- 9 Danny Burnell
- 10 Sean Sonner
- 11 Dominic Rhone
Corinthian Line up
Ryan Burbridge, Chris Kinnear, Ben Wilson, Josh James, Charlie Burgess, James Lyons (c), Jamie Taylor, Ryan Johnson, Alfie May, Adam Marsh, Rob Denness. Subs: Joe Minter, Lee Woodyard, James Billings, Jamie Nuttall, Callum Appleby.