With a number of players injured or carrying knocks, managers Neil Baker and Jon Underwood drafted in defender Damien Smith on a dual-registration basis from Bracknell Town, and brought Michael Blount into the team, after a spell at Walton & Hersham. With skipper Adam Foulser still not fit to start, the managers were forced to shuffle the pack and bring Sean Fraser in to a midfield role, with Wes Harrison starting at right-back.
Cirencester arrived to Holloways Park having lost two of their first four games in the South & West division, like their hosts in the Central. Slough seemed to find it difficult to click as a team, but Darren Wheeler, despite carrying an injury, was often a threat, and almost caught Glen Garner out early on, but his shot from a distance hit the side netting.
Wheeler later hit Slough’s best effort of the first half, forcing Garner to tip over the bar, and Johnnie Dyer headed a cross over the bar.
Ollie Burgess tried his luck as the ball fell to his feet, but his shot was blocked in the goalmouth by Shayne Anson. Cirencester’s best chance of the half came when Aidan Bennett broke free of his marker on the right, but with lots of time to pick out a cross, put the ball straight into the arms of Jake Somerville. Overall it was a first half of few chances, with neither side able to keep possession and play football on the ground.
Slough broke the deadlock ten minutes into the second period with a well-taken goal from the danger man, Wheeler. Eddie Smith’s ball over the top of the Cirencester defence found the forward, who lobbed the ball over the onrushing Garner and into the net.
The Rebels could only hold onto the lead for a mere five minutes though, as the visitors hit back. Sam Collier struck his shot wide of Somerville after a strong run by Bennett in the Slough right-back position.
Cirencester could have taken the lead had Joe Shepherd arrived a bit quicker at the back post to meet a low cross from Lee Smith, but he put the ball wide after stretching to meet it. Veteran striker Jody Bevan then almost set up a goal, outpacing Harrison before crossing in for Shepherd again, but this time Somerville was equal to his headed effort.
Lee Smith struck a free kick against Somerville’s crossbar late on, but the game ended in a draw, meaning the tie will be settled at The Corinium on Tuesday.
Slough Town Line Up
- 1 Jake Somerville
- 2 Wes Harrison
- 3 Ryan Lake 15
- 4 Michael Blount
- 5 David Woozley
- 6 Ben Edwards
- 7 Johnnie Dyer 14
- 8 Ollie Burgess
- 9 Edward Smith
- 10 Darren Wheeler 12
- 11 Sean Fraser
Cirencester Town Line up
Glen Garner, Shayne Anson (c), Ellis Dunton, James Mortimer-Jones, Jon Beedon, Leigh Henry, Joe Shepherd, Brad Hooper (Tim Bond), Sam Collier (Jody Bevan), Aidan Bennett (Jack Smith), Lee Smith. Subs not used: Dean Bromley, Kieran Jones.