With the match switched from its original midweek slot due to neither side having a league match, a good crowd was in attendance to watch an entertaining local derby in which both sides fielded a strong team.
The early attacking threat came from the hosts, and in particular Harry Pritchard out wide on the left. He was certainly the Magpies’ most influential player in the early stages and he showed his quality by whipping in a deep cross which the returning Ryan Lake had to head behind.
Slough’s left winger, Darren Wheeler, found a bit of space on the edge of the box following a good Slough move, but his shot was well blocked as Maidenhead snuffed out the threat. They then almost took the lead through Danny Green, whose fierce drive was kept out by Jake Somerville, and then striker Michael Malcolm had two chances to beat the keeper, but he could only shoot into the side netting.
The Rebels were a threat going forward too, particularly Scott Harris, who was a nuisance for centre-halves Matt Ruby and Mark Nisbet all afternoon. The striker had two glorious chances to opening the scoring, but after Latvian international goalkeeper Elvijs Putnins kept out the first, Harris dragged the second well wide on his left foot.
With 13 minutes played, Slough took a surprise lead following a superb move. Jamie McClurg fed Wheeler on the left, and he whipped in a low cross into a dangerous area, and Harris was on hand to tuck past Putnins.
Immediately after, Somerville needed to be at his best again to keep out Malcolm, with Guy Hollis putting pressure on the striker. Maidenhead upped the tempo, with Pritchard again their main protagonist. His delivery from the left side, though, was dealt with well by the Slough rearguard.
After a frenetic opening 20 minutes, the game settled down somewhat, though Slough’s intensity and commitment did not - the Rebels keeping Maidenhead at bay fairly comfortably whilst looking a threat in attack.
Despite this, the hosts got back on level terms with around half an hour played. Reece Tison-Lascaris worked hard down the left to create an opening, and he pulled the ball back into the middle, where Green controlled and fired past Somerville.
Slough almost immediately went back in front, but Harris put a shot just past the post – however, shortly after, the Rebels were awarded a penalty after Ollie Burgess was held back by Pritchard as he looked to run clear. He appeared fortunate not to be punished with a card, but Ed Smith made no mistake from the spot, sending Putnins the wrong way.
A minute before half time, Slough extended their lead when Harris flicked on a Wheeler corner, and Dave Woozley was on hand at the far post to power a header past Putnins.
Even before the whistle, the hosts should have pulled one back, but Green headed over Rhys Paul’s cross from a good position.
The onus was on Maidenhead to put Slough under pressure in the second half, and Bobby Behzadi replaced Daniel Brown at the interval. Smart link-up play between McClurg and Smith ended with the latter curling an effort well wide, whilst full-back Leon Solomon played an inviting ball across goal, but no player in black and white attacked it.
With confidence flowing throughout the side, Sean Fraser was also able to join the attack, finding space to run into, but he fired over from 25 yards. Ed Smith almost found himself with a clear run on goal soon after, but as he tried to round Putnins, the keeper got a vital touch to the ball and Nisbet was able to hack the ball behind.
Slough looked in no mood to let the lead slip, maintaining their level of hard work and commitment throughout, and with firm but fair tackles flying in, this was an entertaining cup tie to watch. As the second half wore on, Jake Somerville was called on to keep the score at 1-3, saving well from Behzadi, and the defence in front of him held firm under increasing pressure.
Dave Woozley almost scored a second for Slough, but he headed a Wheeler corner wide – meanwhile Maidenhead continued to try and find a route to goal, but Green put a header wide and Pritchard sent a dipping shot just wide of Somerville’s goal. Pritchard would not finish the match, limping off in the final ten minutes, leaving his side to play on with ten men, having made all three permitted substitutions.
Somerville saved once more from Tony Mendy as the game drew to a close, but Slough were not to be denied a deserved victory against their higher-ranked rivals, and now progress to a home tie against Wycombe Wanderers in November.
Maidenhead United Line up
Elvijs Putnins, Rhys Paul (Shay Khosrowshahi), Leon Solomon, Daniel Brown (Bobby Behzadi), Mark Nisbet (c), Matt Ruby, Danny Green, Adrian Clifton, Michael Malcolm (Tony Mendy), Harry Pritchard, Reece Tison-Lascaris. Subs not used: Jonathan Hippolyte, Matt Pegler.