The ‘Farmy Army’ came into the game with nothing to lose having never progressed this far in the FA Cup before. Two leagues separated the sides but once again Slough fail to beat lower league opposition at home in the competition, following the draw in the last round against Sholing.
The first chance of the game came to Bristol as Troy Simpson found himself through on goal but out wide and couldn’t squeeze his shot past Jack Turner, however the ball did spin goalward and a goal mouth scramble ensued. After several shots and blocks the ball was eventually cleared and the Rebels blew a sigh of relief.
Minutes later, Slough shook this off and took the lead themselves. Chris Flood put in a looping cross which Warren Harris controlled and laid off to the penalty spot where Mathew Stevens was on hand to fire in.
A few minutes later Stevens nearly doubled the score but couldn’t keep his header down. At the other end of the pitch, Simpson again found himself one-on-one and lobbed Turner but saw his effort go across goal and wide. Moments later Slough had another scare as Owen Howe hit a hard shot but only found the side netting. After a few close moments Slough were gifted a free kick 22 yards out in a perfect position for James Dobson, but his attempt was poor and easily blocked by the wall.
The game then calmed down a bit and Slough were left to try a few long-range shots; first Josh Jackman saw his effort spilled by the keeper before reclaiming, then Dobson saw his shot go just wide.
The next Slough chance came after some great passing football pulling gaps in the Bristol defence, with Dobson eventually finding enough space to shoot but a late sliding effort blocked the shot before the ball came back to Dobson moments later - but this time he could do nothing more than drag his effort wide.
The final chance of the half came to Stevens, but surrounded by three defenders he struggled to get a shot on goal.
Slough had the first chance of the second half as Stevens played in Dobson but he couldn’t control his shot and it went well over.
The Rebels, now starting to waste too many chances were punished as Owen Howe was played in, beating the offside trap, and he brilliantly curled his shot around the on-rushing Turner with the ball hitting the post before going in.
But Slough – who had only just brought on Sean Fraser in place of Scott Davies - would regain the lead with almost a carbon copy of their first goal. Dobson put in a deep cross which was played back by Warren Harris with Flood this time on hand to smash in through a crowd of players from the penalty spot.
Bristol Manor Farm were never worried at any point in the game and continued with their game plan, and were nearly rewarded a few minutes after Slough’s second goal but Howe couldn’t keep his shot down. Slough themselves were also pushing for more and nearly got a third on 70 minutes as Dobson hit another firm shot but was well saved.
Minutes later Slough hit the bar again from a Stevens volley but it wouldn’t have counted as he was flagged offside.
Then, on 76 minutes Bristol were awarded a free kick just inside the Slough half in the centre circle but had to wait a minute to take as substitutions were being made. However, when the free kick was taken the Slough defence made a complete mess of it, with the ball evading everyone and going through the legs of Turner, leaving Howe with the ball at his feet and an empty net. He made no mistake and equalised.
The game wasn’t over though and Slough should have had a chance to win it. First Dobson hit a vicious dipping shot which beat Ben John in the Bristol goal but hit the underside of the bar. In the aftermath George Wells hit another hard shot which looked to have been blocked by a hand, but the officials waved play on.
The game then petered out as Bristol ensured a second bite of the cherry at The Creek on Tuesday evening.
Slough Town Line Up
- 1 Jack Turner
- 2 Josh Jackman
- 3 George Wells
- 4 Sam Togwell
- 5 Mark Nisbet
- 6 Lee Togwell
- 7 James Dobson
- 8 Scott Davies 14
- 9 Chris Flood 18
- 10 Mathew Stevens
- 11 Warren Harris 15
Bristol Manor Farm Line up
Ben John, Iain Harvey, Aron Robbins, Stuart Tovey, Steve Kingdon (c), Rex Mannings (Pete Shephard 77), Jordan Metters, Troy Simpson, Dean Stamp, Owen Howe, Ashley Kington. Unused substitutes: Mark Badman, James White, Tom Lacey, Connolly Jarrett.