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Sat Feb 24

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Tonbridge Angels (A)
Sat Feb 24 15:00
The Vanarama National League South

FA Cup: Rebels seal trip to Eastbourne Borough

Bristol Manor Farm

Bristol Manor Farm

Slough Town

Slough Town

Wells (15), W Harris (35), Stevens (51), Soares (82)
FA Cup Attendance: 541 Manny Williams
Slough Town sealed a trip to Eastbourne Borough in Fourth Round Qualifying on Saturday 20 October with this replay win at Bristol Manor Farm.

Both teams made changes from the original tie, with Manor Farm able to bring back players who had been previously suspended. However, these changes weren’t enough for the home side to overcome their higher ranked opponents.

The match started off fairly cagey with both teams knowing the first goal would be all important. Slough had the first chance of any note as James Dobson struck his long range shot clear over the bar after creating himself some space.

On 15 minutes Slough were awarded a free kick in their own half which Turner hit long towards Ben John in the Bristol goal, who spilled the ball with Mathew Stevens first to react. His quickly-hit shot was blocked and cleared. However, the clearance wasn’t good enough and moments later George Wells found some space on the corner of the box and hit a low driven shot which beat everyone and nestled in the corner of the goal, to give Slough first blood.

Like on Saturday, Manor Farm believed in their ability and just minutes after conceding nearly grabbed themselves an equaliser. Ashley Kington whipped in a free kick which just evaded everyone going across goal but there were strong claims for a penalty from the hosts as they felt a player had been held back.

There were more shouts for a penalty a few minutes later as Owen Howe broke free out wide and as Jack Turner came to jockey him towards the corner, Howe went down under minimal contact. Manor Farm wanted a penalty but the referee ruled the foul just outside the box and brandished the yellow card to Turner.

Slough, blowing a sigh of relief, got back in control of the match with Manny Williams holding off several players to create himself some space to cross to Stevens, but his header wasn’t strong enough and was blocked off the line by a defender.

On 25 minutes a long free kick came into the box from Slough which Stevens headed back to the edge of the box where Warren Harris was waiting, first controlling the ball on his thigh before volleying a dipping shot which was well saved by the keeper.

Both teams were still creating chances but Slough were troubling the goal more often and on 35 minutes the Rebels doubled their lead.

Some neat one-twos between Williams and Stevens led to the latter finding himself in the box but confronted by two defenders – however with some quick thinking he found a through ball to the onrushing Warren Harris who hit his shot first time into the roof of the net to give Slough a second goal and a cushion.

At 2-0 down there was still plenty of fight left in the “Farmy Army” and Aron Robbins drove forward before unleashing a powerful shot which Turner couldn’t hold onto. The ball spun toward goal and Manor Farm appealed for a penalty as they felt Mark Nisbet blocked the ball with his arm. The referee waved away the claims though, and Slough went into the break two goals up and with eleven men still on the pitch.

The second half was one-way traffic for long periods as Slough found plenty of space going forward with the Manor Farm defence left exposed by the rest of the team pushing forward looking to get back in the game.

It didn’t take long for Slough to make the most of this space as just six minutes into the half, Williams played in Stevens who kept his cool to chip the onrushing keeper. During the celebrations Williams was struck by Manor Farm goalkeeper John, which was missed by the officials and instead the Slough striker was booked for his complaints.

The Slough defence were strong all game and kept a high line, often catching their opposition offside. Manor Farm went close to registering an unlikely goal when John sent forward a huge kick which Jack Turner let bounce in front of him and had to readjust quickly to stop the ball going over his head and into the net.

As the game went on Slough began to create chances every couple of minutes as they found so much space on the counter-attack. But huge credit has to be given to the Manor Farm defence who kept their team in the match, throwing themselves at everything and putting in some fantastic saving tackles.

Despite having plenty of chances it took until the 82nd minute for Slough to get a fourth and truly kill off the game as a contest.

Warren Harris brought the ball down the right before crossing in. Substitute Ben Harris got a slight flick on the ball but it fell for another substitute, Louie Soares who connected with the ball and looped it over John and into the far corner of the goal.

The goal capped a convincing win for the Rebels, but the Bristol side showed over both matches they are full of fight and can more than match anyone they will come up against this season.

Bristol Manor Farm Lineup

Ben John, Stuart Tovey, Aron Robbins, Lloyd Mills, Steve Kingdon (c) (Rex Mannings 60), Chas Hemmings, Troy Simpson, Jamie Adams, Dean Stamp (Iain Harvey 84), Owen Howe (Pete Sheppard 70), Ashley Kington. Unused substitutes: Jordan Metters, Connolly Jarrett.


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