Both teams play on a 3G pitch at home and enjoy a slick surface, but the torrential rain made conditions tricky and neither side could get into the passing rhythm they would have wanted.
The first chance of the match fell to Sutton as Charlie Clough rose highest at a free kick with his header falling to skipper Jamie Collins, but his effort was easily saved by Jack Turner who will have been happy to get an early save to boost his confidence.
Slough then had a few corners but James Dobson was unable to pick out a blue Slough shirt and Jamie Butler was able to claim the ball for Sutton.
As the clouds darkened and threatened the downpour which would soon follow, Kieron Cadogan got in behind the Slough defence but couldn’t get his shot on target. A few moments later Cadogan was involved again but his cross was wild and flew well over the goal and out of play.
With 24 minutes gone, Slough had one of their best chances to take the lead as Warren Harris fired in a stinging shot from the edge of the box which Butler could only parry, and the ball sat up kindly for Ben Harris to strike but he could only hit his shot into the ground before the ball bounced over the goal.
The rain started to fall heavily and the action slowed as players struggled to control the slippery ball. Sutton would however manage to create a few half chances, but each time the final shot cleared Turner’s crossbar.
On 36 minutes Slough thought they were through on goal as Ben Harris had beaten the last defender but referee Sam Purkiss called play back. Harris had clearly handled the ball in the build up which the referee had spotted and he showed the Slough striker a yellow card - very quickly followed by another caution for Butler for dissent, ruling him out of the replay through suspension.
Half time arrived with the game goalless, but not before Sutton were forced into a change as Dale Bennett fell awkwardly on his back. He was replaced by the experienced Nicky Bailey.
The second half started with a chance for Sutton as Jonah Ayunga was played through but his shot was well saved by Jack Turner.
In a frantic start to the half, Turner made a save and then quickly released Dobson on a counter attack. Dobson’s early cross from the left found Ben Harris, who tried to place a first-time volley into the bottom corner, only to see his effort saved by Butler.
Slough were now starting to get on top of what had been a very even match. Dobson drove forward again and saw his shot deflected just wide of the post with Butler scrambling across his goal. Shortly after, George Wells stormed through the middle of the pitch as the defence split, but he also saw his shot deflected wide. On another occasion, Wells whipped in an excellent delivery but Butler came out well and punched the ball clear just in front of Stevens.
With the hosts not having much luck in front of goal, they made their final two changes, taking off Ayunga and Aaron Drinan and bringing on Dean Beckwith and Wayne Brown. Sutton also made a tactical change, moving centre back Clough into attack.
Slough, meanwhile, introduced Manny Williams in place of Ben Harris. Sutton’s changes didn’t seem to affect the flow of the game, nor the Rebels’ dominance – and on 74 minutes Slough were denied their best chance of winning the match.
Dobson once again played in a dangerous cross which Butler spilled. The keeper then pushed Warren Harris’ follow-up shot into the air, and as Stevens moved into position to nod the ball into an empty net, Beckwith grappled him to the ground. Referee Purkiss had a clear view of the incident but decided against awarding the penalty, to the surprise of both sides.
Late on, Sutton went close to snatching the game when Clough showed good control to push the ball past Mark Nisbet before firing in a low shot which Turner pushed around the post.
Clough later sent a header wide from a corner, and deep into stoppage time, Slough won a late corner of their own, but Scott Davies’ delivery was too long and both sides will now be looking out for ball number 32 in Monday evening’s draw.
Report: Will Tuck
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 16
- 8 Scott Davies
- 9 Ben Harris 19
- 10 Mathew Stevens
- 11 Warren Harris
Sutton United Line up
Jamie Butler, Dale Bennett (Nicky Bailey 44), Aswad Thomas, Charlie Clough, Jamie Collins (c), Tom Bolarinwa, Kenny Davis, Jonah Ayunga (Dean Beckwith 64), Kieron Cadogan, Craig Eastmond, Aaron Drinan (Wayne Brown 64). Unused substitutes: Ross Worner, Harry Beautyman, Dan Wishart, Josh Taylor.