The Rebels changed back a 4-4-2 for this Second Round Qualifying match against Flackwell Heath, with Dan Roberts and Ben Harris leading the line. Lee Togwell and Simon Dunn were chosen ahead of Scott Davies and Matt Lench who both needed time to rest.
Slough didn’t waste any time in testing Flackwell goalkeeper Aaron Watkins. After just three minutes Max Worsfold found Sam Togwell from a corner, with his downward header bouncing up towards goal with Watkins needing to palm it over to avoid conceding.
Not long later Ben Harris rose highest from another corner, but his header went just over the goal and into the fans behind.
The Flackwell players were working hard to close the Rebels down and did well to limit their chances to a minimum, whilst the Slough defence kept a good line and often caught their opponents offside.
Ben Harris thought he had given Slough the lead on 18 minutes after a long cross from George Wells was left by the Flackwell defence, but when he took a touch to set himself before passing the ball past Watkins the linesman had his flag raised for offside.
Just after the half hour mark, Wells won the ball and released Worsfold down the wing. As he was being forced wide, Worsfold struck from a narrow angle and Watkins needed to tip it wide.
On 36 minutes a full minute of action ended with a Slough goal. An initial corner was headed by Ben Harris with his effort hitting James Burrell with the rebound falling to Simon Dunn - but his shot and a few others from Slough players were all blocked. Mark Nisbet had the ball on the edge of the box twisting one way then the other looking for space, before being brought down. From 22 yards with Dunn, Wells and Ben Harris all stood around the ball, Harris stepped up and calmly curled it over the wall and into the goal with Watkins rooted to the ground.
A few minutes later, Worsfold battled his way through a few defenders with the ball bouncing up at waist height. Having gained a yard of space, Worsfold half volleyed a shot just wide of the post and into the side netting.
Just before the half time whistle Flackwell finally beat the offside flag and were able to push forward with Josh Baines and Simeon Weekes. However, the Rebels defence were able to unsettle the attack and prevent them entering the box and getting off a shot.
One final chance arrived for Slough before the half time whistle. Jack Turner left his box to win the ball 25 yards out before sending a diagonal ball to Warren Harris. He held it up for Josh Jackman whose low cut back to the penalty spot found the one gap of the box with no-one in it.
Slough dominated the second half right from the off but weren’t able to test Watkins for a while. It took until the 64th minute for the Rebels to create their first real chance but they took it well, as Ben Harris volleyed in from Wells’ cross to double the lead.
The Flackwell defence didn’t get much respite during the match but the team created a few chances on the break. Second half substitute Leius Sinclair had two chances from tight angles but they were easily dealt with by Jack Turner.
Manny Williams came on as a substitute to make his 100th appearance in a Slough shirt and was able to crown it with a goal on 81 minutes. A fast attack down the right saw Warren Harris cross low with Williams tapping in from close range to send the Slough fans wild, belting out their many songs about the club legend.
The day was nearly capped off perfectly with a Ryan Bird goal but somehow his flicked attempt from close range rose up above the bar.
Slough Town joint manager Jon Underwood was pleased with his team’s performance saying they were ‘very professional’.
“These games are never easy, but our attitude was spot on. Flackwell defended well and made it a difficult game but tired late on and it made the last few minutes a little easier for us.”
Former Rebel and now Flackwell Heath manager Marcus Richardson noted:
“In the first half we gave as good as we got and competed really well. However, their quality came through and realistically they were the better team at the end.
“It’s always good playing against your old team, especially when they are a few levels above and you want to show that maybe we are a good enough team to compete against them, and then you get to realise when you’re in the game maybe you’re not, but it’s always a good test.”
Report: Will Tuck
Image: Slough Observer
Slough Town Line Up
- 1 Jack Turner
- 2 Josh Jackman 16
- 3 George Wells
- 4 Sam Togwell
- 6 Lee Togwell
- 7 Max Worsfold
- 9 Ben Harris 18
- 11 Warren Harris
- 13 Mark Nisbet
- 17 Dan Roberts 10
- 20 Simon Dunn
Flackwell Heath Line up
Aaron Watkins, Marcus Ushiro-Lumb, Brandon Eaton, James Burrell (Aaron Layne 56), Josh Casey, Josh Baines (c) (Leius Sinclair), Jack Taylor, Simeon Weekes, Ashley Howell (Tyler Gregory 70), James Mansfield. Unused substitutes: Daniel Bailey, Stone Muzinga.