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The Vanarama National League South
2nd
33pts

Slough knocked out of FA Cup after replay defeat

| FA Cup
Att: 631
Slough Town
S Togwell (50), Lench (74)
2 - 3
Chippenham Town
Jarvis (42), Haines (54), Chambers (84)
Matthew Lench
Slough Town exited the Emirates FA Cup with this Third Round Qualifying replay defeat against Chippenham.

With Josh Jackman out injured Sean Fraser took his place, while Dan Roberts was dropped in favour of Max Worsfold as the Rebels went back to a 4-5-1.

Within the first minute of the game Chippenham had their first shot on goal through Karnell Chambers but he dragged his effort across goal and wide.

The Rebels responded immediately with Lee Togwell pushing forward and seeing his shot blocked before Sean Fraser crossed the ball in for Warren Harris who couldn’t keep his header below the cross bar.

Slough were starting to get the better of possession early on and found Max Worsfold getting the better of his defender more often than not; on one occasion twisting him inside out before hitting a low shot which Will Puddy saved well.

On 24 minutes the Slough fans momentarily thought their team had taken the lead. A wonderful cross-field ball from George Wells found Warren Harris in space with his cross beating the Chippenham defence, allowing Ben Harris a free header which he placed hard and low into the corner. With the Rebels fans starting to celebrate, they were cut short when Puddy did brilliantly to get a hand to the ball and push it around the post.

Slough had a succession of corners which were dealt with before being awarded a free kick in a similar position to which they scored their first on Saturday. Worsfold stepped up this time but his effort was tame and easily saved by Puddy.

Once again Worsfold got the better of his man and was able to cut inside but was pushed along the edge of the 18-yard box before seeing his shot blocked, with Ben Harris unable to do much with the follow up. However, the ball bounced kindly towards Warren Harris who half volleyed it towards goal but narrowly over.

With Chippenham reduced to the rare counter attacks they opened the scoring against the run of play on 42 minutes. A great diagonal ball forward found Zebrowski, who seemingly handled the ball to control it, and his cross into the box wasn’t dealt with by Slough, allowing Nat Jarvis time and space to control and play the ball past Jack Turner.

The half ended with Zebrowski picking up his second yellow card in two matches, though many were confused as to what had happened with the incident occurring well off the ball.

Slough started the second half with purpose and soon earned a corner when Puddy flapped at a cross. Worsfold took the corner and played in an inswinging cross which no-one seemed to be prepared for with Sam Togwell reacting quickest to steer the ball into the net to level the scores.

However, the score wasn’t level for long as the ball bounced up nicely for Luke Haines who tried his luck with a fantastic curling and dipping effort from 30 yards out which flew away from Turner and into the top corner to put the visitors ahead.

Slough then made their changes and reverted back to a 4-4-2 in search of goals. Ben Harris, Sean Fraser and Scott Davies were replaced by Dan Roberts, Simon Dunn and Ryan Bird.

The Rebels began to dominate possession and territory but were always wary they were vulnerable to Chippenham’s pace on the counter attack.

Some good crosses from Lee Togwell, by now playing at right back, and Worsfold were giving the Rebels hope they would get at least one good chance to equalise. That chance nearly came to Warren Harris but his shot was deflected and only just spun the wrong side of the post.

The equaliser would come on 74 minutes. An initial corner from Matt Lench was punched away by Puddy but the ball was worked back out wide to Lench who crossed in looking for a Slough head. However, no one got a touch to the ball and it curled in to the back post and in the side netting giving Slough a second bizarre goal but one they would happily accept.

Slough continued to apply pressure looking for a winner, with Lench, Worsfold and Warren Harris all putting in dangerous crosses. But, Chippenham were always confident that on one of their growing number of counter-attacks that they themselves could get a goal. And they did exactly that - Zebrowski beat the offside trap, putting him clean through and able to find Karnell Chambers to score from close range with Turner left defenceless.

The Rebels now had no choice but to commit men forward but in doing so leaving themselves exposed at the back, needing to survive one more counter-attack scare with the ball travelling across the face of goal.

Into injury time and with Jack Turner now playing in midfield, Slough threw everything they had at Chippenham. The Rebels managed one final chance - the ball played out to Dan Roberts on the right, who cut inside and shot with his left foot but it was saved by Puddy with the ball going into the air for an onrushing Warren Harris. All he needed to do was get a touch to put it in but somehow got too much on it and sent the ball over the bar from close range.

In less than a heartbeat everyone inside Arbour Park had gone from ecstasy thinking Warren had forced extra time, to complete deflation when the referee blew for full time immediately after to seal a 3-2 defeat.

After two entertaining matches, not for the faint of heart, Chippenham eventually progressed to a Fourth Round Qualifying tie at Whyteleafe.

Chippenham Town Line up

Will Puddy, Jay Foulston, George Rigg, Chris Zebrowski, Callum Gunner, Nat Jarvis (Luke Hopper 75), Kieran Parselle (c), Elias Youssef (Harry Rutter 90), Curtis McDonald, Karnell Chambers, Luke Haines. Unused substitutes: Rhys Tyler, Tariq Ossai, Adriel George, David Pratt.

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