Rebels earn FA Cup replay with stalemate at Salisbury



Slough Town

Slough Town

FA Cup Attendance: 761 Rohan Luthra
Slough Town and Salisbury will meet again on Tuesday night at Arbour Park for a replay of this Emirates FA Cup third round qualifying tie, after heroics from goalkeeper Rohan Luthra kept the Rebels in the competition, writes Freddie Gatrell.

A tough match against Southern League Premier South opponents Salisbury ended in a goalless draw after a testing 90 minutes. The Whites were impressive for large parts of the game, putting the Rebels' backline under immense strain. Despite this, Scott Davies' men held firm and will feel extremely lucky to come away unscathed, thanks to Luthra.

The first 30 minutes were a fairly closely contested affair, with no clear chances afforded to either side. The first meaningful effort fell at the feet of the troublesome Charlie Gunson in the 6th minute, with the attacker continuously testing the resolve of Luthra throughout both halves, but his early effort went narrowly wide.

As the match progressed, so did the intensity of the Whites' attacks, with Gunson keeping Luthra on his toes throughout. The Rebels' most meaningful effort came at the end of a positive spell in the latter stages of the first half when a dangerous Matt Lench corner was met by the head of Tyrese Dyce in the centre of the box, but the defender's headed effort flew just wide of Gould's goal.

The second half was difficult for the visiting Slough side, who looked lacking in ideas at the attacking end of the pitch. Salisbury clearly sensed this lack of invention from the Rebels and dominated, continuously looking a threat.

Gunson went close again in the 74th minute with his curled effort brilliantly held by Luthra. Only five minutes later, the Rebels' number one pulled off another brilliant save, flying across his goal to claw away a goal-bound effort from Daniel Fitchett.

Coppin had a chance in the final minute, but again Luthra proved to be Slough’s saviour.

The Whites' attacks reached a crescendo two minutes into stoppage time as the ball was fired against Luthra's upright before reaching the feet of an eager Aaron McCreadie, who had the simple task of poking the ball into the back of the net. Luckily for Slough, McCreadie had drifted offside, cutting Salisbury's celebrations short.

Fortunately, the referee's whistle was not far away, beckoning a Tuesday night replay at Arbour Park where both sides will know their potential fourth round qualifying opponents. It gives the Rebels the chance to prove themselves the better of the two sides and to keep their Emirates FA Cup dream alive.

Image: Michael Berkeley

Salisbury Lineup

Gould, Simpson, Sommerton, Leggett, Jombati (c), Gunson, McCreadie, Fitchett, Coppin, Hedges, Penny. Substitutes: Bragg, Squires, Osei, Smith, Arnold.


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