Coming into the match, Scott Davies’ men were in need of an immediate reaction, after narrowly avoiding defeat against Salisbury only three prior, thanks to heroics from goalkeeper Rohan Luthra.
And only moments into the match under the floodlights at Arbour Park, a bustling run from David Ogbonna into the heart of the Salisbury defence proved too much for Josh Sommerton to handle, as he chopped the electric winger to the floor, resulting in an early penalty being awarded to the hosts. Johnny Goddard stepped up to take the spot-kick and buried it with aplomb, sending Josh Gould the wrong way, as he calmly slotted the ball into the bottom left corner.
The Rebels looked a completely different side from the one that drew the original tie against the Whites and seemed intent on coming away victorious from the first whistle to the last. This fast start was exactly what Davies would have been looking for, with possession largely dominated by the hosts.
This early dominance appeared to frustrate the opposition, who looked devoid of ideas in the final third of the pitch, continuously gifting possession back to the Rebels. And in the 23rd minute, a reckless challenge on Davies resulted in Salisbury’s Aaron Simpson receiving his marching orders. This decision seemed to deflate the visitors and left Slough in a commanding position for the remainder of the match.
Minutes later, Nathan Minhas was denied by a flying save by Gould, who tipped his goalbound header over the bar.
Davies, feeling the effects of the challenge from Simpson, elected to watch the second half from the bench and introduced Munashe Sundire in his place.
The second period began in a similar vein to the first, with the Rebels looking comfortable and threatening. Ogbonna’s pacy and direct play caused the Salisbury defence all sorts of problems throughout the game.
And 52 minutes in, brilliant skill from the 22-year-old winger had the Salisbury defence chasing shadows. Neat footwork afforded Ogbonna enough time to calmly cut the ball back into the heart of the 18-yard box, where the awaiting Goddard slotted his side-footed effort into the back of the net to claim his second goal of the match.
This strike seemed to completely take the wind out of Salisbury’s sails, as they looked overrun by the intensity of the Slough attacks.
Despite being two goals to the good, Davies’ men seemed intent on scoring more, with efforts from both Tyrese Dyce and Ogbonna coming close to putting the game to bed.
With 18 minutes remaining the hosts won a corner, with a dangerous in-swinging delivery from Matt Lench flying into a packed 18-yard box. Gould rose highest to claim the kick but dropped it straight to the feet of Temi Eweka, who had the simplest of tasks to flick the ball into the back of the net and make it 3-0.
Salisbury went close to notching a consolation goal three minutes from the end, with a fantastic free kick from Gunson rebounding back off Luthra’s upright before being cleared.
Davies will be impressed with his team’s performance against a tough opponent, with the Rebels now progressing into fourth round qualifying for the first time in five years, where a tough away trip to last season’s runaway National League South champions Ebbsfleet United awaits.
Image: George Beck
Slough Town Line Up
- 1 Rohan Luthra
- 2 Josh Jackman
- 5 Dan Bayliss
- 8 Matthew Lench
- 9 Nathan Minhas
- 10 Johnny Goddard
- 12 Leon Chambers-Parillon
- 14 Scott Davies 18
- 16 Temi Eweka
- 17 Tyrese Dyce 6
- 23 David Ogbonna 13
Salisbury Line up
Gould, Simpson, Sommerton, Leggett, Jombati (c), Gunson, McCreadie, Fitchett, Coppin, Hedges, Penny. Substitutes: Bragg, Squires, Osei, Smith, Arnold.