Match Report - Poole Town (Home - FA Cup)
Rebels through to 4th Round Qualifying!
0 - 1 (Bentley, 30m); 1 - 1 (Flood, 57m); 2 - 1 (Wells, 83m)
Man of Match: Manny Williams
George Wells' strike seven minutes from the end put Slough Town through to Fourth Round Qualifying for the first time in five years at the expense of National League South strugglers Poole Town.
But it was a moment to forget for Dolphins keeper Nick Hutchings, who let Wells' 25-yard strike slip straight through his grasp when it looked a routine save.
The match was heading for a replay, which would have represented a missed opportunity for the Rebels, who overall had by the better of the play and chances, particularly in the second half. Instead, Neil Baker and Jon Underwood’s side can look forward to Monday lunchtime’s draw and a potential meeting with a National League side.
Joint manager Neil Baker was delighted to get into the next round.
“It wasn’t necessarily the best performance we’ve put in this season, but we deserved the win. We’ve created a lot of chances and I felt it would have been unjust if we hadn’t gone through.”
“We were a little bit critical at half time. We said ‘you’ve got an opportunity here today – don’t wake up tomorrow morning with regrets’. Once we scored the goal, I always felt we would go on and win the game”.
The first half was lacklustre from the Rebels, who despite seeing plenty of the ball, struggled to fashion chances. James Dobson fired Slough’s first sight of goal over the bar from a free kick on eight minutes, and Poole’s first sight of goal fell to Warren Bentley, but his strike was turned away by Jack Turner at his near post.
Dobson volleyed a clearer chance over the bar later in the half, but just as in the previous round against Dulwich Hamlet and on Tuesday evening against Redditch, Slough fell behind.
With half an hour played, Warren Bentley capitalised on slips from first Nathan Smart and then Mark Nisbet, before going on a solo run into the box and beating Turner with a left foot strike - a fine individual goal.
Poole’s Jez Bedford flashed a cross-shot wide but Slough had their chances, with Hutchings holding a long-range strike from Dobson and Chris Flood heading Josh Jackman’s cross over the bar.
The Rebels went close to levelling the scores in the final minute of the half as Poole failed to deal with a corner, which Manny Williams returned back into the middle only to see the ball cleared off the line.
After a frustrating first half, Slough emerged with the tunnel with intent. Dobson saw a headed effort from Matt Lench’s corner rebound back off the bar, whilst Williams saw a strike claimed by Hutchings and both Dobson and Lee Togwell had efforts blocked.
But the way Slough were playing, an equaliser always seemed on the cards and Flood provided it with his ninth of the season, guiding a header into the corner of the goal from Dobson’s exquisite cross.
The home side looked the likelier to edge ahead, and after Togwell’s well-executed volley was held by Hutchings and Dobson fired into the side netting, it looked as if Poole would escape with a second chance.
But Wells’ strike slipped past Hutchings to cue celebrations on and off the pitch, and Slough saw out the remaining time plus four added minutes to seal their progress – but were thankful to Jackman for a tackle deep into stoppage time, which Baker described as “match-winning”.
Slough Town: Jack Turner, Josh Jackman, George Wells, Nathan Smart, Mark Nisbet, Lee Togwell (yellow), James Dobson (Nathan Webb), Sean Fraser (yellow), Manny Williams, Chris Flood (Brad Wadkins), Matthew Lench
Poole Town: Nick Hutchings, Lewis Lindsey, Corby Moore, Will Spetch, Jamie Whisken (c), Carl Pettefer, Jack Dickson (Tony Lee), Shaun Cooper, Warren Bentley, Jez Bedford (Abdulai Baggie), Ollie Harfield. Subs not used: Tom Rees, Joe Cook, Matt Neale, Ollie Balmer.