By Pete Martin – Cover image by Roger Elliott
Salisbury and Slough will have to do it all again as they battle to progress in the Emirates FA Cup, following an entertaining goalless draw at the Ray Mac stadium. Brian Dutton made 2 changes from Tuesday’s defeat to Sholing; Aaron Simpson and Dan Fitchett replacing Jamar Smith and Josh Squires.
Salisbury made a bright start and after just 5 minutes could have taken the lead but Charlie Gunson couldn’t get his header on target following Josh Hedge’s cross in from the right-hand side. Following that early chance for the Whites, the game settled down with neither side able to dominate possession. It took until 25 minutes for either side to carve out another chance, Slough’s Tyrese Dyce flashing a header wide from an in-swinging corner. Just after the half-hour mark, there were strong shouts for a Salisbury penalty when Fitchett was bundled over in the box; referee Ross Martin waving away the shout though.
Images by Michael Berkeley
Towards the end of the half, a couple of corners led to chances for the Whites; firstly Sido Jombati’s downward header was cleared from a dangerous area but only as far as Gunson who rifled a shot narrowly wide before Jombati headed over the bar when well placed. As the game ticked into time added on, Slough’s Matt Lench smashed a shot high and wide following a quick break as the teams went in level at half time.
The 2nd half saw Slough create the first opportunity; Johnny Goddard seeing a shot blocked before Salisbury took control and started playing some fine football. There were chances aplenty for the home side; on 57 minutes only a fantastic save from Rohan Luthra denied Gunson from his first-time shot, before 2 minutes later he had to get down low to deny the same player when through 1 on 1. The chances kept coming, as did the saves by Luthra. On 64 minutes Simpson won the ball back high up the pitch and fed Fitchett but once again the Slough keeper was up to the task.
Images by Roger Elliott
The Whites continued to pile the pressure on and on 78 minutes drew possibly the finest save of the lot from Luthra. The ball was worked wide to Noah Coppin on the left and his ball in was met by a powerful Fitchett header which the keeper somehow managed to tip over the bar. It was all Salisbury at this point and on 84 minutes Gunson’s shot on the turn was blocked before Simpson put a rasping drive narrowly wide of the post from 25 yards. Luthra was again pressed into action on 89 minutes; tipping over Tom Leggett’s effort from outside the box. On 91 minutes the Whites finally had the ball in the back of the net following a scramble in the box, only to see the linesman’s flag deny them. There was still time for 2 more chances for Salisbury, Coppin’s first-time effort bringing another save from Luthra before with the last action of the game Fitchett headed over the top of the bar to ensure a replay will be needed to settle the tie.
The replay will take place this coming Tuesday, 3rd October at Slough Town, by which point both teams will know who awaits them in the 4th Qualifying Round with the draw taking place on Monday afternoon.
Team: Gould, Simpson, Sommerton, Legget, Jombati, Penny, McCreadie, Gunson(Squires), Hedges, Coppin, Fitchett Unused Subs: Osei, Bragg, Smith, Arnold D