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Scorers :  Ben Harris 9, James Dobson 25 (pen) / Dan Mason 38 & 81

Date: Saturday 22nd September 2018 - 3pm - Emirates FA Cup Second Qualifying Round

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Venue: Arbour Park

Slough Town: Jack Turner, Sean Fraser, George Wells, Guy Hollis, Sam Togwell [c], Lee Togwell, James Dobson, Scott Davies, Ben Harris, Matt Stevens, Louie Soares.  Subs : Josh Jackman, Nathan Smart, Warren Harris, Chris Flood, Manny Williams, Matte Pierson.

Yellow Cards: ?

Sholing: Ryan Gosney, TJ Cuthbertson, Marvin Mclean, Pete Castle, Dan Miller, Jamie Bulpitt, Jamie Bulpitt, Alex Sawyer, Byron Mason [c], Dan Mason, Lee Wort, Jake Hoole (Bradley Targett 59).  Unused Subs: Kevin Brewster, Owen Roundell, Jack Smith, Ryan Mackney, Billy Connor, Nick O'Donnell

Yellow Cards: Lee Wort

Attendance: 465 (approx 30 Sholing fans)

Referee: Michael Begley   Assistants: Luke Peacock & Kieran Dolphin

Boatmen came from two goals down to earn a throughly deserved replay against, National League South, Slough Town.  The home side from 3 divisions above Sholing, raced into an early lead, but Dan Mason scored with a classy finish just before half time and then grabbed the equaliser in the last 10 mins to make it 16 goals this season and set up a fascinating FA Cup replay.

Team News : Pete Castle returned to the team following suspension. Owen Royl was away, but apart from him, Dave Diaper had a full strength squad to call upon.  Was the Boatmen's first ever game against Slough Town and was hard not to be impressed by their fantastic new ground, which has all the facilities you would want for a Non League club on the up. That includes a 3G pitch which looked and played better than other synthetic surfaces we've visited.

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The home team started the stronger, pushing Sholing back into their own half and took the lead on 9 minutes.  A ball into the box from the right wing found Dan Miller, but his clearance smacked against a Slough player who knew nothing about it and fell perfectly into the path of Ben Harris to sweep the ball in first time from 8 yards.   It was an unlucky goal to concede and things got worse for Sholing on 25 minutes as Slough won a penalty.  Ben Harris ran at Castle, who went to ground and brought down the forward.  James Dobson's penalty was firmly struck just inside the post, giving Gosney no chance.

Sholing's first sight of goal came on the half hour as Lee Wort ran forward, but pulled his shot wide. Slough went up the other end and a cross shot flashed across the face of Gosney's goal, with a slight touch off a Boatmen putting the ball just wide.  From that point on, Sholing grew into the game, being more crisp with their passing and movement, with Dan Mason almost getting in behind, but a block denied him a shooting opportunity. 

However, on 38 minutes he wasn't to be denied, scoring another superb goal to add to his growing collection of quality finishes. A right sided corner was fired in low and firm by Alex Sawyer, towards DAN MASON who took it first time on the volley, but instead of flashing wildly at it, D-Dan hit a controlled side foot finish that went over the keeper and into the far corner.   Lee Wort again ran at a backtracking defence, but his low shot was saved by Turner.  HT 2-1

The belief Sholing had was displayed just after the restart as TJ collected the ball in midfield and played a one-two with Dan Mason before sliding the ball through to Lee Wort to run in on goal, he took it early, rolling the ball past the stranded keeper, but it hit the base of the post and the follow up by Lee was saved comfortably.   James Dobson was Slough's most dangerous player and he cut into the box before hitting a curling effort that went just wide. 

The Boatmen were knocking the ball around well, with another good move seeing TJ's deep cross collected by Wort, who cut back in and fired a shot that was almost fumbled by the keeper, but he snapped up the rebound before Dan Mason could pounce on the loose ball.  Wort was once again denied by Turner as a couple of heavy challenges by both sides were waved on by the referee who appeared to want the game to flow.  Jamie Bulpitt hit a shot from the edge of the area that, once again, Turner had to claim at the second attempt.

The home side and their supporters appeared a bit unhappy with amount of possession Sholing were having, as well as a number of stray passes by Slough and rushed long range shots that didn't bother Gosney.  Things were building in the Boatmen's favour and on 81 minutes they grabbed the deserved equaliser.  Lee Wort took a throw from the left corner which was flicked on by Pete Castle to DAN MASON who spun and shot and his effort squeezed under the body of Turner and into the net for D-Dan's 16th of the season in just 12 games.   It sent the small band of travelling supporters delirious behind that goal.

Boatmen had one scare to deal with as Warren Harris got off a shot inside the box that struck the base of the post, but despite 5 minutes added on, Sholing were able to see out the match to set up the Replay at the Universal Stadium on Tuesday night.   FT 2-2

Dave Diaper was proud of his players after the match, saying : "Great performance from the boys. We showed character and durability today.  If you want to see the very best of Grass Roots Football you will be a fool to miss Round 2 of our FA Cup Journey against Slough Town on Tuesday. Believe you me, it’s not for the feint hearted. Two evenly matched teams will fight toe to toe to progress into the next round of the greatest cup competition in the world."

Many thanks to those Sholing supporters who made the trip and got behind the team so vocally.  Also, many thanks to Slough Town for their warm and generous hospitality. 

Next Game : Sholing v Slough Town - Tuesday 25 September 7:45pm - FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Replay
FREE Admission Community Day Game - Sholing v AFC Portchester - Saturday 29th Sept 3pm

Video Highlights Courtesy of Slough Town:

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