09:45AM, Thursday 19 January 2017
Maidenhead United 4 (1), Slough Town 2 (2)
Two refereeing decisions ultimately decided the outcome of the Berks & Bucks Senior Cup semi-final between Maidenhead United and Slough Town.
The Magpies eventually prevailed and will advance to meet league rivals Hungerford Town in the final, but they’ll look back on two moments which changed the course of this feisty and entertaining semi-final.
United were already trailing to a well taken finish from Chris Flood in the 15th minute when Ryan Peters, already on a booking, escaped further punishment for a clattering tackle on Nathan Smart. It looked late, but referee James Vallance was lenient.
Slough’s joint managers Neil Baker and Jon Underwood felt Peters should have seen red but, after Gav James had nodded the Rebels two goals in front, it was the visitors who were left seeing red when Guy Hollis was given a straight red card for an unsightly lunge into Rene Steer.
It was high and reckless, even for a derby, but most inside York Road were surprised to see the referee pull out the red.
The decision galvanised the Magpies. Within a minute Dave Tarpey ate up the ground on Dan Hicks, nicked the ball off his toes and planted it beyond Mark Scott. The defender had only just come onto the field as a substitute for the unfortunate James.
The Rebels reorganised at half-time and frustrated their hosts until the 69th minute when Barratt’s long throw reached sub Jordan Cox who hooked a glorious shot over Scott and in off the crossbar.
A third followed with 15 to play when Cox and Barratt linked up well down the right and the winger swung in a cross which Sean Marks headed home.
To their credit the 10 men rallied in the final minutes but, having thrown bodies forward - including their keeper Scott - Slough were caught on the counter when Tarpey turned the ball on for James Mulley who kept his nerve to roll home the fourth into an empty net.
The date and venue of the Berks & Bucks Cup final is yet to be confirmed.
Maidenhead United: Pentney, Peters (Clerima 45'), Steer, Forbes, Upward, Inman, Tarpey, Barratt (Mulley 80'), Marks (C), Hammond, Pritchard (Cox 65'). Subs not used: Kilman, Olorunfemi.
Slough Town: Scott, Fraser (C), Smart, Hollis, Nisbet, Togwell, Dobson (Moone 82'), Dunn, James (Hicks 30'), Flood, Webb (Putman 75'). Subs not used: Gokman.
Match highlights uploaded to Youtube by FC Video
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