07:09PM, Saturday 06 January 2018
Slough Town 2, Hereford 2
Slough Town conceded twice in second half stoppage-time as promotion rivals Hereford fought back for a point at Arbour Park.
The Rebels looked to be well on their way to a precious victory, after losing a late lead to draw at Chesham United on Monday afternoon. But the afternoon proved a real sickener for Slough and their hopes of promotion.
They took the lead on the stroke of half-time when Chris Flood headed beyond Horsell from Warren Harris’ cross, before new signing Ben Harris netted his second is as many games with a beautiful header past the keeper’s despairing dive five minutes after the restart.
The bumper 1,561 all-ticket crowd, which included 700 travelling fans from Hereford, were in the main savouring a fine Slough performance in Neil Baker and Jon Underwood’s 250th game in charge.
But, as the clock ticked into seven minutes of stoppage time, they lost focus, allowing Oates to score with a shot that whistled in from outside the box. Before Reffell levelled things up with virtually the last kick of the match.
Eastbourne Town 1, Windsor 3 (FA Vase 4th round)
Three goals in the final 20 minutes saw Windsor march into the fifth round of the FA Vase at the expense of hosts Eastbourne Town.
Town took the lead midway through the first half when Archibald ran onto Capon’s pass to score.
But Mick Woodham’s men have already shown their fighting qualities in this competition and weren’t derailed by the early set-back.
The Royalists best performances have generally come away from Stag Meadow this campaign, and so it proved again when Nadir Shafi was brought down in the box and Kieran Knight stroked home a 73rd minute penalty. With the wind now in the visitors’ sails, Windsor came again with Shafi bagging the winner with three minutes to go from Knight’s pass. There was still time for Windsor to put the gloss on matters in the 97th minute when Matty Stockill completed the scoring with Shafi again the provider.
The Royalists celebrated with their travelling support at the final whistle and are now only a handful of games away from playing at Wembley.
AFC Rushden & Diamonds 0, Marlow 0
Marlow held top of the table AFC Rushden & Diamonds to a creditable draw away from home this afternoon.
The Blues have shown terrific character in recent weeks to pick up some decent results, after the club announced it was slashing the playing budget in half.
And today’s hard-working defensive display saw them nullify a side who’d opened up a five point lead over their nearest rivals before kick-off.
The point will do Marlow’s chances of survival no harm at all, and should give them the confidence to push on up the table in the coming weeks, despite the uncertainty of players potentially leaving Oak Tree Road.
Flackwell Heath 2, Fairford Town 2
Flackwell Heath lost further ground on the promotion contenders as they gave up a late lead to draw 2-2 at home to Fairford Town.
The Heathens were leading 2-1 with minutes left to play at Wilks Park, but an 88th minute strike from Lee Smith bagged the visitors another crucial point in their battle to get out of trouble at the foot of the table.
The Heathens came from behind to lead 2-1 in the second half, but will be cursing their failure to put away 17th placed Fairford, who had Callum Preece red carded in the final 10 minutes.
Highworth Town 1, Burnham 1
Struggling Burnham gave their confidence, and survival hopes, a massive shot in the arm with a 1-1 draw against leaders Highworth Town.
The home side hit the post twice but weren’t able to find a way through the Blues’ solid back line.
In the week manager Alan Paris admitted time was starting to run out for Burnham’s survival chances, with points being frittered away week in and week out, but no one would have expected the Blues to pick up a point against a side that’s lost just once all season.
Holyport 8, Thame Rangers 1
Holyport continue to show they’re one of the form sides in Hellenic League Division 1 East, as they swept aside Thame Rangers 8-1 at Summerleaze Village.
Fabian Driffill netted four while Andy Forisky, Charlie Evans, Chris Defranco and Alert Marquez were also on target in a performance that was as comprehensive as the scoreline suggests.
Wycombe Wanderers 1, Preston North End 5 (FA Cup third round)
Gareth Ainworth conceded Preston North End had shown their Championship class as the Chairboys bowed out of the FA Cup at the third round stage.
The Wanderers were firmly in contention at the halfway stage, after Luke O’Nien’s deflected strike made it 2-1 in the 44th minute.
Harrop and Browne netted with excellent hits to put the visitors two goals to the good in the early stages, and their class shone through after the interval with Harrop getting Preston’s third, Brown netting his second from the penalty spot, and Harrop rounding things off with a fifth before the end.
Afterwards Ainsworth was fairly phlegmatic about the result: “Preston were class. The best North End team I’ve ever seen. Their movement was fantastic and the much better team won today. I’m playing a fourth choice right-back against a Championship winger. It was a tough one today.”
Stevenage 0, Reading 0 (FA Cup third round)
Reading are still in the hat for the FA Cup, but pressure continues to grow on manager Jaap Stam after their turgid 0-0 draw with League 2 Stevanage.
Fans were calling for the former Manchester United defender to be sacked after Tuesday’s defeat to bottom of the table Birmingham City, and their failure to find the net at Broadhall Way won’t have done his long-term prospects much good.
The replay will take place at the Madejski Stadium later this month, in the week commencing Monday, January 15.
Afterwards Stam said: “"Everybody wants to play, everybody thinks he needs to play, sometimes they get the chance to play and they need to show themselves as well."
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