10:37PM, Tuesday 13 October 2020
Slough Town were left ruing missed first-half chances as they were dumped out of the FA Cup third qualifying round by Bath City.
Freddie Hinds’ delicate chip shortly after the break was enough to separate the sides and deprive Slough of a potentially lucrative run in England’s oldest cup competition.
Joint-boss Neil Baker was under no illusions as to the challenge Slough’s National League South opponents would pose to his injury-hit side pre-match.
But despite adding Matt Lench and Lee Togwell to their lengthening injury list, the Rebels started the better of the two teams.
Dan Roberts, making his first start of the season, thought he’d given Slough the lead in the 10th minute as he nipped in front of his marker but he could only turn the ball straight at Ryan Clarke.
Last week’s match-winner, Paul Hodges, should have done better minutes later when Clarke’s botched punch fell to him in the penalty area but he blazed over.
Bath, though, were slick in possession and their danger was evident when Ryan Bird mis-controlled in his own half and had to haul down Freddie Hinds to stop a menacing counter attack.
The visitors thought they’d won a penalty in the 28th minute when Hinds appeared to be tripped in the penalty area but referee Jason Richardson was unmoved.
The Ravens’ coaching staff were incredulous on the sidelines and their mood was nearly soured when Dan Roberts latched onto a Ryan Bird flick-on but could only drill his shot straight at the keeper.
If Slough were ruing their profligacy heading into the break at 0-0, they were soon kicking themselves as Bath took the lead in the 48th minute.
Tom Richards’ neat cutback dribbled despairingly past the outstretched boot of Ryan Bird and into the path of Hinds who nonchalantly chipped the ball over the on-rushing Jack Turner and into the net.
Slough nearly responded instantly but Ryan Clarke showed great reactions to palm a back-post header over the bar.
But as the half wore on, the game grew increasingly scrappy, and Bath showed discipline at the back and danger on the break with Hinds striking the outside of the post.
Second-half substitute Warren Harris tried to glance home Louis Lomas’ deep cross with 10 minutes to play but the ball sailed wide, signalling the end of Slough’s FA Cup dreams for another year.
A ‘bitterly disappointed’ Jon Underwood gives his thoughts on Slough’s FA Cup exit. pic.twitter.com/WiLwsMusB6— David Lee (@DavidLee_BM) October 13, 2020
The race to get as many people vaccinated against coronavirus has ramped up in the Royal Borough and Slough amidst an ongoing rise in cases across the country.