06:07PM, Monday 06 May 2019
Slough Town 3-1 Reading Academy
Both Slough Town and Reading FC got into the cup final spirit to produce an entertaining 90 minutes of football as the Rebels came out top to win their first B&B Cup final since 1981.
The Rebels scored twice in quick succession, first from Sam Togwell, who smashed home from a corner before Manny Williams doubled the lead from the spot. Reading halved the deficit 10 minutes before the half-time whistle through Thierry Nevers, but a superb second half performance from the Rebels and a wonder-goal from Josh Jackman gave them the win.
The game started with both sides looking to get into their rhythm, as Lee Togwell’s speculative 30-yard volley in the opening minute drifted just wide.
The Rebels settled into the game and dedicated much of the early play, Louis Soares looking dangerous on the left hand-side as the young Royals were having to cope with some dangerous deliveries into the box.
One of those led to the first chance of the game as Warren Harris peeled off at the back-post, before shifting the ball onto his right foot and drilling low and hard toward the corner, but Roberts in the Reading goal was equal to it pushing it away for a corner.
Moments later Reading showed their potency on the counter-attack as a sweeping move down the right saw Jamal Balogun whip the ball across the Rebels six-yard box, but luckily for Nathan Smart, his slices clearance rolled harmlessly into Jack Turner’s gloves.
Set pieces were causing Reading issues, especially Roberts in net, throughout the first half and it was from a corner that Slough took the lead. A dangerously whipped in corner was not dealt with by the ‘keeper and the ball fell kindly for Sam Togwell to hammer home from close range on 25 minutes.
That lead was doubled less than five minutes later as Ben Harris went to work down the left, dancing into the box before putting Holmes on ice. The Slough forward rolled it past the young defender and looked to shoot before being taken down by Holmes for a penalty.
Williams, showed his experience, keeping his cool to side foot the ball past the diving Roberts for 2-0.
But Reading where not dead in the water, and on 36 minutes got back into the game with a well worked goal. Swiftly counter attacking down the right and as Balogun again whipped a ball in this time for Thierry Nevers to sweep in as the young Royals ended the half on top.
2-1 at half-time and the second half was poised for an even more entertaining second half
Slough made sure Reading could not build on their first half goal as they pressed high up the pitch throughout the second half to deny their opponents the chance to play the ball out. And it got it rewards, as the Young Royals rarely threatened, instead limited to counter-attacks as the Rebels really turned up the heat.
Williams was a a tireless figure up-front, battling for every ball and holding up it for his teammates, after Scott Davies, Slough’s only sub had already come on.
Despite their tiring legs, it was the Rebels who played the better football, and after a few half chances wrapped up the game in the last 10 minutes with a goal of real quality. Soares did brilliantly to keep the ball under tight pressure in the Reading box, before squaring the ball across goal. It was brilliantly dummied to allow the arriving Josh Jackman to deliver a curling right-foot shot into the top left-hand corner of the net and hand Slough their first Berks and Bucks Cup win since 1981 and their 15th victory in the clubs history.
" (We) are really pleased," said Neil Baker.
" It's a great way to finish the season. I thought we deserved it and with only 12 players it was going to be a bit of a stretch, but the lads gave everything and they have all season and delighted to be able to finish on a win and now we can start looking forward to next season already."
MOTM: Manny Williams
Turner, Smart, S.Togwell ©, Nisbet, Jackman; Soares, L.Togwell, Dunn, Ben Harris (45’ Davies), Warren Harris, Manny Williams
Elsewhere, the Hellenic League Cup final was lifted by Ascot United over local rivals Windsor FC with a 3-1 win.
It was the Yellamen who struck first, although, they had Windsor ‘keeper Hugo Sobte to thank, who could only divert a long throw into his own net.
If the first was a mistake, the second was a moment of beauty that Sobte could do nothing about.
Harry Laflin took aim from range and made it count as he doubled Ascot’s lead after just 25 minutes.
Things went from bad to worse for the Royalists, who were reduced to ten men on the stroke of half time after top scorer Dan Roberts saw red.
And Ascot capitalised in the second, adding to their lead through Dan Price with 30 minutes to go.
Windsor continued to dig in and were rewarded as Corey Parchment gave something for the Windsor fans to cheer in Gloucestershire, when he netted seven minutes later.
But Ascot held on to claim the silverware after a positive season for both sides.
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