The whole of southern England seemed to be heading for Brighton to enjoy the hottest October day ever. Except me. I needed to go the other way via the hell that is the London underground.
I arrived at Slough to be greeted by that lovable stuffed dog Station Jim as cup fever gripped the town. Maybe. Well FA Cup Day 2nd qualifying round day gripped me with Slough Town at home to Conference South team Boreham Wood. No disrespect to Boreham Wood but when the draw was announced I was disappointed. We have played them many times before and they don’t exactly draw in the crowds. But the more I thought about it; well Slough had already beaten Binfield, Banbury and I reckon we could make it a hat trick of B’s and defeat Boreham Wood.
A few pre-match pints in town then the long cab ride up to Beaconsfield, Slough’s current home, although with a planning application for a new ground being submitted in December, hopefully not for too much longer.
The sun might have been baking but Slough players came out and began to steamroller the Wood. Within seven minutes Stewart Swift had scored a fantastic free kick. Steve Sinclair then went off injured and it was time for Charlie Mpi to replace him. Superfast Charlie has only been getting brief substitute appearances so this was his chance to shine. On half an hour he had this chance, clean through on goal with just the keeper to beat. We all held our collective breath, then let out roars of approval as he netted his first Slough goal. 2-0 Slough and that’s the way it stayed at half time.
We knew Boreham Wood would eventually have a go, and on 55 minutes they pulled a goal back. Just two minutes later one of their ex players Sean Sonner scored again for Slough. Sean is a live-wire who doesn’t stop running, a fantastic player who was my man of the match. But straight from the kick-off Boreham Wood scored again making it 3-2.
Then Boreham Wood went and bloody scored again, only for the lino to flag for offside.
Just what is it with football. You look forward to the game all week, come all that way, spend all that money, then just want the bloody game to hurry up and finish! I felt sick with nerves for most of the second half until finally the 4 minutes injury time were up and the Rebels go marching on.
For any club, FA Cup money is welcome, but for a club without a ground, the nine grand we have now earned is fantastic. As we basked in the victory in the clubhouse, our chairman got the drinks in for the players while we got the leftover hospitality sandwiches!
Then the tweet came through from Sean Sonner saying simply ‘I love football’. Who could disagree with him on a day like today?