Whilst we look to the future, patiently awaiting the return of football at The Creek, we should now also reflect on the past with BMF’s new Match-day Rewind series. In our first instalment, we’ll travel back to 2018 and reminisce a memorable match at Slough Town in the FA Cup 3rd Round Qualifying…
The Farm had already defeated three clubs in the competition before facing Slough Town at Arbour Park including victories over Bideford, Chipping Sodbury Town, and Basingstoke Town.
It was the first-time that the Portwaymen had reached this round of the FA Cup, and after a comfortable 5-2 victory over Basingstoke Town in the last round, we travelled to National League South side Slough Town with full-confidence.
You can watch the classic highlights of our encounter against Slough Town on our newly-launched YouTube channel – Official BMF TV HERE!
The match got off to a lighting-quick start, with the Farm causing the Rebels problems inside the opening five minutes; Dean Stamp and Troy Simpson played a neat one-two on the halfway line, followed by some excellent hold-up play by Owen Howe, which saw the Farm advance on-goal. After what looked like a missed opportunity in-front of the Rebels net, the ball trickled into the path of Owen Howe – but his shot was excellently blocked on the line by defender, Mark Nisbet.
After an encouraging start for the Farm, Slough Town broke the deadlock in the ninth minute through forward, Matt Stevens. A cross from the left-flank by Chris Flood evaded the Manor Farm defence, and Stevens was on-hand to place his shot past Ben John.
The Farm, however, regained their confidence and almost found themselves level midway through the opening half. Howe’s physical presence, in testing conditions, was starting to prove difficult for the Slough Town defence. Ashley Kington collected the ball from Howe, and sent the ball through to Simpson. After Simpson’s initial shot was blocked, his looping follow-up effort narrowly missed the target, and the Rebels were able to clear their lines.
Then just minutes later, Howe was sent through on-goal with just the keeper to beat – but he couldn’t steer his half-volley on target, and saw his effort ricochet off the side netting.
The home-side came close to doubling their lead through Stevens on 45 minutes – but after some heroic goalkeeping from John in the Manor Farm net, Lee Lashenko’s side managed to make it to half-time with the match still all to play for; and after an inspiring team talk from Lashenko, the Farm started the second period with the belief that saw them force Slough to a replay at The Creek.
Once again, the Farm started the opening few minutes with a spark – but this time they were rewarded for their efforts on 49 minutes. The Farm’s two leading goalscorers in the FA Cup, Stamp and Howe, continued to show the Rebels defence that they meant business. Stamp timed his through ball perfectly, sending Howe through to calmly slot his shot past Jack Turner to bring the Farm level at Arbour Park.
Despite the Farm’s best efforts to keep the score level, Slough regained the lead on the hour mark. After Slough’s initial cross into the Manor Farm penalty area had evaded everyone, Harris sent the ball back into the danger area – and Flood was in the right place at the right time to slot the ball past John.
Moments later, Lee Togwell for the hosts squandered a brilliant opportunity to put the match to bed – when he dragged his shot narrowly wide of the Manor Farm goal.
But with 10 minutes left on the clock, the Farm’s tenacious approach saw them draw level in bizarre circumstances. A long ball forward from the Farm defence was poorly judged by Rebels’ keeper, Turner, and somehow the ball squeezed through his legs to leave Howe with the simple task of nudging the ball into the empty net.
Howe wheeled away in celebration, with Lashenko’s heroes fully rewarded for their magnificent performance against a side two divisions higher in the National League pyramid.
But despite the club’s best efforts away to Slough, our FA Cup journey was cut short just four days later. The Rebels emerged victorious in the replay, beating Manor Farm 4-0 at The Creek to advance to the next round of the competition.
Our FA Cup journey may have ended that evening in October, 2018, however the BMF Match-day Rewind series continues next week as we travel back to January 2016 – where the Farm made the long trip up north to face Sunderland RCA in the FA Vase….
Starting XI: 1.Ben John, 2. Iain Harvey, 3. Aron Robbins, 4. Stuart Tovey, 5. Steve Kingdon, 6. Rex Mannings, 7. Jordan Metters, 8. Troy Simpson, 9. Dean Stamp, 10. Owen Howe, 11. Ashley Kington.
Subs: 12. Pete Sheppard, 14.Mark Badman, 15. James White, 16. Tom Lacey, 17. Connolly Jarrett.
Slough Town 2-2 Bristol Manor Farm | Saturday 6th October, 2018