Eastbourne Town’s involvement in this season’s FA Cup came to an abrupt and disappointing end at Beaconsfield on Sunday as opponents Slough Town won convincingly.
With £4500 prize money going to the victors, this was Town’s biggest game of the season but they never got going against their Evo Stick Central League opponents.
Boss, Danny Bloor’s team selection was based upon a defensive game plan to negate Slough’s use of space and their long ball tactic.
For the early part of the game it worked quite well but a 25 yard volley from Adam Logie to open the scoring after just 15 minutes, turned the tie in the host’s favour.
Slough had threatened before the goal and only brave defending had kept the game scoreless until that point.
Ed Smith had two good chances, as did attacking left back, Dominic Rhone. On one occasion, all the Town defenders had a hand in keeping the ball out of the net during a melee in the host’s six yard box.
The game became a little scrappy but Town managed to fashion a couple of chances for the ever willing Steve May.
From one he shot wide having got in behind the Slough defence from another he was forced across the host’s box before shooting wide of the Slough goal.
As Town were gained some momentum and, with half time approaching, Town were destroyed by three incidents in five minutes.
On 41 minutes, the visitors conceded a cheap foul some 25 yards from their goal.
Having set up a four-man wall, Reed was left helpless as Stuart Swift smashed the free kick home to give the hosts a two goal advantage.
The visitors woes were compounded when a thigh injury to Steve Elliott saw him replaced by Sam Crabb.
Almost immediately, Slough put the tie out of reach when they scored a third. From a short corner, Eastbourne defended a far post cross poorly and the ball was played back across the goal for Danny Burnell to bundle home.
This proved to be the last action of a very poor half for Town.
Within seconds of the re-start, Sonny Cobbs was gifted a great chance to score but he squandered the opportunity by firing tamely wide.
As Town pushed on, the home side defended deeply and well, looking to hit the visitor’s on the break. #
Having enjoyed plenty of possession, Town finally got on the scoresheet when Ethan Strevett opened his Eastbourne Town account on 65 minutes, firing in from the edge of the Slough penalty box.
Any hopes of a Town comeback were dashed within two minutes though, as Ben Austin was adjudged to have fouled Swift and, following the assistant referees flag, a penalty was awarded.
Town players disputed the decision, complaining the foul was outside the box but Dave Deeney kept his focus to fire in from the spot.
Town continued to attack and a Cobbs header flew wide as did a Strevett curled effort.
Richard Greenfield, on for Ross Sutton, had a snap shot well saved by James Warrington as the clock ran down.
With five minutes of overtime played, Town skipper, Nick Fogden, conceded a needless penalty and Dave Deeney stepped up to give Slough a nap hand, a place in the next round of the Cup and the £4500 prize money.
TOWN: Reed 5, Lansdale 6, Sutton 6, Austin 6, Fogden 6, Elliott 6, May 7*, Strevett 6, Curd 6, Cobbs 6, M.Crabb 6 Subs: S.Crabb 6 (for Elliott 45), Greenfield 6 (for Sutton 73) Howell 6 (for Cobbs 83)
MOM: Steve May Att: 182