FA Trophy runs end as Maidenhead United brought back down to earth

Kane Ferdinand. Photo: Darren Woolley.
Kane Ferdinand. Photo: Darren Woolley.

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Berkshire’s interest in the Isuzu FA Trophy for this season is over, with their three representatives all making their exit in away third-round ties on Saturday (December 9th).

Maidenhead United were beaten 3-0 at Dorking Wanderers, Slough Town went down 1-0 at Bromley, and Hungerford lost to Aveley 8-7 on penalties after the game had ended in a 1-1 draw.

A disastrous first half saw the Magpies crash to their National League rivals at Meadowbank Stadium.
With six minutes played, a defender inadvertently deflected Bobby-Joe Taylor’s cut back into the six-yard box into his own net.

Lively wing-back Taylor doubled his side’s lead on 22 minutes with a shot from outside the area and a third goal, scored by James McShane on 44 minutes made it a miserable first 45 minutes for the Magpies
fans as they went for their half-time cuppa.

Alan Devonshire’s men tightened up on their defence in the second half but the damage had already been done and the manager will be expecting to see a response from his players against struggling Kidderminster Harriers next Saturday.

Slough Town bow out at Bromley

Slough’s defeat at 2022 Trophy winners Bromley was the result of a first-minute goal, but they pushed the team sitting second in the National League all the way for the rest of the game.

Rebels winger David Ogbonna was seen at his best in the first half, causing the home defence plenty of problems with his pace down the right flank.

They nearly equalised when skipper Josh Jackman struck the inside of the post, but at the other end, keeper Dan Lincoln denied the Ravens a second goal with an outstanding save from Louis Dennis at point-blank range.

The Rebels stopper didn’t have a noteworthy shot to save in the second half.

Scott Davies’ men had plenty of attacks in the second half but they rarely looked like equalising.

Slough’s final ball into the area often let them down, and they also failed to capitalise on the nine corners they forced in a game that was never high in entertainment with both sides struggling to contend
with the wind.

“Obviously, I am disappointed with the result, but there are a lot of positives to take out of the game,” said manager Davies.

“I was proud of the performance but I feel like there were a lot of fine margins in the game; some (referee’s) decisions as well. Those are the things you want to go for you when you are playing against a
top team like Bromley.”

Hungerford Town take Aveley to penalties

Former Slough goalie Jonathan North was the Aveley hero as they knocked out Hungerford in a 24-penalty shoot-out marathon.

The Crusaders took a 25th-minute lead through their man of the match Baboucarr Jarra when the big defender popped up close to the goal to turn home a cross from Sam De St Croix.

But the Millers drew level three minutes into the second half with Aveley’s Joe Gbode, who is on loan from League 2 club Gillingham, equalising in the 48th minute when he was first to react in a goalmouth scramble.

In the penalty shoot-out, Hungerford held an early advantage but North made three saves in addition to scoring from the spot himself. His match-winning save came from Conor McDonagh, who had earlier made no mistake to get the shoot-out up and running.

Manager Danny Robinson told the club’s website: “I was massively proud (of our performance). We have gone toe-to-toe with a very good side who are flying high in National League South.

“I thought in the first half we were absolutely outstanding, and the only thing I can moan about is that we did not go in more than one goal up . . . 2-0 would have been about right.

“In the second half, we lost concentration from a long throw-in and we conceded a scrappy goal.”

After their exits from the Trophy, all three clubs will now be looking to improve their league positions going into the second half of the season.

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