Egham Town 2 – 2 Slimbridge

A late Paul Fahy penalty at Runnymede Stadium saw the Swans make the long trip back to Gloucestershire having forced an FA Cup replay, which takes place at Wisloe Road on Tuesday, 7.45pm KIck Off, a return journey that Egham Town will not be relishing having to make for a midweek evening game.

Adam Mace had put the Swans ahead just before the break, but loose marking from a corner saw the home side equalise before half time through Danny Bassett. Brendan Mathew put Egham back into the lead on 67 minutes, before Jamie Martin was felled in the box with ten minutes remaining, and Fahy handled the pressure kick well to level things up.

Egham made a brisk start, and forced the first chance of the game with just one minute on the clock, but Bassett’s effort troubled only the side netting. At the other end, a Freddy Ward cross found the head of Alex Hoyle with five minutes gone, but Hoyle’s header drifted just wide.

The best move of the game so far came from the visitors on 14 minutes, when Sean Lawson set up Sam Blackie after a good passing move, and Egham Keeper James Norris made a superb fingertip stop to keep the ball out.

Egham looked dangerous on the break, but were failing to convert good midfield work into concrete chances. When they did arrive, Adam Thomas, deputising for the injured Dave Evans was proving up to the task, making a simple stop from Matthew’s scuffed shot a minute later.

Lawson and Fahy were proving a handful for the Egham back line, and Lawson again went close with another effort tipped over for a corner as the visitors started to create some decent chances.

A minute before the break, a lovely move started off by a Freddy Ward header saw Lawson set up Mace in the Egham box, and he netted, much to the delight of the travelling faithful.

Slimbridge were unable to hold onto the lead until the half though, as a badly defended Egham corner saw Thomas make a close range stop from a header, only to see the ball fall to Bassett, who headed the ball back over the stranded Swans Keeper to notch the equaliser.

The second half saw more chances for the visitors – Mace brought another good stop from Norris, and Lawson scuffed another good opportunity, but Slimbridge were failing to make a breakthrough.

On 67 minutes, Ciaran Greening was dispossessed by Mathew, who took the ball forward and netted past Thomas to put the home side ahead for the first time.

This gave the home side a little momentum, but the Swans back line held firm as they pressed to try and kill the game off, with Sam Turl and Richard Thwaite both making important blocks as the home side looked to add another goal.

With eleven minutes remaining, Jamie Martin was felled in the Egham box, and, despite protests from the home side, Referee Christopher Wicks awarded the Swans a spot kick.

Fahy kept his nerve to place the ball to Norris’ left and level the scores up.

All the chances in the last ten minutes went the way of the visitors – Mace hit the post during a goalmouth scramble on 86 minutes, and with seven minutes of stoppage time being added on from somewhere, Martin and Lawson both had chances to nick the tie before the final whistle, but in the end, it was all back to Wisloe Road on Tuesday.

The result means that the Swans’ trip to Shortwood United on Bank Holiday Monday has been postponed and will be rearranged. The winner of this tie faces a trip to Greenwich Borough, potentially seeing the Swans facing another long trip to the far side of London on September 12th in the First Qualifying Round should they win the tie.

Team: Thomas, Turl, Mace, Rich Thwaite, Greening, Ward, Turner (Twyman 50), Hoyle (Ryan Thwaite 73), Lawson, Blackie (Martin 66), Fahy

Supporters Man of the Match: Adam Mace