SLOUGH Town joint-manager Jon Underwood has explained The Rebels have ambitions to again reach the first round proper of the FA Cup this season, writes Rob Stevens.

The Rebels made it to the second round proper back in 2017 and were rewarded with a match against Rochdale from the Football League at a sold-out Arbour Park live on BT Sports.

Slough needed a replay to beat lower-league sides Sholing and Bristol Manor Farm in the qualifying rounds last season, before a narrow defeat at home to professional club Gillingham in the second round.

Underwood believes The Rebels were comfortable in a 3-0 win at Flackwell Heath from the Hellenic League Premier Division in the second qualifying round on Saturday, and he hopes the club can be a part of the big occasions again this year.

He told the Observer: “We’ve gone past the qualifying rounds for the last two years running and have a real taste for it. The squad hasn’t changed too much so they’ve done it with us each year as well

“To reach the first or second round proper with the chance to play a side from the Football League and maybe a game on television is something we certainly want.

“It brings revenue into the football club, which is always important, and it’s great for the players and us as managers to be a part of the biggest occasions.

“You learn from those encounters and it makes you better for the experience. We learnt from the game against Rochdale and that helped when we took on Gillingham.”

Slough face a tough trip to National League South rivals Chippenham Town in the third qualifying round on Saturday 5th October, but Underwood is not put off by a poor recent record against The Bluebirds.

He said: “We had a good look at Chippenham in their win in the replay in midweek.

“It’s a ground where we need to get a win because, as managers, we’ve only won once in eight games against them.

“We feel like we havve not always got our rewards in previous meetings against them, when we’ve played well but not won, but that’s not something we will dwell on as managers in the build up to the game.

“Chippenham are a good side and it’s a tough place to go, but we will not worry about that because we’re full of confidence at the moment

“We would have preferred to be against a side from the level below but, if you want to go through and have a run in the FA Cup, then you need to beat these sorts of teams and those above you.”

Slough return to league action with a trip to Dartford this Saturday (3pm) with the knowledge that a win at Princes Park will see them move up into the play-off positions.

Underwood commented: “Dartford haven’t had the start they would have wanted and have recently changed their manager

“A caretaker manager has come in and they’ve won their last two games, one in the league and one in the cup, which can happen quite often when you freshen things up a little bit.

“Dartford haven’t changed too much and we know a little bit about them.

“I know it sounds boring because we say it every week but you have to play well to win in this league.

“We want to protect this unbeaten run we’re on, so our first priority will be to make sure we don’t get beat, but we know that if we win we will go into the play-off spots and that’s our aim.”