Despite an even
start to the game and Thatcham having the better of the second half,
it took until the 96th minute for the visitors to get a deserved
Some of Slough's build-up play was a joy to watch, but the home side
hardly forced the visiting goalkeeper Paul Strudley into a save,
with only John Gray and Eamonn McCongiely efforts to show for
Slough's pressure; with both shots coming from outside the area,
causing Strudley no trouble.
In contrast, Thatcham regularly tested
the suspect Slough defence and were unlucky not to take the lead
when a header fly narrowly over from one of many first half corners.
was the Rebels who took the lead with our only meaningful effort on
goal. A John Gray corner was
headed back by Danny Jordan (pictured right) at the far post for
Laurence Brown to turn it into the corner.
The lead could easily have lasted only 5
minutes, as with the next Thatcham attack, Dean Harper (pictured
below left) headed against his own post.
Even having conceded ten goals over the
last two games, the Slough defence appeared not to have learnt any
lessons and continued to sit back and invite pressure. Thomas
Melledew for Thatcham almost equalised after 26 minutes but his long
range shot flew narrowly over the crossbar. Minutes later, Jemel
Johnson for the visitors hit another long range effort for another
was only with just over 5 minutes remaining of the first half did
Slough begin to get back into the game. John Gray, on one of his
mazy runs through the Thatcham defence, was bought down by Sam Rea
about 25 yards out, but the subsequent free-kick came to nothing.
There was still time for another
near-miss for Thatcham before half-time, this time from Sam Rea's
The suspect Slough defending continued through the second half, with
several goalmouth scrambles seemingly every time Thatcham got the
ball forward. The Rebels played on the counter-attack, with John
Gray being stopped in his tracks by the defence shortly after a
period of heavy Thatcham pressure.
Joe Harris forced Jamie Jackson into an
excellent low save shortly before Jackson proved to be Slough's hero
again, this time blocking Johnson's effort before following this up
by hacking clear Harris' rebound.
Laurence Brown and Craig Roberts wasted
half-chances for Slough before the Rebels were denied what appeared
to be a clear-cut penalty, with John Gray being pulled down inside
the box with the referee waving play on.
a brief period Slough were on top and creating chances, with Thomas
Attrell (pictured right) having a 30 yard effort comfortably saved.
The visitors were desperate for their
equaliser however and, after several rather speculative efforts
(including a shot that went nearer to the corner flag than the goal)
and a Thomas Melledew effort that smashed against Jamie Jackson's
crossbar, Stefan Brown stepped up to smash a 30 yard effort into
Jamie Jackson's left hand corner, despite protests for offside.
There was still time for Slough to go
for a late winner however, but Laurence Brown scuffed his effort
high and wide of the right hand post.
Some would say that Slough were unlucky
having held on for all that time, but the Rebels really did ride
their luck at times and Thatcham could/should have equalised well
beforehand. If they had had their shooting boots on, the Rebels
could well have been looking at a good thrashing.