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The Vanarama National League South

Last gasp winner puts the Rebels on top

| League
Att: 469
Slough Town
Rake (19), Langley (23), Thompson (86)
3 - 2
Carshalton Ath
Kane (22, 37)
Steve Thompson
Steve Thompson, the transfer target of several top Football League clubs, showed what a priceless asset he is to Slough on Saturday. The RAF PE instructor capped another outstanding performance with a scrambled 86th minute winner which took the Rebels to the top of the Vauxhall League again.

Thompson proved that all the talk of a big money move has not unsettled him with a brilliant midfield display. Shaking off the effects of flu, he was the architect of Slough's fourth sucessive league win. Although he may catch the eye more when he plays up front, he is able to exert more influence when he operates deeper. But it seemed all his efforts were going to be in vain when the Robins looked like they would hang on for a draw.

The crowd had started to drift away when Trevor How's cross set up a terrific goalmouth scramble. Neal Stanley and Bobby Dell both had shots cleared off the line before Thompson somehow managed to force the ball under a sea of bodies for his eighth goal of the season. Despite failing to match some of their recent away performances, anything less than three points would have been a travesty.

Missing their first choice keeper and centre half, Carshalton seemed to have decided they would settle for a draw even before kick-off. Relying on the quick breakaway they managed to pierce Slough's defence twice in the first half and could have left Wexham Park with a surprise victory if they had been more adventurous during a second half when they had most of the possession. Most of the action was crammed into a four-goal, 18-minute first-half blitz.

Barry Rake set the ball rolling in the 19th minute with his fourth goal in seven games. Thompson provided the slide-rule pass and the former Millwall apprentice ended an unchecked run by crashing a shot into the roof of the net. The Robins equalised in almost identical circumstances three minutes later, Conrad Kane firing under Gary Lester's body after he had been left unmarked. Tommy Langley ended a barren six match run in the 23rd minute with a diving header from Mark Adams' cross, and Rake and Stanley missed good chances to increase Slough's lead before Carshalton drew level in the 37th minute.

Robin Beste outpaced Jeff Bateman and Gary Dodd and whipped in a low cross to which Kane was quickest to react, poking home the Robins' second equaliser in off the post. Neither side could keep up the pace after the break and although Carshalton had more of the ball, Slough looked the more likely to score. Rake blasted narrowly over and Adams rolled a shot inches wide after linking well with Thompson.

Rebels' boss Alan Davies admitted he was worried about whether his side would snatch a winner but said: "Although it was close in the end, it could quite easily have been a two or three goal victory. "I was disappointed with our defending in the first half as both their goals were sloppy. Our passing went astray in the second half and we were generally below par. However, Carshalton did not seem interested in getting the win. They had settled for a point and I think the right side won."

Carshalton Ath Line up

Williams, Green, Riley, Raffington, Richards, Wilgoss, Tomlin, Beste, Bolton, Kane. Subs: O'Shea (for Tomlin), 0' Gorman.


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