Thommo strikes to give Rebels dream start

Slough Town

Slough Town

O'Connor (30), Thompson (55, 60)
Kidderminster Harriers

Kidderminster Harriers

Forsyth (79 pen)
League Attendance: 823 Steve Thompson
Two breathtaking goals from man of the match Steve Thompson gave Slough Town an ideal home start to their 1991-92 Conference campaign. Ten minutes into the second half Thompson shimmied his way past three defenders before beating the keeper to give the Rebels a two goal cushion. Then, five minutes later, and to the delight of the crowd, he did almost exactly the same thing again.

The turbo-charged RAF man was also responsible for Slough's opening goal, his driving run ending when he was sent sprawling near the byline, winning the Rebels their first penalty of the season.
The Harriers had no answer to the skills of Thompson and his sturdier, stronger looking Slough side. Trevor Bunting was in fine fettle, looking confident, composed fullbacks Phil Stacey and Alan Pluckrose.

But the success of the day — Thompson apart — was centre half Michael Putman. He caused the Harriers all sorts of problems in the air when he went up for corners and free-kicks, coped with anything they threw at him on the ground and never wasted a pass.

Thompson thrived on good service from midfield and, although Paul McKinnon was dominated in the air by Harriers' Alan Kyrlia, once he had the ball at his feet nothing short of a bulldozer was going to knock him off it.

The Harriers competed well enough in the opening exchanges but it was Putnam who had the first chance when he headed an Eamonn O'Connor corner just over the bar. Kidderminster almost went ahead after 16 minutes when a Rebel corner was cleared to Delwyn Humphries who broke down the middle before firing his shot wide of Bunting's right post.

Five minutes on, O'Connor's cross found Stacey who shot low to the keeper's left — Green just scrabbling the ball clear as McKinnon looked to pounce. McKinnon then turned on a sixpence before firing a shot straight at the Harriers' keeper as Slough started to enjoy an extended spell of control.

Just on the half hour came the goal their pressure deserved, Thompson being brought down and O'Connor converting the spot-kick.

To their credit, Slough did not let up and their sweetest move of the game was almost rewarded just before half time. McKinnon laid the ball back to Gary Donellan, Donellan fired an angled pass first time to Thompson and Thompson pulled it square for Mark Turkington to blast in a shot which was just blocked. There was a brief moment of panic in the Rebel box after the break when Putnam mistimed his leap to Humphreys' corner and Bunting had to spring into action with a spellbinding save from six yards as Mark Whitehouse hooked in a half volley.

But then, just as the Harriers were looking to reassert themselves, came Thompson's glorious double. Pluckrose sent him away for the first, nodding out a cross to the Rebel striker who was well inside his own half. A kick of his heels took him between Mulholland and Benton and another burst of pace saw him outsprint Kyrlia. Keeper Green was no problem as Thompson drew him wide and stuck the ball home.

Five minutes later, for those who couldn't believe their eyes first time round, came the action replay. This time it was a header from Putnam which sent him clear and there were only two gobsmacked defenders to dazzle, but the finish — a delightful chip — was again first class.

The Harriers were never going to come back from three down although fullback Mulholland did his best, constantly threatening on the overlap. But Thompson was now ruling the show, setting up McKinnon for a shot which was well stopped by Green and coming close to a third spectacular solo until he climbed all over Kyrlia in his bid to get through. Harriers' Humphreys hit the bar when he nodded on a McGrath free kick but the only way they were going to beat Bunting was from the penalty spot.

And they were given a spotkick 11 minutes from time when Putnam allegedly brought down Forsyth who got up to convert.

Neal Stanley replaced the battling McKinnon late on but had little chance to shine as the Rebels were content to sit on their lead.

Kidderminster Harriers Lineup

Green, Mulholland, McGrath, Benton, Kyrlia, Forsyth, Joseph, Whitehouse, Hadley, Wilcox, Humphreys. Subs: Bradley, Lilwall (for Hadley).


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