Hammatt brace earns draw

Dulwich Hamlet

Dulwich Hamlet

Stevens (14), Bantley (18)
Slough Town

Slough Town

Hammatt (37, 67)
League Attendance: 417 Unknown
Brian Hammatt's double strike completed a spirited comeback for Slough as they hit back from 2-0 down to earn a point at Dulwich Hamlet. But the Rebels were left kicking themselves after squandering a host of chances, and they ultimately paid the price for giving away two sloppy goals.

Slough's problems started even before the game had kicked off, with defenders Richard Peirson and Michael Thorp — who had made their own way to the game — not turning up at Wexham Park until 2.50pm.

Both goalkeepers were called upon to make saves in the opening three minutes. First, a long ball over the Dulwich defence set up Lee Endersby, whose shot was blocked by Les Cleevely. Then, at the other end, Andy Cyrus was put through for a one-on-one with Paul Wilkerson, who pulled off a good stop to keep Slough on level terms.

Wilkerson was in action again after 14 minutes, but this time was unable to prevent Dulwich breaking the deadlock. A good build-up on the left saw Cyrus cross from the byeline to the near post. Carl Bantley challenged for the ball, which Wilkerson could only push out for Dave Stevens to score from close range.

Four minutes later, an inspirational moment of individual skill from Bantley doubled the home side's lead. Bantley found himself with his back to goal and nowhere to go, but he fooled the Slough defence as he spun on a sixpence to cut the Rebels rearguard wide open before firing an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net.

Hammatt saw an effort kicked off the line by Dulwich defender Tony Chin on 31 minutes, before pulling a goal back six minutes later. John Humphrey lost control of the ball as he brought it out of defence and Hammatt was onto it in a flash before crashing a shot inside the post from the edge of the box.

Andy Deaner' s header was cleared off the line just before the break and, after Wilkerson pulled off a good save to deny Stevens after the restart, it was all Slough.

The Rebels were lifted by the double introduction of Eddie Denton and want-away striker Mark Fiore on 64 minutes and, within three minutes of the switch, the Rebels equalised. Endersby beat his man and sent over a superb cross for Hammatt to head into the top corner.

Fiore had a chance to secure victory 15 minutes from time as Slough finished the stronger of the two sides. Micky Engwell's long ball struck the inside of the post, but the off-balance Fiore could only fire the rebound over the bar.

Graham Roberts hopes Monday's comeback against Dulwich Hamlet is the start of an upturn in fortunes for the club. And Slough have the ideal opportunity to return to winning ways on Saturday when they entertain bottom club Heybridge Swifts. Roberts had mixed feelings after his side recovered from a 2-0 deficit to draw against Dulwich.

He said: "We gave away two sloppy goals, but we played very well and dominated the game. We created about 20 chances and were disappointed not to win - but you can't give sides a two goal lead."

Roberts added: "It was a big setback because all the bottom teams won. The league is so wide open it's ridiculous. We're in a relegation struggle but we will get out of it — it will take time and we'll get it right, but we've got to stop giving sloppy goals away."

A couple of wins could see Slough shoot up the table, and Roberts says the Rebels will be going all out to start the new year with a bang against Heybridge. "It's a six-pointer. It will be a battle and we've got to get the attitude right. You have to beat these sides, but sometimes you've got to battle to do it."

Dulwich Hamlet Lineup


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