Pye strike cancels out freak Rebels blunder

Hampton & Richmond

Hampton & Richmond

Maskell (8)
Slough Town

Slough Town

Pye (59)
League Attendance: 345 Mark Pye
Midfielder Mark Pye's first goal in two years earned Slough Town a point in Saturday's frustrating and often scrappy clash with Hampton and Richmond Borough. Pye, who had previously failed to hit the net since his Enfield days, powered a header home from Paul Barrowcliff's pinpoint cross just three minutes after replacing Chris White as a second-half substitute. His unlikely strike drew the Rebels level after they had conceded a calamitous goal, but they eventually had to settle for parity against a hardworking Hampton outfit.

The match was a bad-tempered affair, played on a greasy pitch with at least one flat ball, and a draw was probably a fair outcome. Slough skipper Barrowcliff squandered two early opportunities to put the visitors in front, heading weakly at Hampton keeper James Courtnage from Dave Rainford's cross and scuffing his next effort wide.

But Hampton drew first blood after eight minutes, courtesy of a careless back-pass from sweeper Graham Kemp. Danny Honey was caught unawares and, as he stumbled, ex-Swindon striker Craig Maskell snatched the chance to round him and tuck the ball into an unguarded net.

Honey, however, kept Slough in the game with a close-range block from Ben Forey and then flung out a hand to tip Martin Buglione's 25-yard drive over the bar. Barrowcliff spooned another chance wide before Honey prevented a second goal resulting from a virtual carbon-copy of the earlier incident. Again the Rebels keeper slipped as he came out to field a ball from Kemp, but this time recovered to save from Trevor Canoville.

Honey got away with a blunder on the edge of his area early in the second half when the ball rolled loose to Darren Adams, but Kemp atoned for his errors by blocking the shot.

Pye's 59th-minute equaliser gave Slough fresh hope and Courtnage scrambled to his right to push away Mark Hawthorne's low drive. They should have won a penalty when Leon Townley seemed to he tripped inside the Hampton box. But the giant defender's valiant attempt to stay on his feet before crashing to earth long after the initial challenge may well have cost Slough the spot-kick.

The Rebels offered little up front for the rest of the game, prompting a chorus of 'There's only one Bryan Hammatt' from frustrated fans.

And all three points might have been lost at the death when Forey burst into the penalty area, but Hawthorne's timely challenge halted him as he prepared to pull the trigger.

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