Rebels Let Late Lead Slip

Hemel Hempstead Town

Hemel Hempstead Town

Hammatt (4, 90)
Slough Town

Slough Town

Gilkes (55), Boot (70)
League Attendance: 300 Darron Wilkinson
For the second time in a week, Slough let a lead slip to end up drawing, this time due to a brace of goals from ex-Rebel Bryan Hammatt.

Slough made three changes to last weeks line up, with the fit again Ryan Spencer and Michael Gilkes replacing Byron Bubb and Sammy Winston. Dean Palmer took his turn on the Slough Town suspension roundabout as Christian Metcalfe returned from a ban in his place so Darron Wilkinson reverted to right back. The game started brightly but after 6 minutes Slough were off to the worst possible start. A long ball out of defence reached John Lawford who ran at Ricky Browne and into the area. His shot was well saved by Rebel's keeper Adrian Blake but he could only palm the ball into the path of the onrushing Hammatt who placed the ball easily into the back of an open net.

After the early set back, Slough settled down and started to play some nice football and after a quarter of an hour they had their first good chance. Tony Boot made a superb run down the right edge of the area before cutting in past three defenders and passing the ball to the approaching Ryan Williams. However the midfielder could not control his drive which flew well over the bar. With twenty minutes gone Steve Daly had two more good chances for the Rebels, both from corners. The first was a volley which was deflected just wide of the post and then from the resulting corner his header was placed straight at Hemel goalkeeper, Darren Bonfield.

Slough had very much the best of the possession as the first half continued with Spencer, Browne and Boot all going close to the home side's goal. The best chance for Slough in the first period fell once again to Browne following another corner. Bonfield this time dropped the ball straight to the feet of the defender but he scuffed his shot and Bonfield gratefully claimed his poor effort. This was the last action of an entertaining first half which ended one nil to the home side. There were no changes made to the side at half time as the same 11 came out to turn the game around.

The first chance of the second period was for Hemel as a ball into the area was controlled by Hammatt but after a good turn he could only slice his effort well wide of Blake's goal. The striker was even more upset a minute later as Slough found the equaliser that they wanted. Good work between Boot and Spencer down the right wing led to the latter delivering a pinpoint cross to the back post where Gilkes arrived right on cue to slot the ball under Bonfield from 6 yards.

With twenty minutes remaining, Slough managed to pull themselves in front, thanks once again to the goal poaching skills of top scorer Boot. Gilkes' corner was very deep and looked to be heading out of trouble. However, a good leap and header by Ian Hodges bamboozled the home defence as he put the ball back across goal where Boot charged in to head home from close range and send the many travelling supporters into delirium.

Within the next five minutes both Williams and Hodges had excellent chances to put the game out of Hemel's reach but neither could convert their good work into a goal and both put their efforts wide of the goal. They were chances which Slough would rue as the match came towards his conclusion. With eight minutes remaining referee, Mr Muge, having already booked six of the home players decided enough was enough and reached, rather harshly, for a red card to dismiss Bobby Highton after a slightly late challenge on Williams. This was only the start of the controversy which was to follow soon after.

Before that though, Winston, a late substitute for Boot had one final chance to give the game to Slough as he broke free of the Hemel backline. However, after rounding Bonfield and seemingly having an open goal, he somehow managed to scoop his effort up and just over the bar. This miss led Hemel to break forward with even more purpose and with ninety minutes on the watch grab the all important equaliser. With Spencer off the pitch receiving treatment a long free kick to the back post was dropped by Blake and Hammatt was on hand again to give Hemel Hempstead a point from the match.

The equaliser then sparked more scenes of anger from the away fans as Hemel defender Fergus Moore celebrated the goal by gesturing to the Slough fans apparently away from the gaze of both Mr Muge and his two assistants. Despite Moore escaping any action, there was another sending off for the home side as fellow defender Daniel West, after allowing the ball out for a goal kick, then hit it with force into the large number of Slough fans behind the goal. Taking the incident as dangerous, Mr Muge rightly gave West his marching orders to give Slough a two man advantage for the remaining seconds but there was not much time for the Rebels to utilise the threat as the final whistle blew moments later.

Hemel Hempstead Town Lineup


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