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Farnborough (A)
Tue Mar 21

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Farnborough (A)
Tue Mar 21 19:45
The Vanarama National League South

Late Boot Strike Salvages Point

| League
Att: 274
Thame United
Stewart (42)
1 - 1
Slough Town
Boot (83)
Dominique Jean-Zephirin
Tony Boot scored his 29th goal of the season to rescue a point with an eighty-second minute penalty after Slough looked like suffering an undeserved defeat at Windmill Road.

The Rebels had to rely on their top scorer in a game in which they enjoyed sustained periods of possession without ever testing Foster in the Thame goal. In contrast the home side played on the break but were able to create much better goal scoring opportunities so a draw was probably a fair result.

The opening period of the game was relatively even as both teams struggled to retain possession on a terrible pitch that was both bumpy and uneven. Two early Michael Gilkes free kicks into the area were easily cleared and at the opposite end Danny Keen fired well wide for Thame following a neat exchange on the edge of the box.

It was Keen who had the first real chance of the match after thirteen minutes when he found space in the Rebels area but his shot was superbly saved by Dominique Jean Zepherin who diverted the ball behind with his foot. Slough continued to forge half chances, mostly created by good running from Tony Boot down the left, although time after time the resulting crosses were cleared by the Thame defence.

The first real chance for the Rebels came after twenty-six minutes. Tony Boot and Sammy Winston both got behind the Thame defence onto a through ball but Boot took the shot allowing Foster to smother the ball when Winston was probably better placed. Thame continued to create more clear opportunities and at the other end Zepherin had to produce a flying save to his right to keep out a powerful header.

The game turned against Slough five minutes before half time following a poor refereeing decision. Another cross pulled back from the by-line in the Thame area resulted in a powerful shot on goal, which was stopped on the line by a defenders arm. Much to the amazement and anger of the Rebels fans behind the goal the referee waved play on having either not seen the incident or ruling it was accidental. Within sixty seconds Slough suffered a double blow as they fell behind to a soft goal. As the ball was cleared following the penalty incident the ungainly Alex Stewart hit a speculative shot from distance which found its way past Zepherin who should have done better. The half ended with a yellow card for Ian Hodges, harshly awarded for contesting a high ball with a Thame defender.

In the second half the Rebels laid siege to the Thame goal and spent the majority of time trying to find a way past a packed and well organised home defence. Williams shot wide when well positioned and Tony Boot just failed to find the target with a header from a long bouncing through ball. Thame continued to enjoy the better chances though and almost doubled their advantage after fifty-three minutes when a through ball was lobbed over Zepherin but fortunately for Slough it drifted wide of the far post.

The Rebels increased their attacking options on the hour when Palmer replaced Adrian Brown although immediately almost conceded a second one of the rare Thame attacks when Steve Daly miskicked a clearance. The resulting through ball looked to have found a Thame striker in an offside position but he was allowed to continue and lifted the ball over Zepherin but onto the face of the bar to the relief of Rebels players and fans alike. Slough continued to create and waste half chances but after sixty-seven minutes were again indebted to their keeper who produced a stunning flying save from a Gardner header after a cross from the right.

After eighty minutes the hard working Ian Hodges was replaced by Byron Bubb and within three minutes he had played a major part in the Slough equaliser. The winger skipped past two defenders down the right and pulled the ball back to Michael Gilkes whose ferocious shot was handled when it looked to have already crossed the line. As with the similar incident in the first half the referee failed to spot the offence although Slough were indebted to the linesman who flagged for the penalty. After lengthy arguments from the Thame players, Tony Boot took the kick and confidently stroked it past Alan Foster into the bottom right corner of the net.

As with the first half the game finished with the referee harshly brandishing a card although this time it was red for Ryan Spencer who was involved in a minor scuffle with the ungainly Thame number nine who also received his marching orders.

Slough now continue their run of away games and will be hoping for similar backing on their trips to Essex to the sizeable and vocal Rebels support present at Windmill Road.

Thame United Line up

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