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Flackwell Heath (A)
Sat Sep 21
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Flackwell Heath (A)
Sat Sep 21 15:00
The Vanarama National League South
8th
18pts

More home misery for Rebels

| League
Att: 232
Slough Town
Charles (61)
1 - 2
Thatcham Town
Rusher (53, 76)
Dean Harper
The battle of these two Berkshire clubs ended in favour of visitors Thatcham, with Slough unable to avenge the defeat in the reverse fixture earlier in the season.

A cool finish from Lee Charles had brought the scores level, but Vince Rusher's winning goal ensured the Rebels started 2008 with more misery.

Slough enjoyed a good first half and deservedly went into half time with the scores level, but will be ruing a number of missed chances which ultimately cost them the game.

Early on, Jermaine Gumbs worked hard to dribble his way into the Thatcham box, but miscued his left-footed effort horribly, and he did not trouble ‘keeper Strudley.

Slough pushed forward at every opportunity but were largely restricted to long-range efforts. Dean Harper, returning after serving a suspension, strode forward and unleashed an effort from 25 yards which forced Strudley into a diving save.

Jermaine Gumbs also forced Strudley into a save after being played through by Robinson. The striker managed to stay onside, but elected to shoot early instead of taking the ball on.

Slough were very nearly made to pay for that as John Gray broke down the left for Thatcham. His ball across goal was narrowly missed by everybody in the middle and eventually went to safety.

The best chance of the first half fell to Slough’s Chris Robinson. A throw-in was cleared only to Rhys Price, who crossed for Robinson who was completely unmarked in the middle – but the wingback could not beat Strudley, who spread himself well to block the attempt at goal.

Half time brought a change in the form of Lee Rendell replacing Laurence Brown, with Rendell taking up his familiar role on the left hand side of the pitch.

However, for all Slough’s efforts, they found themselves a goal down after eight minutes of the second half. Thatcham picked up a loose ball in midfield and broke down the left, with Vince Rusher finishing superbly from a narrow angle to give the away side the lead.

A glorious chance arrived for Slough to equalise as Lee Charles hooked in a cross from the right, but Lee Rendell was only able to header straight at Strudley with the goal gaping.

However, the Rebels were not to be denied a deserved equaliser on 63 minutes. Perhaps affected by the enforced substitution of big centre-half and captain Ricky Allaway due to injury, Thatcham were picked apart and Lee Charles found himself with only Strudley to beat, and duly finished with a cool low finish off the post to level the scores.

Soon after, Slough were desperately unlucky not to have gone ahead as Jermaine Gumbs’ downward header from a Lee Charles cross forced a superb save.

Slough had much of the possession throughout, but were unable to convert it into goals and found themselves 2-1 behind on 76 minutes. Vince Rusher had been unlucky shortly beforehand with an attempted lob over an onrushing Carl Dennison which fell wide of the post. The striker bagged his second goal, though, as he powered in a header from a Sean Cook cross, giving Dennison no chance. It was a dreadful lapse in concentration from the Slough rearguard, with Rusher completely unmarked in the middle.

Thatcham had further chances to make the game safe, but were unable to add to the scoreline, with Rusher in particular forcing a superb save from Dennison.

In a last throw of the dice, Robinson tossed in a free kick which Harper got his head to, but his effort was saved low down by Strudley and Thatcham were able to hold on to claim all three points in a game in which Slough will be kicking themselves over missed opportunities.

Referee: W Linden
Assistants: A Roberts, G Mays

Thatcham Town Line up

Strudley, Leacock, Tillen, Melledew, Allaway (c) (Suarez 57'), Rea, Asker, Oatley, Rusher (Alleyne 85'), Flood (Cook 73'), Gray. Sub not used: Williams.

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