Thatcham defeat Rebels
Gray (3), Thomas (27)
Date: Tuesday, August 21st 2007 | Competition: League | Attendance: 168
Man Of Match: Clement James
Starting Line Up
- Aaron France
- Iain Duncan
- Leon Woodruffe
- Steve Daly
- Dean Harper
- Christian Metcalfe
- George Moleski
- Nick Roddis
- Matt Miller
- Terry Davies
- Clement James
Slough traveled to Waterside Park looking to kick start their Southern League campaign following opening day defeat at the hands of Taunton Town. However, Slough made the worst possible start conceding after just two minutes. A free kick on the Thatcham left was floated into the centre of the penalty area and John Gray was able to ghost in unmarked and flick a header over the advancing Aaron France.
Having got off to the worst possible start Slough looked to hit back immediately and a Terry Davies was flicked on by skipper, Steve Daly, and CJ was able to only force a stooping header onto the bar. The ball rebounded to Matt Miller whose own effort also crashed against the bar.
After 15 mins Thatcham had the ball in the net again only for Cook’s effort to be ruled correctly offside. Again this seemed to spark Slough who forced another corner which evaded Paul Strudley in the Thatcham before striking Dean Harper and running agonizingly wide of goal.
It seemed fortune was not favouring the Rebels a point that was emphasized as Thatcham struck their second. A corner to the far post was headed powerfully goalwards by Sean Cook, France was able to parry strongly only for the ball to ricochet to Gareth Thomas who was able to head home to an unguarded neat.
Slough nearly fell further behind when an underhit Harper backpass was seized upon by Gray who pushed the ball past the advancing France only to see it run agonizingly wide.
For the remainder of the half Slough were restricted to long range efforts with both Davies and James going close.
The second half started scrappily before the ball fell to Cook in the Slough penalty area he turned and released a weak shot which bobbled awkwardly in front of France who dealt with it well.
Slough almost had a chance to reduce the deficit as CJ pace and trickery saw him break free of the defence before he was cynically fouled by Tom Melledew. With other defenders in covering positions the centre back was rightly only cautioned but slow failed to capitalize on the free kick. It was well positioned in the centre of the ground but a training ground manoeuvre allowed the Thatcham defence to narrow the angle and block CJ’s fizzing shot easily.
The second half was enlivened on the 66th minute when a melee broke out following a characteristic strong challenge from Christian Metcalf. After the handbags had been put away the referee appeared to book Metcalf and Miller for the Rebels.
Despite having the lion’s share of possession for the remainder of the game Slough were unable to break down a well organized Thatcham defence. Thatcham threatened sporadically on the break and Slough were left to long range efforts. The effort of the Slough players to get something from the game was epitomized by the strong running of Deaner who replaced Miller who picked up a knock and forced a shot wide having beaten Woodruff to the ball.
However, Slough never sufficiently worked Strudley and the Rebels supporters once traveled home wondering what might have been.
Thatcham Town: Studley, Leacock, Taplin, Melledew, Allaway, Thomas, Elmore, Nurse, Cook, Gray, Kingsbeer. Subs: Williams, McLay, Parfitt, Howe, White.