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The Vanarama National League South

Thompson At The Double

| League
Slough Town
Thompson (49, 85)
2 - 0
Steve Thompson
The opportunism of Steve Thompson kept Slough top of the Vauxhall Opel League on Saturday as he bagged two goals to shrug off the resistance of Hayes at Wexham Park.

The Rebels' highly valued striker was on hand to pounce on two defensive errors from the rugged visitors to guide Slough to their fourth successive victory, despite an inspired display of goalkeeping from Hayes' Paul Hyde.

"He was outstanding the keeper. Without him we'd have buried Hayes," said Rebels manager Alan Davies.

However, Davies was more than happy with another sparkling Slough performance, which went some way to avenging their 5-1 defeat at Church Road in a Clubcall Cup replay earlier this season.
"We plaved ever so well again. We got the bit between out teeth and were far the 'better side. I'm always delighted to beat Hayes, because they're a difficult side to beat and I honestly thought they'd be one of our main challengers this season."

Davies was also delighted with the performance of the recalled Tony Dennis making his first appearance since his infamous on-off transfer to local rivals Windsor. "As always, Tony gave us 100 per cent and didn't let us down. He's a real battler and I'm delighted he's decided to stay and fight fo his place," said Davies.

Dennis who replaced the injured Brian Greenaway was involved in the most controversial incident of the match — the dismissal of Hayes' Gary Churchouse in the 82nd minute.

Having already been cautioned in the 29th minute for a crude trip on the same player, Churchouse brought Dennis crashing to the ground again and left referee Danskin with little option but to send him for an early bath.

The all-action Dennis nearly opened the scoring after only 11 minutes when he powered Mark Adams' corner towards the bottom corner, but Hyde was on hand to keep his header out. But Hyde was grateful for the presence of collegue Chris Walton on the goal-line as Keith White drilled the rebound back in.

Ten minutes later Hyde pushed away Rey Duffy's fiercely struck free-kick from 20 yards, awarded for a debatable foul on Neal Stanley bv Hayes' Reg Leather.

Stanley and Gary Dodd combined on the edge of the penahtty area after 23 minutes to split open the visitors defence, but Hyde was again equal to Dodd's final effort, pushing it round
the post.

From the resulting corner, Hayes failed to clear the ball and Dennis curled in a shot from 25 yards that the acrobatic keeper flicked away. When the Rebels did finally get past Hyde, in the 34th minute, the post was on hand to deny Thompson as he crashed in a shot from an acute angle.

Sixty seconds later, Thompson's superbly executed back heel allowed Stanley to race through the middle as he wrestled free from the clutches of Leather. The Rebels' leading scorer crashed his final effort straight at Hyde and the chance was lost.

But Hyde was powerless to stop Slough grabbing the lead in the 49th minute. Glenn Hayward's header back to the keeper fell woefully short and Thompson was the quickest to resort and lob his seventh goal of the season over the stranded Hyde.

The effervescent Thompson then nearly wrapped the match up for the Rebels, as his powerful runs set up chances for both Bobby Dell and Stanley. However, Dell drove his well over, while Hyde blocked Stanley's well struck effort from less than ten yards.

Adams saw a powerful header turned over by Hyde in the 83rd minute, before Thompson gave the score an air of respectability two minutes later. The Hayes defence took three attempts to hack Adams' corner off their line, but could only get it as far as Thompson, who powered home his second goal of the game.

Hayes Line up

Hyde, Kelly, Churchouse, Hayward, Leather, Court, Emmanuel, Payne, Graves, Dixon, Walton. Subs: Whiskey (not used), Edwards (not used).


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