Thompson Points The Way To Safety

Boston Utd

Boston Utd

Slough Town

Slough Town

Thompson (29)
League Attendance: 1169 Steve Thompson
Slough's victory at Boston was more than just three points as Slough refound their form, ended their run of five consecutive defeats and edged just out of the relegation battle.

In fact, had John McKenna, the Boston goalkeeper not been in inspired form, Slough would have romped to an even greater win.

The three points moved them five points clear of second from bottom Sutton United who have to win their last two games to overhaul the Rebels. They faced a tricky trip last night to Kettering and anything less than three points would make Slough safe.

It was the pace and skill of Steve Thompson, who yet again was simply in a different class and it is baffling how the Rebels ace isn't in the non-league England squad. Barry Rake started the game and turned in an excellent performance on the right of midfield which was full of running and heart and had Boston scrambling.

The whole Slough performance was built on big hearts and patient ability. The side never lost it's shape and kept at it's task to the bitter end, and almost rescued the Rebels from the drop in this single match.

All round it was one of the better displays of the season and a huge sigh of relief to much of the travelling contingent that finally things had clicked.

Thompson would have been deserving of a hattrick as he mesmerised the Boston defence and didn't stop running for the Slough cause. In front of goal Slough were rarely off target and it was the Boston keeper that tipped, parried and blocked a host of shots that Slough produced.

Boston had eased their relegation worries with a win in midweek and their final home fixture in spectacular surroundings bred an air of confidence that was soon to be shattered.

Slough were again forced to reshuffle through injuries, with Tony Knight playing an immaculate game at right back, Junior Wilson doing well in the centre of defence alongside Darren Anderson and Trevor How sweeping well. Mark Mallinson had an excellent game at left back despite painkilling injections in his leg, and Barry Rake filled in for Jon Sissons, with Tommy Langley missing out. But the masterstroke again was playing Steve Thompson upfront alongside Neal Stanley.

It paid off against Kidderminster and again it paid off against Boston, Thompson always proving his calibre by finding the net when he pushed upfront. In fact, his 29th minute strike was his 14th goal of the season and makes him the club's top scorer.

The Rebels started and finished the better side and were only under the cosh for a fifteen minute spell in the second half in which Boston hit the post. Starting convincingly. Slough moved forward and dominated, but Boston looked sound enough in defence to mop up much of the Rebels forward play.

Thompson was finding and making the most of some good space, but the start saw a lot of nerves and low confidence. and a few free kicks and set pieces were wasted. Tony Dell picked up a booking on 13 minutes for a late tackle.

There were few or far chances in the first half hour but Slough still dominated and Thompson was an obvious threat up front. With 29 minutes gone though, Mark Turkington lifted the ball over the Boston defence and Thompson outpaced the towering Dave Cusack to chip the ball over the oncoming McKenna for a stunning goal.

Rake then picked up a booking on 30 minutes for felling Richard Toone, but Slough successfully sucked up a short retaliatory period from Boston and then stormed through the final minutes of the half.

Rake made a lightening run through the right of the Boston rearguard, but his low cross just evaded Stanley at the far post. Stanley then found himself with a golden opportunity when clean through but snatched at it and the ball flew over the bar.

He was unlucky seconds later when he got on the end of How's cross, but McKenna flicked his effort round the post. Anderson was denied by an intervening head when the ball was floated toward him in front of goal and then with three Slough players lining up for a header at the far post, Wilson's over eagerness saw him snatch it off the head of the better placed Thompson.

The second half saw Boston come out and push for the equaliser, but Slough defended bravely despite an intense period of pressure. 1revor Bunting looked solid in the Slough goal with the defence winning the aerial battle until Cusack got in a header from Asa Hartford's freekick that hit the post and looked goalbound until How hacked it off the line.

Paul Cavell then found himself clean through with only Bunting to beat but he chipped wide of the mark. But Slough came back again and punished Boston without getting past McKenna.

Rake got through and chipped the ball home but the referee decided he had handled and disallowed the goal. Thompson then drilled in a low freekick from about 20 yards which was turned away but from the resultant corner, the Boston defence were left claiming a foul on the keeper by How and the ball bobbled around the box with the official waving play on and no one applying the finishing touch.

Thompson turned in even more brilliance when he weaved his way round three defenders, repeated the trick when two caught him up and could only watch as McKenna flew across goal to block his shot.

Shortliff thumped Anderson's header off the line and then Thompson scraped the woodwork with the rebound. Boston rallied late but didn't look good enough though there were a few nerves and Slough survived to gain a vital and well deserved three points.

Boston Utd Lineup


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