| League
Att: 318
Slough Town
Boot (89)
1 - 1
Hampton & Richmond Boro'
Allen
Steve Daly
Slough Town faced tough opposition on the first ‘Home’ game of 2004 and managed to sneak a draw in the final minute from an exciting game that could have gone either way.

Slough were hammered 4-0 at Hampton earlier in the Season, but a late strike from substitute Tony Boot, gave Slough a draw in a top 6 clash at Stag Meadow.

Games of Football are played in two halves, but this game certainly was a game of two very different halves. The return of Paul Barrowcliff to the team meant that there was no place for the returning Tony Boot and Adrian Browne also replaced Mark Bartley in defence, the preferred 4-4-2 formation was back in contention.

The first half belonged to the Home team who had picked themselves up from a very disappointing midweek defeat to Walton & Hersham. From the kick off Slough looked reasonably sharp and Glen Harris and Danny Steer were performing a lot better on the wings than playing as wingbacks. And it was Harris who created the first chance of the match. His cross was controlled and well held up by Ian Hodge and his lay off found Darron Wilkinson who fiercely struck the ball into the arms of ex Slough keeper Adrian Blake. But Blake spilt the catch but luckily Corey Webster was on hand to clear the ball before the rampant Hodge could get to it.

Moments later there was another goal mouth scramble. A Danny Steer cross was touched by Browne, Harris, Daly and Miller before any chance was created, but a foul called on Miller saw Slough lose possession. Blake sliced the free kick, which was picked up by Harris, and a nice one-two with Adrian Browne resulted in Harris’ shot being blasted over the bar.

But the Hampton man who was causing trouble in the first leg was also in the action in the opposite box. Michael Currie took the ball passed Barrowcliff with ease and delicately chipped a nice cross which met Hampton’s target man Adrian Allen, but his shot was well wide of the mark much to the delight of the home support.

Slough seemed to be playing wider in the new formation and Adrian Browne was playing balls well both down the line and across the pitch. Browne’s diagonal ball fell perfectly into Steer’s feet who run to the corner flag and delivered a dangerous cross to the edge of the box. Ryan Williams was seen to be fouled by the referee, but nothing came from the Murphy free kick that hit the wall and Matt Miller made little attempt to retrieve the leaking ball, which was cleared by Jamie Jarvis who had run from well behind the Slough man to beat him to the ball. An almost identical play between Browne and Steer minutes later found Matt Millers head, but Miller headed over the bar, much to the annoyance of team mate Ian Hodge who was unmarked on the far post.

Michael Currie once again delivered a dangerous cross into the Slough area, headers from Daly, Brown and Murphy failed to clear the ball, Adrian Allen once again hit the side netting from his effort.

But Slough seemed to collapse in the last five minutes, Hampton’s experienced manager Alan Devonshire was endlessly commanding his team from the dug out and Hampton turned on the pressure. Michael Currie and Orlando Jeffery looked sharp down the wings and Allen’s pace up front caused Slough problems.

Michael Currie had once again gone past Paul Barrowcliff and Alan Foster called and committed himself before turning back leaving Michael Murphy to deal with the threat with a superb tackle and clearance before telling Foster what he thought for two minutes!

But despite Slough dominance in the first half, Hampton went in at the break 1-0 up. Alan Foster did well to push a long range Richard O’Connor effort over the bar. The corner was whipped in by Alan Inns and flew straight passed Slough keeper Alan Foster, Adrian Browne’s headed effort fell straight to the ground and Adrian Allen was on hand to put away the ball and to put the visitors in the lead going into the break.

Hampton came out from the interval with a one-goal cushion, and looked as if they were going to extend that lead on numerous occasions during the half.

Straight from the kick off Hampton were hungry and a long ball from Richard O’Connor found Adrian Allen’s head, but Allen somehow managed to head the ball wide when it looked simpler to score.

Michael Currie also decided to step up a gear after the break, his runs and crosses seemed to go un challenged down the right wing, this cross fell to Allen who shot and Missed the target despite the unmarked O’Connor calling for the ball outside the area.

Slough weren’t going to give up, Glen Harris continued to create chances but Matt Miller seemed non existent in the Slough attack, all the work was being left to Ian Hodge yet again. Harris’ cross met Hodges head but Blake managed to push the ball out for a corner. Harris’ corner was easily delt with by Jamie Jarvis and cleared to safety.

But whilst Slough attacked, Hampton created chances on the break. Curries cross flew unchallenged across the goalmouth, but Corey Webster rifled the ball well over the bar from a simple, unmarked chance.

But Slough Manager Eddie Denton decided to bring on some changes to widen his attacking options. The returning Tony Boot replaced the toothless Matt Miller, who despite working hard for the side was creating little end product, and defender Mark Bartley replaced Adrian Browne Slough somehow stuck with the 4-4-2 formation.

Despite looking very poor second half, Slough managed to sneak an equaliser through Tony Boot. Glen Harris’ effort was sliced away from goal, but as Jamie Jarvis attempted to guide the ball out of play, Tony Boot snuck in behind him to win the ball and easily tap the ball under Adrian Blake to equalise and gain a point to keep Slough in the hunt.

Slough haven’t started the New Year well, but with Tony Boot & Paul Barrowcliff returning and Martin Moller & Ryan Spencer expecting to return by the end of the Month, the team is strengthening and beginning to gel. Slough travel to Worthing on Saturday and then face Maidenhead next Tuesday in two important games.

Hampton & Richmond Boro' Line up

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