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Virgina Water (H)
Fri Jul 5

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Virgina Water (H)
Fri Jul 5 19:45
The Vanarama National League South

Late goals win the points at Thatcham

Thatcham Town

Thatcham Town

Slough Town

Slough Town

Smith (pen 81, 90)
League Attendance: 121 Ashley Deeney
Slough kept their slim promotion hopes alive for at least another day as two late Eddie Smith goals won all three points at Thatcham Town.

In an even opening, the hosts perhaps shaded possession of the ball, but barely tested Jamie Jackson, with Liam Painter firing wide via a deflection, and former Fleet striker Danilson Vicente having a shot blocked.

At the other end, Ashley West made his first save, as he had to stretch to turn over Ollie Burgess' blast from outside the box.

Joe Chandiram was in the thick of the action, curling a shot wide from 20 yards and then embarking on a superb run which saw him beat four Thatcham players, but he was unable to pick out a green-shirted player or find the target with his cross-shot.

West thwarted Slough again with a superb diving save to keep out a header from Burgess after Alex Brown flicked on a long throw.

After a first-half stalemate, Slough burst out of the traps quickly in the second period and almost immediately Ryan O'Toole strode forward and hit a shot which clipped the outside of the post on its way wide, with Painter rooted.

Slough took control of the game and began to put more pressure on the Thatcham goal. Smith had a good chance with around an hour played, but put a header over the bar after Brown had flicked on Ashley Deeney's long throw.

With the Rebels more and more desperate for a goal, they continued to pour forward, leaving Thatcham to try and catch them on the break. Livewire striker Vicente put a shot wide, whilst Slough were grateful to be able to clear away from their own goalmouth following a corner delivery.

Alex Brown was pushed up front in the closing stages, and West was called into action to save his half-volley from the edge of the box.

Slough looked increasingly likely to make something happen - but the breakthrough, in the end, was achieved with the award of a highly dubious penalty.

Ryan O'Toole ran on to a flick-on and fell under contact from Gareth Brown as he was heading for the by-line. A penalty was awarded, and Thatcham substitute Dave Asker was red-carded for foul and abusive language in the aftermath. Eddie Smith, who bagged two penalties at Rugby the previous Thursday, again converted successfully to grab his 30th goal of the season.

Slough survived a nervy moment as a poor kick out from Jamie Jackson was seized upon but fired well wide from Jack Coventry from distance – but the Rebels made the game safe with a minute to go as Smith ran clean through to grab his second, after a hard fought encounter.

Thatcham Town Lineup

West, McCready, Charlick (Why), Bowler, Brown, Langford (Asker), Willmoth, Painter, Coventry, Vicente, S Hamilton.


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