Joseph Opens Account, As Beavers Earn Draw
Harris' header cancelled out Zak Joseph's first goal for the Beavers, as a point is picked up at Slough Town.
A hard-earned draw on the road for The Beavers caps off a tough day at Slough Town, in a game with lots of goalscoring opportunities for both sides.
The Beavers handed competitive debuts to 10 players in their starting XI, with Craig Dundas back into the side for the first time in over 7 years.
Reverting to a 4-2-3-1 formation, the Beavers new signings Murrell-Williamson and Craig Dundas went straight into the squad, adding firepower alongside Dickson and Joseph.
In contrast, the hosts had much of the same side that won them promotion last year, with new signing Sam Togwell from Easteigh starting in midfield. Luis Soares, who signed from Hungerford Town, was named amongst the substitutes on a sunny day at Arbour Park.
It was a dream start for the new-look Beavers, with Gary McCann’s team taking the lead after just three minutes.
A well worked attack saw Dickson work tirelessly to release Joseph on the left. Joseph raced onto the ball, taking a touch, before unleashing a powerful effort into the top left corner, which keeper Turner had no chance with.
Slough Town responded well, with Ben Harris finding space at the back post, but defender Oliver Sprague had worked tirelessly to keep the No.9 under wraps.
The Beavers went on to force the better of the chances, with Craig Dundas being denied his first goal since rejoining the Beavers, with his bullet header being turned over by defender Lee Togwell.
Hampton looked most likely to add the second, as more great interplay between Dickson and Dundas released Zak Joseph, who took the ball down on the half volley from 25 yards – only for goalkeeper Jack Turner to get down well to his right and stop him.
The second goal didn’t come however, and in the 25th minute, Slough Town equalised. Robson’s deep cross from the left wing found Warren Harris at the back post, with the winger heading into the ground, and beating Tom Lovelock.
This started a spell of good pressure for The Rebels, with Dobson going on to cause continued problems. One excellent inswinging free-kick across the Beavers box nearly found its way in with a looping header, but Lovelock was alert to make a high catch under pressure.
Dan Bowry was the first to go into the book, with a late challenge on the right wing on former Hampton player Ben Harris. Dobson again stood over the free-kick, sending an inch-perfect free-kick sailing into the area. He found striker Chris Flood free in the 6-yard-box, but his flicked header somehow looped over, keeping the scores level.
There was a half chance before the interval for Dickson, who rose to meet Spragues first time cross. The glanced header however rolled just passed the goal – which on another day could have crept in.
The second half continued in much the same way, cagey, but with both teams working hard to find space.
This forged an early chance, as Dickson raced onto a through ball, beating the whole back four with his speed. There was certainly a subtle tug on the Hampton forward, which the officials ignored. The final chance was snatched at, and easy for Turner to collect.
Slough Town built the pressure, and nearly took the lead, when a deep corner found Warren Harris once again. His lower header was hacked away by Murrell –Williamson, but it galvanised The Rebels, and led to a sustained spell of pressure.
A moment of real quality from striker Chris Flood nearly gave Slough Town the lead, cutting in from out right, beating his man before finding himself one on one with Lovelock. The quality of his mazy run deserved a goal, but he pushed his shot just too far left, watching it rebound off the post.
Hampton had their chances after this, and a quick counter-attack saw Maclaren loft a pass into the path of Murrell-Williamson. Murrell-Williamson looked to have the beating of his man, but the decision to cut-in proved to be ineffectual, and his shot was easily blocked.
Chris Dickson, who worked tirelessly through the game, created a great opportunity with a burst of speed down the right. His cross found the waiting Dundas, but his angle was just off. On another day this could have been the breakthrough.
In the 76th minute, a late foul 25 yards from goal by Casey Maclaren on Warren Harris saw him enter the book, once more in a dangerous position for the home side. Credit to the Beavers though, who again stayed resolute to deny The Rebels from a set-piece.
With pressure mounting, Rian Bray was adjudged to have fouled Chris Flood. The referee brandished a yellow card which, you would assume given the soft nature of the foul, was for accumulated fouls.
Substitute Scott Davies stepped up to the free-kick, and must have thought he’d won it. A precise curled effort looked destined for the bottom corner, but Lovelock was across well, making a fantastic stop.
Although Hampton created chances on the break, the end of the game was Slough’s to win, and with Togwell’s header in the 92nd minute, they must have thought they'd done it. Patient build-up from a free-kick eventually found Sam Togwell free, with his header dropping onto the bar.
There’s no doubt the final whistle came as a relief to the travelling Beavers fans, who had seen their team dig deep to pick up a well-earned point.
“I said to the boys in there, as much as it’s a point gained, I want more from us ," said Manager Gary McCann, speaking to the media team after. “What I would say is that most of the set plays that came into the box, we defended really well, but we’ve got to stop giving them that opportunity to load our box.”
Catch up with the full interview here.
We’re back in action Tuesday night at home against Hemel Hempstead, kick-off 7.45pm.
We look forward to seeing you back at Beveree!