Debutant Marcel Barrington salvages last-minute point for Hampton
The Beavers rescued a point with the last kick of the game despite a disappointing performance.
By Rob Clayden
Hampton started brightly, seeing plenty of the ball in the first five minutes.
Jack Connors on his return for a third loan spell at the Beveree drove into the box on the left side, linking up with Matty Wichelow and Craig Dundas in the process, forcing a hasty clearance from the Slough defence.
Slough soon established a strong foothold in the game however, and had the first shot of the match deflected wide – skipper Mark Nisbet with the away side’s first sighter from the edge of the box.
Following a sustained period of pressure, Slough won a free-kick near the right corner flag which would provide the best chance of the opening 15 minutes.
After Tom Lovelock left his line to punch clear George Wells’ cross, Slough midfielder Matt Lench looped a header back over the Beavers' keeper - only for Rian Bray to make a vital goalline clearance.
Hampton’s defensive stand would not last long though, as Slough defender Sam Togwell opened the scoring after 25 minutes.
Tyrell Miller-Rodney conceded a foul in a dangerous position just outside his own box on the left-hand side, and Wells whipped in an inviting free kick for Togwell to nod into the far corner under little pressure.
Hampton reached the half hour mark having created very little in the way of clear-cut chances, with the away team visibly first to every second-ball in the midfield.
With five minutes to go until the break, Lench almost put Slough two goals to the good – fizzing a right-footed shot just wide from a central position after Hampton were dispossessed in midfield.
The Beavers, despite struggling for large periods of the first half, almost drew level against the run of play just before the half time whistle.
The ball broke to Dundas on the left edge of the box, who jinked past his man and fired a deflected effort just wide of the right-hand post with Slough keeper Jack Turner beaten.
Hampton came out for the second half with a change in formation and fortunes, causing problems from the outset.
Nana Kyei was replaced at the interval by Casey Maclaren, who added some strength to a Hampton midfield that was consistently overrun in the first period.
Chris Dickson and Dundas began to link up regularly, with Dickson firing a dangerous ball across the six-yard box after breaking past the Slough defence on the left side.
Slough substitute Tommy Wood was introduced in place of the yellow-carded Ben Harris just before the hour mark, and had a great chance with his first touch, miscuing his shot from a great position in the box.
Beavers responded instantly however, with Dickson firing high and wide from the left-side of the box after latching on to a Dundas flick on.
As the game passed the hour mark Slough visibly pressed for a second, Lench firing over from two yards out after Warren Harris put a wonderful ball across the six-yard box.
Harris started causing regular problems down the right hand side, and Chris Flood should have made it 2-0 with 20 minutes to go – the forward heading over Harris’ driven ball from six yards.
Despite a markedly improved second half, Hampton only looked dangerous as the game entered its final few minutes.
At the start of injury time, Dundas forced a brilliant point-blank save from Turner following a Dickson header across the face of goal.
That may well have been the Beavers’ final chance, but after Tom Lovelock saved brilliantly from Slough substitute Sean Fraser, Hampton went the length of the field to score a last-minute equaliser.
Casey Maclaren took the ball wide after being played through into the Slough box, before laying it off on the left hand side for Ryan Hill.
Hill whipped in a brilliant cross to the back post, where debutant Marcel Barrington nodded into a gaping net to secure a point for Gary McCann’s side.
Manager Gary McCann's reaction
"I’m not too convinced with the actual performance in terms of ball retention, in terms of quality and in terms of creating.
“I’m pleased with the defensive structure today, however I can assure you I’m not happy with the level of performance we’re giving offensively at the moment.
“The big plus to come out of today is the battling qualities, we kept going right until the death – it wasn’t the most attractive performance but we gained a point off the back of an average performance so it does feel like it was a point gained.”
On Marcel Barrington:
“We just added him to the pack on Thursday so its important that he starts quickly. He’s a really hardworking, humble lad and I’m pleased he’s up and running.”
Featured photograph/Ben Harrison-Hyde/flickr.com/photos/bjhhphotography