07:00PM, Thursday 05 May 2022
Alfonso Tenconi played his last game for the club on Monday
For long periods of Monday's final game of the season Slough Town were on top and looked in control of the game, but Hampton levelled matters from the penalty spot and went on to win it 3-1 with two late goals.
The Rebels showed plenty of character to respond to Saturday's 6-0 defeat by Dartford at Arbour Park and with a little more luck might have held more than a 1-0 lead at half-time.
That goal came courtesy of Ben Harris who headed home a cross from Sean Fraser in the 37th minute.
More goals might have followed with Lee Togwell heading against the post on the stroke of half-time, and Kurtis Cumberbatch seeing a goal bound effort clawed away by the Hampton keeper in the 65th minute.
However, the match swivelled on the controversial decision to award Hampton a penalty in the 66th minute, following a hand ball by Fraser in his final game for the club.
Donaldson sent Jonathan North the wrong way to make it 1-1 and scored again seven minutes from time before substitute Hamblin made it three in stoppage-time.
Those goals brought the curtain down on season for the Rebels and, while the final weekend was a disappointing one for them in terms of results, Neil Baker and Jon Underwood can look back on a challenging campaign with some pride. Their play-off challenge may have run out of steam at the last, but this young, inexperienced squad did incredibly well to stay in the race for as long as they did.
With other teams playing their final games on Saturday, Slough sit just outside of the top half in 11th place.
Speaking to Ade Gomm after the match at Hampton, Baker told sloughtown.net: “We said at half-time that we'd shown a bit of character after Dartford on Saturday. I thought we were fluid, I thought we were really good. As good as we've been for a while to be honest. There were some good performances, and we broke on them loads. Where we can be critical is that we've got to punish teams. We went 1-0 up but we had to punish them while we were on top and try to get that second goal because that's so massive in football. If we get that second goal then I think we have a comfortable afternoon, because they were not in it other than that first five minutes and from the moment they get their penalty.
“It was against Sean, and it probably was a penalty. Their lad has whipped a cross in and he's tried to block it but the momentum has taken his hand to it.
“But then we just didn't take control of the game back. They had their tails up but to concede the second goal is just poor. We've then thrown caution to the wind, but it's just bitterly disappointing because for periods of today we were really good.”
Baker admitted the club's inability to see games out has cost them their shot at taking one of the play-off spots.
On five occasions, against Bath City, Dulwich Hamlet - in the 94th minute - Chelmsford City, Concord Rangers and Hampton & Richmond the Rebels failed to hold onto a lead. Had they held onto those 11 points they'd now be sitting in the play-offs.
“You've got to see games out,” said Baker. “Over the last few weeks, we've gone 1-0 up here, 1-0 up at Chelmsford, 1-0 up at Concord and between those games we've picked up two points. It’s a tough afternoon because for so long we were in control of the game. It's a disappointing last 25 minutes of the season, when for 65 minutes it was positive.
“We need a goal scorer but then everyone does.
“We're fishing in a different pool and looking for that gem, like Alfonso (Tenconi) and Tyler (Goodrham) but they're not easy to find.”
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