Coupland returns and sinks the
Herne Bay 0-1 Slade Green
Saturday 6 December 2003
Go Travel Kent League
by Robert Smith
Peter Coupland returned to haunt his former club on Saturday as Green's five match run without a win came to an end. During his time on the Kent coast Coupland was a Bay folk hero where his prolific goalscoring proved pivotal in the club's unlimited run of success under the then manager Tommy Sampson.
However, the Bay faithful were pleased to see the back of him come 4-45 on Saturday after his goal separated the two sides.
In an evenly contested encounter a superb four man move almost saw Green take a 13th minute lead. Scott Lewis made good inroads in his own half before releasing Shaun Malyon whose pass picked out Dave Martin and after his thunderous drive was superbly tipped away by the keeper, Coupland looked set to pounce but unbelievably with the goal at his mercy he somehow failed to connect with the loose ball.
The second half proved to be a lot more open and a brilliant opportunist strike from Bay's Mark Pollard crashed back off the post on 47 minutes but within 5 minutes Green made the decisive breakthrough.
There was a touch of route one about this goal a long clearance from keeper Paul Vines sent Bay backtracking and following good pressure from Mark Barton and Dave Martin hesitancy between the keeper and a defender allowed Coupland to slip in and place an audacious little dink into the Bay net.
Just seconds later Bay should have been on level terms if not a vital last ditch tackle by the outstanding Lee Barber who was without doubt the Man of the Match.
At the other end another ex Bay man Phil Miles saw his powerful header saved while former Tooting & Mitcham player Mo Hussane volleyed over from Martin's corner.
With Bay pressing forward Green defended stoutly, an inch perfect interception by Miles thwarted the home side before both Pollard and Pietro Cirrillo saw efforts deflected wide.
With 2 minutes
remaining Green looked set to pounce again youth team player Kingsley Anderson
was introduced to proceedings and following fine play which saw his demonstrate
great balance and determination but instead of going for goal himself he instead
unselfishly squared the ball into the path of Malyon whose powerful half volley
smacked against the woodwork.
Slade Green: Vines, Lewis, Sabatino (Skinner) Barber, Upson, Miles, Martin, Laming (Hussane) Coupland (Anderson) Malyon, Barton.