|Go Travel Kent League
|Robert Smith reports from Reachfields Stadium|
|Hythe Town||1||Pollard 60|
Green draw a blank - but reserves secure second semi
Green went into the game without defenders Mark Sabatino (knee) and Mark Penny (thigh). However, they were boosted by the return of Lee Barber having missed the previous game through work commitments.
The visitors were thankful to the woodwork after 6 minutes as Terry King saw his powerful drive crash against the post.
Although Green’s leading goalscorer Ryan Hayes sent a 30 yard drive flying wide Green’s first half display was well below par as the home side peppered the visitors goal.
Having embarked on a fine solo run, Ian Hayes strike lacked the necessary power to trouble keeper Paul Vines returning from a six match lay off following a calf strain.
Vines then produced superb reflexes to keep out Hayes glancing header and then went full stretch to thwart former Sittingbourne man Roy Godden.
Not even the award of a penalty following a handball by Darren Upson could beat the Green shot stopper as he dived to his left to keep out Godden’s spot kick.
If Hythe had enjoyed the better of the first half the roles were reversed after the break and just two minutes in Dave Martin fired across the face of goal from Ryan Hayes squared ball.
A cross from Hayes then set up an opportunity for Shaun Malyon but his header was easily gathered by keeper Nick Day.
Malyon again threatened soon afterwards, Danny Little producing neat play before playing in Malyon whose shot on the turn drew a good stop from keeper Day.
The decisive goal arrived on the hour mark. Dean Kearley was adjudged to have committed a foul and from the free kick that arose taken by Dean Widnall, Mark Pollard pounced with a low header.
Just two minutes later Green looked to be Back on level terms when Ryan Hayes unleashed a spectacular 20 yard drive that rattled back off the crossbar still the danger was not cleared but the follow up from Dave Martin flew a shade wide of the target.
Green continued to press for the equaliser, Danny Little’s throughball was headed on by Tony Gallagher into the path of Dave Martin whose header was saved while Ryan Hayes drove the ball wide following Lee Barber’s slick pass.
This proved to be Green’s final worthwhile chance on goal as they drew a blank for the first time in nine outings.
Late in the game Ian Hayes maybe should have struck for the home side, firstly hitting high and wide when well placed before then being thwarted by Dean Kearley’s perfectly time tackle.
Meanwhile, Slade Green's reserve team secured their second semi final of the season as they brushed aside first division side Ramsgate 4-0 at The Small Glen.
Chris Tuley continued his prolific form of late with yet another goal as Green stormed into a 3-0 half time lead.
Green’s other scorers were Mark Baron, Lee Morgan and Tom Morgan.
The win comes a week after Green defeated Gravesend & Northfleet 3-0 in the quarter finals of the Kent Intermediate Cup.
In the Intermediate Cup semi final Green face Tonbridge at The Small Glen, while the semi draw for the League Cup takes place in a fortnight's time.