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|Martin Wiseman reports from The Small Glen|
|Slade Green||1||Hayes 37|
|Thamesmead Town||1||Evans 82|
FOR the second consecutive
week these two great rivals came face to face and yet again it was the referee
that took centre stage following two highly controversial decisions inside the
final 10 minutes.
Mead have their own way over local rivals
Having missed the previous weeks League Cup Quarter Final Dave Martin made a welcome return to the Green line up and obviously proved to be a cause of concern for the visitors and it was he who was involved in the home team’s first attack.
However, it was Mead who asked the early questions as twice inside the opening three minutes crosses from the right flank had Green’s defence stretched, firstly Curtis Williams volley drew a good save from Paul Vines while Kieron Collins headed over from 8 yards.
Having weathered this early bout of Thamesmead pressure, Green sprang into life, Billy Bonds whipped in a cross from the left and as Ryan Hayes moved in, Danny Evans played the ball out for a corner from which Dave Martin attempted a double attempt at the Thamesmead goal.
Tony Gallagher then played Martin in and after he had won Green another corner Gallagher rose high and headed narrowly wide.
Martin then ceased upon a miscued pass only to fire across the face of the Mead goal, moments later the Green winger latched onto Dean Bowey’s flick and looked to set to score only for the linesmen’s flag to stop him in his tracks.
With 28 minutes on the clock, Thamesmead again looked dangerous, Dean Burns shot was deflected for Mead's first corer of the game and as the flag kick entered the box Lee Loveridge’s powerful drive struck the arm of Green skipper Tony Gallagher but Meads cries for a handball were ignored by the referee.
Eight minutes before the interval Green drew first blood when positioned on the edge of the box Ryan Hayes unleashed a stinging drive than flew past keeper Kemp inside the right hand post.
As half time approached Thamesmead could and maybe should have drawn level. Pedro Knight set up Sam Thomas who dinked a cross over keeper Vines but no Mead player capitalised on this chance while shortly afterwards Vines thwarted Thomas as the Mead playmaker found himself well placed in the 6 yard box.
For much of the second half Thamesmead looked dangerous on the break however at the same time Green were guilty of giving the ball away too cheaply in the midfield area one such instance seeing Bonds lose the ball to allow the impressive Curtis Williams through on goal only for Paul Vines to bravely save at his feet.
Green’s first major attack of the second period didn’t arrive until the 71st minute as Dave Martin embarked on a fine run from a throw only for his cross to elude everybody in the box.
Thamesmead then stamped their authority on the game. Dean Burns goalbound shot was brilliantly scooped off the line by Vines and with the rebounding ball falling to Sam Thomas his shot also destined for the back of the net was blocked by Darren Upson while Vines then went full stretch to tip Burns shot over the bar.
Thamesmead’s pressure finally paid off 10 minutes from time having been awarded a highly controversial corner when the ball had clearly come off a Thamesmead player.
From the resulting set peice Danny Evans with the wind at his side saw his flag kick inswing directly into the goal.
Instantly Green instigated an attack of their own and Hayes shot struck the hand of defender John Mayall.
The referee pointed to the penalty spot but then to Green’s disgust after discussion with his linesman backtracked on his decision and awarded a free kick in which Tony Gallagher hit wide.
This proved to be the final goalmouth action and for the fourth and final time this season Green had failed to beat their great rivals.