|Go Travel Kent League
|Stephen McCartney reports from The Small Glen|
|Slade Green||1||Chris Tuley 78|
|Tunbridge Wells||1||Bradley Mortimer 31|
Draw was a fair result, admits Slade Green boss Miles
PHIL MILES admitted a draw was a fair result as his Slade Green side held draw specialists Tunbridge Wells at The Small Glen on Tuesday night.
Tunbridge Wells opened the
scoring just past the half-an-hour mark but had to settle for their sixth draw
from their opening seven Go Travel Kent League games when the home side
deservedly equalised twelve minutes from time.
Both sides created half chances in the opening twenty minutes with both goalkeepers, Paul Vines and visiting stopper Matt Bromby making routine saves.
home side's best chance came on the half-an-hour mark, a minute before the
visitors took the lead.
Chris Tuley showed strength to battle his way past Kevin Skinner and Bradley Mortimer and played the ball inside to 40-year-old striker Dean Bowey, whose 25-yarder took a deflection on its way to Bromby who saved comfortably.
Tunbridge Wells, however, opened the scoring moments later. A mazy run down the right hand side by seventeen-year-old right sided midfielder Steven Ward saw him reach the by-line before cutting the ball back for Mortimer whose six-yard shot took a slight deflection before finding the right hand corner of the net.
Slade Green almost equalised following poor defending from Martin Anderson who lost possession on the right hand side of the defence and after Bromby blocked a shot, Danny Little issued the visitors a warning when he flashed a 25 yard shot inches past the post.
The visitors missed two good chances before the break. Lee Porter - who latched onto a long ball from defence - maybe should have found the net when he only had the goalkeeper to beat - but he poked a shot that was comfortable for Vines to block. Anderson, who almost gifted the home side a goal, headed over following a free kick.
Tunbridge Wells, however,
should have wrapped up their second victory of the season, five minutes after
Ward, once again made inroads down the right-hand side, when he received the ball on the touch-line, cut inside into the penalty area, and from the by-line he set up Mortimer for the second time in the game, but this time Vines blocked his six-yard effort at his near post.
Following the introduction of former Erith & Belvedere right-sided midfielder Stuart Abbott, Slade Green raised the tempo and began to attack their unbeaten visitors with more purpose.
kick went wide of the left upright before the striker launched a cross from the
left hand side which an unmarked Shaun Malyon planted a header over the bar from
Impressive winger Billy Bond sent in a corner from the left which was met by his captain Tony Gallagher, who leapt over the visiting defence but planted his header over the bar. The woodwork denied the home side three minutes later when Malyon's header clipped off defender Anderson before hitting the crossbar.
Slade Green were finally rewarded with a deserved equaliser with twelve minutes before full time.
Gallagher's cross from the right was met by Tuley from 12-yards and his powerful header flew over Bromby and found the top right hand corner of the net.
Tunbridge Wells had late penalty appeals turned down when Anderson was brought to the ground by a challenge from Lee Morgan but in the end a draw was a fair result, according to Miles.
"In the end, after our first half performance, I would say a draw is a fair result for both sides," the 36-year-old joint Slade Green manager admitted.
"Our first half performance wasn't so clever, but for people that watched the game, they could see how much we improved in the second half once we got the goal."
Miles was satisfied that his side had bounced back from their 3-0 mauling at Thamesmead Town on Saturday.
"I've got to be honest and say it probably wasn't difficult to bounce back from that dire performance.
"It was disgraceful really - we expect the minimum of effort and Saturday was very disappointing."
Miles' side, however, are third from bottom in the Go Travel Kent League, but he will be talking to some of his contacts in the game to help his side defeat Ryman League Second Division side Abingdon Town in Saturday's home FA Vase first round tie.
"I shall ask a couple of people I know who manage Ryman sides to find out more about them," he said.
"It's a difficult draw but we are at home and hopefully we can build on tonight and take it from there."
Paul Vines, Scott Lewis, Danny Little (Stuart Abbott 57), Tony Gallagher (Capt),
Lee Morgan, Lee Barber, Shaun Malyon, Wayne Barrett, Chris Tuley, Dean Bowey
(Ryan Hayes 89), Billy Bond (Dave Martin 82). Subs: James Clark, Lee Haywood
Tunbridge Wells: Matt Bromby, Martin Anderson, Ben Hilden, Simon Joynes (Capt), Kevin Skinner, Paul Hallett (Stefan Moore 72), Steven Ward, Bradley Mortimer, Steve Smith, Dan Barham (Dean Walker 77), Lee Porter. Sub: Daniel Mattheson
Referee: S Finnigan
Assistants: R Preedy & R Woods