Tunbridge Wells 1 Slade Green 1

Tuesday 21st March 2006
From the kick-off on Saturday, Slade Green attacked the Tunbridge Wells goal and within two minutes Scott Mulholland sent his rasping left foot shot over Whitehouse from 25 yards which dipped into the net at the far post, writes Barry Feist

It was the former Queen’s Park Rangers’ youngster first goal for the club and from Slade Green's point of view was probably their 'goal of the season'.

It was a superb start for the Green and seven minutes later Tony Weir fired just wide after some excellent play in midfield by Jason Elliott and Paul McCarthy also shot wide moments later.

Wells counter-attacked and on 11 minutes Green keeper Gary Arterton reacted well to tip over an Adrian Hatcher lob then a cross from Ben Hilden was met by the head of Phillips but his effort went well over Arterton's crossbar.

Jason Elliott, fresh from injury, was playing well for Green and was again in the thick of things on 26 minutes. Elliott played the ball out wide to Weir, Weir took the ball a few yards down the line before sending the ball into the Wells penalty area. Elliott had continued his run into the box but Jason Bourne pounced to head the ball behind before Elliott could get a touch.

Five minutes later Elliott was booked for a rash challenge and then a minute later the home side's former Erith Town striker Danny Nicholls sent his header just over the bar.

Jason Elliott was yet again involved on 38 minutes and should have extended Green's lead. Wells keeper John Whitehouse rushed out to meet Elliott who was striding towards goal. Elliott cleverly took the ball round the keeper but his shot towards goal was cleared off the line for a corner by Jason Bourne.

Four minutes into the second half Slade Green again tried to extend their lead but Lee Jull mis-hit his shot wide of the goal when in space on the edge of the box. This proved to be Green's best opportunity of the half as Wells began to take control of the game.

Within a minute of Jull's miss Danny Nicholls pulled the scores level for the home side. Sam Phillips played the ball into the box and Nicholls nipped in ahead of Arterton and lobbed the ball into the goal.

Wells began to pressure the Green and pinned them back into their own half for more than 20 minutes. Lee Morgan, returning early from injury, replaced brother Tom on 65 minutes and was a rock in defence for the remainder of the game. Then on 69 minutes when Green did finally get into the Wells half they failed to get a shot in on goal.

Two minutes later Phillips fired over for Wells and then Arterton pulled off a superb reflex save to deny Nicholls after he had fumbled the initial shot.

Billy Bond became Green's latest addition to the treatment table when he limped from the field on 82 minutes and was replaced by Steven Lee.

In the final minutes Green went forward looking for goals but to no avail. McCarthy was lucky to remain on the pitch when he was booked for head-butting Adrian Hatcher in the face on 89 minutes. McCarthy was promptly withdrawn from the field and replaced with Simon Mace, however, this was more or less the last action of the game.

Tunbridge Wells: Whitehouse, Bourne, Hilden (Fuller), Hatcher, McKeown, O’Leary, Phillips, Rich, Hickmott (Hassett), Nicholls, Balmer.  Subs: Nicholl, El-Ferdi, Stoate

Slade Green: Arterton, Lewis, Bond (Lee), T.Morgan (L.Morgan), Penny, Barber, Jull, Elliott, Weir, Mulholland, McCarthy (Mace)