Thursday 01st September 2005

Freak goal sinks Slade Green
Maidstone United 3-2 Slade Green
Saturday 25 October 2003
Go Travel Kent League Premier Division
by Robert Smith 

A freak goals 5 minutes from time robbed Slade Green of a deserved point. 

It was a case of de-ja-vu when for the second successive season this fixture saw Green twice surrender the lead before succumbing to a late winning goal. 

As always seems to be the case Sam Prett again proved to be the scourge of The Stones as he netted against them for the fourth time in as many games. 

For the opening 15 minutes Green struggled to get out of their own half but when they did for the first time they almost edged ahead as Mark Sabatino's long punt forward assisted by Sam Prett fell into the path of Dean Corrigan whose effort flashed across the face of the Stones goal. 

Nine minutes later with their next attack they did open the scoring following a great challenge by Lee Barber the ball run to Prett who saw his shot take a slight deflection before seeing the ball nestle in the back of the net. 

Five minutes later Richard Sinden was guilty of a bad miss for the home side however  by the 32nd minute he made amends by drawing the Stones level when having collected a square ball he slotted it  beyond Jim Etherington covering for the unavailable Paul Vines. 

Green began the second half like an express train and after Corrigan had won the ball on the right flank, Prett saw his shot saved on the line and with the ball falling to Tony Weir his goalbound effort was miraculously headed off the line by Bradbrook. 

This proved to be only a temporary rest bite for the home side because within seconds they again found themselves trailing their opponents, Barber was again the goal provider this time floating a raking cross towards Paul McCarthy who rose majestically to plant his header past experienced keeper Maurice Munden. 

The game could then have been put beyond the home side when on 54 minutes Dave Martin capitalised on a slip by a defender and embarked on a run forward totally unmarked but unaware of the time he had he rushed his effort enabling Munden to comfortably gather the ball. 

The home side were thankful to this let off 8 minutes later as they equalised for a second time when following a corner from the right Scott Appleton saw his header pushed onto the underside of the cross-bar by Etherington only to bounce into the net. 

Green still confident they could claim maximum points pressed forward, Weir trying his luck from 25 yards and Prett being denied by the keeper following a good long ball from Sabatino. 

Maidstone were equally threatening at the other end Etheridge did well to thwart Steve Marshall from close range whilst Darren Upson produced two timely interceptions. 

Green's hard work was undone though 5 minutes from time.  An attempted clearance from Phil Collier was deflected off Marshall and although Etherington was able to scoop the ball off the line it fell to Appleton who was on hand to seal a lucky victory for the home side. 

Even then Green almost pounced at the death when a free kick from Dave Martin caused utter panic in the Stones penalty box before being cleared from danger.

Slade Green:  Etherington, Laming, Sabatino, Barber, Upson, Collier, Martin, Corrigan ( Malyon), Prett, Weir (Dallon), McCarthy.  Other subs:  Haskins, Barton, Lynch