Monday 26th September 2005

Slade Green have to settle for two draws over weekend

Slade Green squandered the opportunity to jump three places in the Kentish Observer League when they conceded an 89th minute leveller in their mid-table clash against East Londoners Sporting Bengal on Saturday, writes Peter Wiseman.

Neither keeper was troubled during the first half hour, although, Glenn McTaggart should have finished when clear through on 29 minutes.


Two minutes later Bengal took the lead as Foyzal Hoque cracked the ball through the advancing Gary Arterton into the centre of the goal.


Then followed Green’s best spell.  First Penny and then McTaggart headed free-kicks just wide of goal. But then Green got on target as McTaggart popped up with his stunning finish to level the score from Tony Weir’s killer through ball on 37 minutes.


Before half time McTaggart’s on target header from Morgan’s by-line cross nearly earned him a second goal, while Green were not quite sharp enough to respond when Sporting’s keeper made his first fumble and dropped a cross a minute before the break.


Green should have wrapped it up in their 20 minutes of dominance after the break, but a volley, and then a header, both via the busy McTaggart, were well collected by Amponsah.


Green seemed to have clinched all three points when on 82 minutes they moved into the lead for the first time in the game when Mark Penny powered his header home following a probing Robert Browning free-kick.


But seven minutes later Bengal grabbed the equaliser, Ali drilled his shot towards goal but the ball took a deflection of Mark Penny and Arterton’s valiant effort to push the ball clear only helped the ball into the far corner of the goal.

New Slade Green reserve team manager Wayne Baldacchino and coach Ray Bagnall, began their reign on Saturday with a hard fought 1-1 draw at Tunbridge Wells. 

All the action seemed condensed to the opening 20 minutes, as The Green struck the woodwork no fewer than 6 times, scored in the 2nd minute and had skipper Micky Bradley sent off for the second time this season. 

In fairness it was not all one-way traffic, as The Green could easily been behind after just 30seconds, when slack passing allowed the Wells centre forward a free run at goal, thankfully Sam Mills was alert and pulled off a fine save at the onrushing forwards feet. 

From the resulting save, good play saw Jason Elliott release Rob Taylor, whose shot cannoned off the bar, the rebound fell to Steve Lee who crashed his shot against the post before finally falling to Billy Bond, who slammed the ball into the net.

To their credit Wells bounced straight back and within five minutes they were level, some fine work down the right was rewarded with a deft touch that left Mills no chance in the Green goal. 

Wells continued to press and created a couple of decent chances that, on another day could have seen them 2 or 3-1 up, but the Green rode their luck and got themselves back into the game. 

Just as the Green began to take control they had skipper Bradley sent off, for what seemed to be an elbow, there seemed little defence for Bradley, although he did seem to have been caught himself by an elbow in the same challenge, unfortunately this went un-noticed and Bradley was dismissed.

Words by the new management duo at half time saw the Green reorganise and to their credit they looked the better side in the second half and the one most capable of taking the three points, but it was not to be, a 1-1 draw the end result. 

On reflection it was probably a fair result, considering they had spent 70 minutes playing with ten men.

Baldacchino spoke positively after his first 90 minutes in charge.   "I can't fault the players effort, we worked our socks off when we were reduced to 10 men, we never got negative and continued to press and continued to try and win the game, but it was not to be," he said. 

"We have lots of work to do and the sending off shouldn't hide that fact, we need to work harder at keeping the ball when in possession and we need to find the final pass, at the moment we have some great build up play but no great end product.

"In fairness after being reduced to 10 men it could have been worse, we will hopefully add a couple of new players to the squad and look to build on today when we visit Folkestone next weekend."