|Robert Smith reports from The Small Glen
Million pound star steers Abingdon past Green
Slade Green completed the signing of Steve Sallis from Go Travel Kent League rivals Maidstone United in time for their FA Vase first round tie with Ryman League Second Division outfit Abingdon Town on Saturday.
Sallis has spent the majority of the season out on loan at Ashford Town and despite being chased by three other clubs he put pen to paper for The Green last Wednesday.
He has played around 100 games in the Ryman League for various clubs and describes himself as either a midfielder or striker.
His past clubs include Brighton & Hove Albion, Lewes, Grays Athletic, Barking, Worthing and Horsham.
However, it is not every day that a £1 million pound star plays at The Small Glen.
This was the case as Joey Beauchamp helped Abingdon Town overcome Green 3-1 in the FA Vase first round proper.
Beauchamp was signed by West Ham from Oxford United for £1 million in June 1994. However, he soon decided he couldn't stand the traffic travelling from Oxford each day and a mere 58 days later he signed for Swindon Town for a combined fee of £800,000, before being sold by Steve McMahon back to his beloved Oxford in a deal worth £300,000.
For the second successive week Green conceded three second half goals, however, during the first half there was little between the two sides.
Stuart Abbott produced a diagonal run forward which so nearly put Dean Bowey through on goal while skipper Tony Gallagher saw his free kick drift narrowly over the bar before then forcing the keeper into making a save with an effort from 30 yards.
Abbott then produced a dazzling run half the length of the pitch which culminated in Dave Martin's long range shot drifting wide.
At the other end having already fired into the side netting, Beauchamp was thwarted by Shaun Malyon and then Lee Barber's timely interception and Chris Johnson fired just over from 25 yards.
The second half was barley a minute old when the visitors opened the scoring. Beauchamp who has netted 10 goals in his last five outings floated in a free kick, Rory Jenkins flicked it on and Johnson was on hand to head the ball home.
With 58 minutes on the clock Abingdon doubled their lead with another headed opportunity this time Rory Jenkins pouncing with a stooping header from Mark Baker's centred ball.
Green introduced new signing Steve Sallis and his deft pass was almost converted by Dean Bowey.
On 77 minutes Green came desperately close to reducing the deficit, keeper Betterton parried Martin's 30 yard blockbuster and then did well to turn the follow up shot from Shaun Malyon round the post.
After Vines had saved well from Beauchamp the visitors grabbed their third goal with five minutes remaining as Mark Baker unleashed a quite audacious chip to leave the ball spinning over a despairing Vines.
Within two minutes Green pulled a goal back, having connected with a Sallis corner, Gallagher steered his header towards Ryan Hayes to slot the ball into the net from close range.
A minute later Green looked to have set up a grand finale only for the woodwork to intervene as Bowey's spectacular strike from 25 yards cannoned back off the crossbar.
Slade Green: Vines, Lewis, Abbott, Gallagher, Morgan (Hayes), Barber, Martin, Barrett, Tuley (Sallis), Bowey, Malyon. Other subs: Little, Bond, Mills.
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