Beckenham thwarted by Vines
Beckenham Town 0-0 Slade Green
Go Travel Kent League Premier Division
Saturday 7 February 2004
by Robert Smith
Green secured their third consecutive clean sheet following this 0-0 stalemate
at Eden Park Avenue on Saturday
Slade Green could have been ahead on 8 minutes when Lee Barber's throughball released Shaun Malyon whose resulting shot was deflected off the goal-line by Nathan Paul.
After Dave Martin's stinging 30 yard free kick drifted narrowly wide of the Beckenham upright the visitors then twice carved open the Beckenham defence all to no avail.
Firstly Paul McCarthy's free kick was flicked on by Phil Miles only for the ball to be whipped away from the toes of Mark Sabatino while a similar defensive block thwarted Lee Barber following a deft pass from Shaun Malyon.
Sabatino clearly enjoying his new found role in midfield might then have pounced in the 52nd minute when he fired over following neat approach play by McCarthy and Malyon.
It took the home side until the hour mark before eventually pressing the visitors rearguard, when Jason Clews making his first appearance since returning from Thamesmead Town sent a curling free kick veering for the top right corner of the goal only for Paul Vines at full stretch to punch it round the post.
Just seconds later Green were presented with their best scoring opportunity for the entire game when James Clark's lay off picked out Malyon who after swift turn was left with just keeper Craig Clark to beat only to see his foot strike the ground and scuff the ball directly into the keeper's legs.
Following this let off Beckenham began to look dangerous as they enjoyed their best spell of the game. There were shades of David Beckham's goal against Wimbledon several season's back when on 65 minutes Martin West spotted keeper Vines off his line and tried his luck from 50 yards only for the Green shot stopper to brilliantly race back and scoop the ball off the line.
Vines was then called into action to punch clear Paul Smith's free kick however with the ball falling to Steve Shippey he looked set to score but he drilled his effort wide of the target.
The acrobatic brilliance of Vines was again evident 12 minutes from time when he went at full stretch he turned Shippey's goalbound strike onto the crossbar.
In the closing stages Green may have snatched victory when Mark Barton's squared ball was knocked on by Malyon into the path of McCarthy but he was unable to keep his effort on target.
Beckenham: Clark, Belton, Smith, Paul, Weatherhead, Kirkby,West, Miah, Wilson, Gallagher, Clews. Subs: Shippey, Barnett, Farram, Cooney, Fabian.
Slade Green: Vines, Clark, Morgan (Dallan), Barber, Upson, Miles, Martin, Lewis (Barton), Malyon, Sabatino, McCarthy. Sub not used: Sargent.