Thursday 01st September 2005

Nine-man Green fail to live up to expectations

Tuesday 1st
November 2005
FA Vase
First Round Replay
Barry Feist reports from The Small Glen
Slade Green 1 McTaggart 70
Mile Oak 4 Currem 6
Porter 10,50
Burnett 74


Sussex Counties Division 2 side Mile Oak sent Kentish Observer Kent League side Slade Green crashing out of the FA Vase on Tuesday night to earn a home game against Deal Town in the next round, writes Barry Feist.

After a goalless draw at the Rec on Saturday against a strong and physical Mile Oak side it was expected that Green would edge this replay on their home turf.

Despite making a promising start to the game Slade Green soon found themselves under pressure. With just six minutes gone, Mark Curram fired home the opening goal of the game from just outside the Green box.

Curram found the ball at his feet and with Slade Green’s defence standing like statues had several second’s to pick his spot before unleashing a rasping right foot shot that sailed over Green keeper Gary Arterton and dipped in at the far post.

Slade Green had hardly woken up, and when they found themselves two-nil down inside the first ten minutes things began to look a bit bleak. Mile Oak had a corner on nine minutes and with the Slade Green area packed out with Tangerine and Black shirt’s the ball was duly slotted home past a despairing Gary Arterton by Oak captain Steve Porter at the far post.

The home side had been stunned by two very early goals and began to attack the visitor’s goal. However, a combination of poor passing and squandered opportunities often gifted a more determined Mile Oak side the ball.

Oak pushed forward time and time again, frustrating Green into errors and on 23 minutes striker Paul Eaton connected with a cross into the box and forced Arterton into making a full stretch save.

Green defender Mark Penny was lucky to remain on the pitch three minutes later when his rash challenge sent Chris Pulling flying through the air. Referee Connor produced a yellow card to Penny under wild protests from the Mile Oak supporters.

For the last 20 minutes of the half, the game swung from end to end. Pulling, Porter and Burnett were outstanding for Mile Oak while Green’s Lee Barber and Scott Lewis also put in good performances. The best chances on goal however, fell to Green. Mark Sabatino’s high cross into the box on 28 minutes was met by the head of Shaun Malyon. Malyon’s header was on target but rather tame and Rich Whittington was able to make an easy save.

And then five minutes before half time Sabatino again crossed the ball into the box, Ryan Robinson attempted an overhead kick but was unable to get a good connection on it and another chance had gone begging.

In the second half Mile Oak again started as the stronger side, frustrating and teasing Slade Green. On 47 minutes Mark Sabatino was booked for dissent and just two minutes later Green’s nightmare got worse.

Mark Penny gave away a free-kick when he handballed 25 yards out. Green quickly made a substitution. Mark Penny was replaced by Micky Bradley and for the second game running Green had to shuffle their back line. Ryan Sargeant sent in the free-kick and Steve Porter, who had ghosted into the box nipped in to send his header looping over Arterton and into the back of the net for his second goal of the game.

Green then made a double substitution on 56 minutes when Alan Hanlon replaced Mark Sabatino and reserve team striker Lee Jull making his first team debut replaced Ryan Robinson.

Green had now opted for a three man strike force in order to get on the score sheet. And the new formation appeared to have paid off when on 70 minutes Green’s top striker Glenn McTaggart scored his fifth of the season.

McTaggart found himself in space on the edge of the box and spotting Whittington off his line looped his shot over the stranded keeper and into the net.

Green had restored a bit of pride but just four minutes later Tony Burnett bundled the ball over the line to restore the visitor’s three goal advantage.

Green’s Alan Hanlon and Robert Browning were given their marching orders on 76 minutes following a fracas in the middle of the park and a despondent Slade Green had been reduced to nine men.

Green were now under immense pressure but still continued to advance on the Mile Oak goal. Midfielder Tony Gallagher tried to get forward as much as possible to help out the front line of McTaggart, Weir and Jull but found a resilient Mile Oak defence shutting everything out.

Gary Arterton made save low down with only three minutes left but by then it was all over for Slade Green.

Slade Green: Gary Arterton, Scott Lewis, Ryan Robinson (Lee Jull), Mark Penny (Micky Bradley), Mark Sabatino (Alan Hanlon), Lee Barber, Shaun Malyon, Tony Gallagher, Glenn McTaggart, Tony Weir, Robert Browning. Sub: Jason Elliott

Mile Oak:  Rich Whittington, Chris Paine, Lee Silsby, Chris Pulling, Paul Ettridge, Steve Porter. Clive Jackson, Mark Curram, Tony Burnett, Paul Eaton, Ryan Sargeant. Subs: Wayne Whittington, Scott Carden, Nick Lansdale, Jamie Ash, Mark Stuart