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Kingstonian 1-1 Farnborough Town

After twice losing by four goals to two at Cherrywood Road earlier in the season, it seemed that this was the perfect opportunity to put an end to the draw-fest which had overrun Kingsmeadow of late, with the visit of the league's bottom team. But it turned out to be yet another example of K's inability to perform consistently. The same team that wiped the floor with league-leaders Kettering just four days ago took the field to do combat with Farnborough, but you would have been forgiven for failing to notice the similarity. Meanwhile, the away side included three ex K's players: Stuart McKenzie, Lloyd Wye and Phil Wingfield.

Steve Farrelly, ever the entertainer, provided the first interesting moment of the day when he kicked clear direct to Dennis Bailey who failed miserably to hit the target. But Bailey was to prove a constant threat to the defence, and came close (or maybe closer) to opening the scoring a couple of minutes later. A left-wing cross from Wingfield fell just in front of goal and Mark Harris had to stretch to head the ball just over for a corner, before the striker could connect.

Despite this bright opening Farnborough really didn't seem to be a difficult team to beat - in fact, before this visit they had picked up just 6 points from a possible 36 on their travels - and it was fairly obvious that they must be in the lower regions of the table. But, as we all know, that's no reason to expect K's to come out on top. But they tried. Eddie had a good shot blocked after superb work by Dave Leworthy on the right, and from the resulting corner Kevin Rattray (and definitely not Joe Francis!) almost turned the ball in from close range.

Steve McKimm was the first player to be noted in referee Mr.S.Tomlin's notebook for a foul on Eddie (pay attention, it's important later) before another foul by Jon Underwood was punished by a free-kick right on the edge of Farnborough's box, providing Geoff Pitcher with a chance to put K's into the lead. Unfortunately the shot went straight into the wall and trundled off for a throw. Darren Robson hit a swervy shot which Farrelly did well to read, and, at the other end, a spot of rugby was produced when Eddie and McKimm battled for possession in the Boro' area. Nothing more than a corner was given, which was probably the correct decision.

Just before the break, it looked as if the sides would be going in on level terms. But neither side wanted to settle for that. Kingstonian went close first when Leworthy crossed from the right, which was laid back to Colin Luckett, who just needed to control the ball and shoot to give K's the lead. But Robson just managed to get there before Luckett could shoot, and the ball bounced away from the danger area. Farnborough then went straight down the other end, and took the lead. Dennis Bailey was sent through on the right and cut in. His cross was interrupted by some part of Simon Stewart's anatomy - the referee said hand, no-one else was really sure, but the decision was made and Bailey had the chance to score from the spot. He didn't disappoint and at half-time, the team propping up the table led K's by a goal to nil.

However, it took just three minutes of the second period for parity to be achieved. After a foul on Rattray, Pitcher sent in a free-kick from the left, the ball was headed out to Eddie on the edge of the box who then sent a shot in which might have just sneaked in at the far post. Luckily for K's, Jon Underwood decided to stick out a foot and deflected the ball into the other side of the net to make the score one-one. Some moments later, a tussle in the middle of the field between Patterson and McKimm ended with the K's man on the ground holding his head. Another yellow card was produced for the Farnborough attacker, followed by a red, and for the second game in a row, K's had to face just 10 players for the remainder. Surely now they'd go on to get all three points.....

But again it turned out to be an afternoon of frustration. Farnborough had obviously decided that a draw was the height of their ambition, and set about denying K's all three points. They rarely got out of their half after being reduced to ten men, but did well at the back and limited K's mainly to long shots and headers from corners, of which there were chances aplenty. There were (misguided) claims for a penalty when Eddie was superbly tackled by the Boro captain Stamp, Simon Stewart saw another fine long shot go just past the post, Mark Harris went close with two headers - one of which Leworthy ducked under just as it went past the post, and Harris then managed to hit the upright when crossing from the left. Late on, a Pitcher shot was blocked by Robson after Mustafa had done superbly on the right to set up the chance, Mustafa then going close himself with a cross-cum-shot from the edge of the box which just avoided Eddie and the still-clean Scott Corbett. If only he didn't mind getting his shirt dirty he might have stretched and got there.

So that was that. The whistle went, Farnborough celebrated a point which means that they're now just three points adrift at the bottom, whilst K's celebrated what must be close to a club record fifth home draw in the league in a row. Still, we should be grateful - Chapple's told us that all he's doing is making sure that we don't all get upset if K's won the league then couldn't go up. He's looking after us really. But it would be nice to see a win in the league. The players showed us what is possible by playing so well against the form team Kettering on Tuesday, but then showed us the flip side with this display.

And look, the attendance didn't even get a mention.

Sat 23rd Jan 1999
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Football Conference
Farnborough Town1
1Steve Farrelly
2Tarkan Mustafa
3Colin Luckett
4Matt Crossley
5Simon StewartCautioned
6Mark Harris
7Gary Patterson
8Geoff Pitcher
9Kevin RattrayCautioned12
10David Leworthy
11Eddie Akuamoah
12Scott Corbett9
14Dean Thomas
15Mike Lester
Man of the Match
Mark Harris
Mark Harris
Match Report By
Gary Ekins