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Forest Green Rovers 1-0 Kingstonian

A rainy Wednesday night on a hill near Nailsworth saw the two form teams of the Conference meet just days before their respective quarter final matches. The home side rested many of their first team squad whilst the K's included most of their first choice players, the notable exception being Steve Farralley who remains injured. Simon Stewart made a welcome return in defence following his temporary unconsciousness the previous Saturday.

Geoff Pitcher had the best early chance. He received possession in the midfield and proceeded towards the penalty area. He beat one player with his skill, and the next with a most fortunate bobble. But when he reached the penalty area, he appeared to be taken down. Though it may have been a Pitcher dive, it might also not have been, so appeals were loud. Pitcher's was probably too loud though, and he was booked for it.

Mark Harris was the next to pick up a pointless booking. He committed an awful foul in a position wide on the left when there was no need to. The resulting free-kick was chucked into the mixer. Jerome John didn't get to the ball - one theory was that he was "beaten by the slope" - and allowed Winter to rise at the back post to head the ball home, amidst claims of handball.

However, K's soon took the lead in the corner competition, after Pitcher's hard work. But, K's were more concerned about the non-awarding of a free-kick previously. Crossley was the one who took his protests too far this time and was booked. The third needless booking - a problem Chapple must surely address.

At this point K's weren't playing terribly, they just weren't playing as a team. There was a lot of pressure, which on a few occasions saw goal scoring opportunities. A Colin Luckett free-kick saw Crossley go close and Pitcher shooting just wide from the follow up. Meanwhile, at the other end, Smart made things hard for himself when he was in possession of the ball on the edge of the six yard box. He then turned away from the goal and tried a spectacular over head kick. He missed.

K's tried to make amends in the second half. Another good Colin Luckett free-kick allowed Stewart the gift of a free header. Unfortunately he powered his header into the tummy of Perrin in the goal. There then followed the first of a number of humorous, yet frustrating, goal-mouth scrambles. Quite what happened is a distant memory, but there were certainly appeals of handball again.

K's fans were then further aggrieved following a long punt by John. The ball bounced over Leworthy but fell into Akuamoah's path. His run in on goal was then brought to an abrupt end when hacked down on the edge of the area. A clear foul, the ref gave a corner. Yet K's had more chances. Luckett's free-kick from the edge of the box smashed against the wall and Rattray's turn and shot just wouldn't go the right way. Despite this, Rovers still looked threatening. Chapple (that's not Geoff Chapple, you understand) found himself through one on one against Jerome but his mis-control allowed the keeper to gain possession.

Again, Eddie was on the receiving end of foul play. In an almost identical position, he was through on goal but was pulled back by Honor. This time, the ref did give a free-kick, and booked the defender. From the free-kick, Harris flicked the ball on and Crossley diverted the ball slightly too much and saw it sail over the bar.

The vociferous villagers became louder whilst Tarkan Mustafa was being treated for a head injury. During the break in play, Rattray and Akuamoah were having a very animated argument with each other by the centre circle. This kind of unrest is surely unwelcome at this time, especially if you're not Dutch.

The best piece of football in the game occurred in the 85th minute. Patterson, who'd been quiet for much of the game, delivered the pin point ball to Leworthy who made contact with a brilliant looping header. However, Perrin was equal to this when he leaped up and pushed the ball against the cross bar. Not bad, especially considering he is the deputy keeper!

From that, you just knew it wasn't going to be our day. There were more appeals for handball, more goal mouth scrambles, Simon Stewart went agonisingly close with a header, and Corbett fired in a cracker. The statistics speak for themselves. Forest Green only had one shot on target but K's just couldn't convert their considerable pressure. The run of Welling, Carshalton, Telford and Forest Green can hardly be inspirational to the players, but they should have done better. Still, it will all be forgotten by the time we reach the Drill Field.

So K's lost this one, and the journey home seemed that much further. Not the best way for K's Web to spend it's First Birthday. Never mind, they're just a bunch of "techy nerds" anyway, as a wise Brendan Frawley once said...

Wed 24th Mar 1999
The Lawn
Football Conference
Forest Green Rovers1
1Jerome John
2Tarkan Mustafa
3Colin Luckett
4Matt CrossleyCautioned
5Simon Stewart
6Mark HarrisCautioned
7Gary Patterson
8Geoff PitcherCautioned
9Kevin Rattray14
10David Leworthy15
11Eddie Akuamoah
12Tom White
14Scott Corbett9
15Delton Francis10
Man of the Match
Colin Luckett
Colin Luckett
Match Report By
Gary Ekins