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Kingstonian 3-0 Leek Town

Kingstonian took the three points on offer today with three goals watched by a crowd which resembled a football radio show more than a Nationwide Conference attendance. The first choice eleven were back on show once more, with new-boys Marc Coates and Kofi Nyamah nowhere to be seen. Jerome John kept his place in goal and there was a welcome return for Mr. Holligan (senior) in the terraces.

From a purely aesthetic perspective, K's looked the better team. From a football point of view, K's looked the better team. In fact, K's were the better team. And the better team prevailed. K's started brightly, producing a sustained period of pressure early on. However, there was unfortunately little to write home, or here, about. Geoff Pitcher was the cause of the loudest shouts as he fell in the area in the tenth minute. The cries of "Get up" were probably far from what he wanted to hear, that being "Penalty!". This is a habit of Geoff's that is becoming all too common. However, it didn't take long for him to create positive noises from the crowd as he found himself with the ball just outside of the D and in a central position. His shot was good and got the best from Ingham in the goal who palmed the ball looping away for a corner. After losing the corner count for the last two games, it was good to see Colin Luckett and Pitcher get some much needed practice.

K's broke the dead lock in the 34th minute following fine work from Eddie Akuamoah on the left. He got around the outside of Aiden Callen and whipped in a firm cross from the by-line. Pitcher met this at the near post scoring with his head from about a yard, and giving him his second goal in two games. Leek, often associated with floods, must have been scared that the flood gates would open as the hoops went two up in the 38th minute. A Colin Luckett free-kick was met by Matt Crossley who flicked the ball onwards, neatly putting it into the left hand corner. Simon Stewart was the first to cheer as the ball nestled inside the left upright and the joy of scoring overcame the skipper as he collapsed to the ground, with Colin Luckett rushing in to offer consolation.

K's were getting excited. Kevin Rattray was getting too excited though and was rightly booked for a two footed challenge. But as the half ended, K's saw good chances to extend the lead go awry by Messrs Pitcher, Harris and Rattray. With K's 2-0 up at half time there was of course no way that Leek could come back (honest guv), and concerns that the crowd was even lower than previously thought were abated when it was revealed that 277 referred to the winning raffle ticket number.

It only took four minutes of the second half for K's to go three up and put memories of the corresponding away fixture behind them. Dave Leworthy chased on to a bouncing ball and as the keeper ran out there was only one thing in his mind. Leworthy showed that he is the number one executioner of the lob and the ball floated beautifully under the cross bar and sent the fans wild.

With the hoopies three goals to the good, K's took their foot off the pedal. Eddie still looked dangerous on the left, and K's won their fair share of corners - Mark Harris going particularly close from a Luckett delivery - but it seemed that this game was won. Leek won a corner and brought on Tony Aghana, giving some excitement to their fan. But as K's let their concentration wander, Leek did the same with their skill, Ingham peculiarly clearing for a corner at one time with McCord slicing millimeters wide from the resulting cross. Tarkan Mustafa was threatening going forward, and even won a tackle, and K's could arguably have won a penalty when the ball struck a defender's elbow. It was one of those decisions that was 50-50, but that K's usually get...

Leek did win a free-kick in a dangerous position but McAuley concentrated too much on curling the ball and not enough on getting it on target. Leworthy left the pitch to allow Delton Francis into the fray and he somehow won a corner from a header which went wide of goal. Pitcher finished the game as he started it, getting told to get up following a silly dive. Jerome John showed him how it should be done when as the game was ending he pulled off a great save diving to his left at full stretch to feel he too had played a full part in the match.

As the referee's whistle sounded, K's trudged off content to have won the game without having to over-exert themselves before Saturday. Leek didn't look as if they'd improved since December's meeting, the only difference being that K's were today able to keep their sheet clean. And get three points. Tonight's results mean that K's are just a point behind Yeovil ahead of Saturday's game, and still in touch with third place. Besides, we'd rather go to Wembley than Torquay, or so the song says.

Tue 23rd Feb 1999
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Football Conference
Pitcher, Crossley, Leworthy
Leek Town0
1Jerome John
2Tarkan Mustafa
3Colin Luckett
4Matt Crossley
5Simon Stewart
6Mark Harris
7Gary Patterson
8Geoff Pitcher
9Kevin RattrayCautioned
10David Leworthy14
11Eddie Akuamoah
12Scott Corbett
14Delton Francis10
15Danny Smith
Man of the Match
Geoff Pitcher
Geoff Pitcher
Match Report By
Gary Ekins