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Kingstonian 0-0 Morecambe

This game was just one match away from being on the pools coupon, and how the punters must have cried. There has probably never been a game which was more likely to end up in a draw than this - and nobody left disappointed. Or maybe everybody did. Whatever, the game was played in the lowest of low-key atmospheres with neither side overly exerting themselves, with the result that there was precious little entertainment on offer.

With the absence of Geoff Pitcher (suspended) and Kevin Rattray (injured), Scott Corbett had a chance to start, as did Tom White - on loan for a month from Bristol Rovers. Corbett has rarely had a full ninety minutes this season, and he seemed pretty determined to make an impression early on. However, as the game wore on it became clear that, however much he wants to play for the K's first team, the cleanliness of his shirt is just that little bit more important. And by the end of the game he was still able to hand it back unblemished.

Steve Farrelly looked to have overcome his injury worries from last week and made the first in a string of saves early on. Darren Lyons free-kick wasn't the most exciting of moments, but then this was K's v Morecambe. A little later, those in the main stand got a bit of entertainment, but this was quickly cut short when they realised that Simon Stewart's shot had, in fact, hit the side netting. But it was close.

Morecambe did actually have a few decent chances after this, but Farrelly was equal to them all. Firstly a corner nearly swung under the bar, then John Norman was allowed through on the left but the goalkeeper faced him well, then Norman was once more denied by Farrelly. He had just played in Neil Morton, whose shot was deflected onto the post, when he saw the big scouser save his rebound well low to his left. K's did have chances of their own - Eddie just missed his touch from around the penalty spot when any contact would surely have scored, Leworthy hit a pea-roller from 8 yards out, which managed to bounce at least fifteen times before being picked up by Banks and Mark Harris put a free header over the bar just before half-time. But forty-five minutes producing just two or three "real" chances tells its own story.

The second half started as though it might be a bit better. Patterson crossed from the left to Matt Crossley who, climbing all over his marker managed to head to Simon Stewart. The number 5 gave his marker a quick nudge/whack in the back before laying the ball back to Tom White who blasted over. Had the ball gone in and the goal given, the comedy value of this move alone would have made this game one of the greats.

But it didn't. And it wasn't. And so the game continued. Tom White carried on where Geoff Pitcher has left off, and got booked for a very amusing trip - he really had to stretch to connect. But when the number 9 board was held up just after, there were no cries from the crowd - indeed, there were even a few cheers - as he was replaced by Delton Francis. Corbett went close-ish twice more. He cleverly evaded the last defender but then saw his shot saved, and later headed just wide of the far post after a Tarkan Mustafa cross had picked him out well.

Morecambe came within a whisker of winning what would have been three ill-deserved points, but again Farrelly was there. He first saved Lyons' shot low to his right, and could then only watch sub Kenny Takano blast wide the other side from the follow up and then, just as everybody was deciding that time was up, Norman was once more free to run at the K's goal. Mark Harris saw the danger and attempted to trip the striker but missed and it was left to Farrelly to again run out and avert the danger.

With the final whistle came Morecambe's chance to celebrate with their fans. Kenny Mayors (who should have been sent off in the corresponding away game) was particularly happy, as he should have been after a very accomplished performance. K's on the other hand trooped off to face the wrath of Chapple, who must have despaired once more at the way this team can play like world champs one week, then like world chumps the next. OK so K's can't win the league, but a bit of effort certainly wouldn't go amiss.

Sat 6th Mar 1999
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Football Conference
1Steve Farrelly
2Tarkan Mustafa
3Colin Luckett
4Matt Crossley
5Simon Stewart
6Mark Harris
7Gary Patterson
8Scott Corbett
9Tom WhiteCautioned15
10David Leworthy12
11Eddie Akuamoah
12Carl Tranter10
14Danny Smith
15Delton Francis9
Man of the Match
Steve Farrelly
Steve Farrelly
Match Report By
Gary Ekins