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Kingstonian 4-1 Dover Athletic

The first home game of the season was won in true style in no small part due to the Master Magician Dave Leworthy who got a hat-trick against his former club. As was so much the case last season, the crowd was again disappointingly low with just over a 1,100 in the ground, with the K's contingent barely scraping the 1,000 mark at all. But the Kingston locals who stayed away should really be regretting that decision as K's put took all the points in such style.

From the moment the line up was announced there were gut feelings that Dave would at least get one. Eddie Akuamoah was put on the bench, seemingly uninjured, to allow the ex-Dover striker a full match. And K's started very well indeed. No doubt Geoff Chapple gave them a stern talking to after Saturday's performance but within a few minutes K's were pressurising and won a corner. From this Pitcher delivered to Simon Stewart whose header across the goal forced visiting skipper Stuart Monday to head too close to comfort towards his own goal and off for another corner. Another early chance occurred when Pitcher took a free kick from within shooting range. Instead Matt Crossley was the recipient of a cross which had the visiting defence at sixes and sevens. Yet Dover were still looking organised. Shooting towards a good sized and well voiced following at the Kingston Road End, Crossley did well to avert danger which arose in the menacing form of Vansittart. But K's were then piling on the pressure again and the corner tally rose.

Yet the opening goal occurred after Monday needlessly put the ball out for a throw. The ball was whipped in towards Mark Harris who climbed well and made good contact. The ball then fell invitingly towards Dave Leworthy just inside the area. He steadied himself and as the ball dropped struck it sweetly inside the left upright to put K's one up.

His second goal occurred only seven minutes later. A mix up occurred between Monday and Hyd. Leworthy, using his footballing brain for all it was worth, nipped in between the two to toe poke the ball past the keeper. As he ran onto it he was presented with an open goal to shoot at from a couple of yards. He wasn't going to miss from there. He didn't.

K's were really on top at 2-0 up. The Dover side that won at Kidderminster on Saturday was by no means bad - indeed they appeared a lot better than the Telford side that K's lost to on Saturday - but K's were playing the football we all know they can play, and that very few teams are able to deal with. Patterson fired in a good shot, neat play between Marshall, Leworthy and Wingfield lead to a dangerous cross, and Leworthy crafted an excellent opening for Pitcher which he put over the bar. Dwight Marshall beat a couple of players, one of which was Patterson, to fire in a rocketing shot. It was clear that K's were out to avenge the 5-1 trouncing of last season.

When Dover did attack they were met with a wrought red and white brick wall which was very hard to break down. So hard in fact that Clarke gave up and fired in a superb shot from the edge of the penalty area, But Farralley was equal to it and made his save of the match diving to his left. At half time it was 2-0 to Leworthy.

K's came out for the second half evidently still hungry for goals. With Leworthy on a brace - thankfully not a leg brace - there was hope that he could get his third. But it was Marshall who looked the most eager. He went close from yet another corner and soon after this, went on a good chase to put in a shot which had the Hyde between the sticks worried. Yet somewhat predictably it was Leworthy who got the third. The ball came from Wingfield on the left. As the ball spilled towards the number 10 he found himself with only an advancing keeper to beat. He was somewhat fortunate to squeeze the ball under Hyde, but no-one was complaining as Leworthy was given another match ball to add to his collection.

And just like the 213 131 buses down Kingston Road, the second goal of the half came soon after. The semi-anonymous Tarkan Mustafa's searching ball was picked up by Luckett on the opposite flank. He took time to compose himself and kept his shot from the left of the goal controlled and on the floor and to the near post. A rare one that, a Luckett goal in open play.

At the other end, whatever was asked of Farralley was answered confidently. In a Gerodie voice. The most notable of these occasions was when he came out to Coates to dispossess the striker. A good piece of play linking Wingfield, Pitcher and Luckett saw the scoring full back shoot just wide. And at 4-0 up K's were crusing. So the goal the visitors scored was more of a dent to pride than anything else. It was produced from a free-kick on the right. The ball was whipped in to the danger area and it was the substitute Hynes that got his unmarked head to the ball to score from a couple of yards.

Still this left 18 minutes for K's to truly avenge the previous season's 5-1 scoreline, but it wasn't to be. Chapple made a few substitutions. Akuamoah came on with enough time to look lively and dangerous. Basford only had enough time to be dangerous and get booked. As the full time whistle sounded all thoughts of Saturday were forgotten and K's were glad to be back in the winning habit.

Wed 18th Aug 1999
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Football Conference
Leworthy (3), Luckett
Dover Athletic1
1Steve Farrelly
2Tarkan Mustafa
3Colin Luckett
4Matt Crossley
5Simon Stewart
6Mark Harris
7Gary Patterson
8Geoff Pitcher
9Dwight Marshall
10David Leworthy16
11Phil Wingfield12
12Eddie Akuamoah11
13Richard Hurst
14Mike Lester
15Derek Allan
16Luke BasfordCautioned10
Man of the Match
David Leworthy
David Leworthy
Match Report By
Gary Ekins