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Hayes 1-2 Kingstonian

The trip to would-be ex-Ryman rhymin' couterparts has oft been a less than memorable experience for Kingstonian. That, coupled with the poor away performances thus far, made (m)any in the crowd less than expectant of a K's success. But this was a bank holiday fixture, and on such days there's always something a bit strange about the fixture.

Wingfield was again given a place in the starting line up, but so was Akuamoah. Marshall was the one to suffer as he was relegated to the subs bench. Derek Allen also made the starting eleven as the semi-injured Mark Harris was to sit next to Marshall, when he wasn't sunbathing by the touch-line, that is.

K's started almost as brightly as the bank holiday sunshine. A foul on Patterson gave Pitcher a shootable free-kick from just outside the area. His shot was touched over the bar by Gothard, in the Hayes goal and the first corner of the day was won. Indeed, Pitcher appeared to have found the drive that looked somewhat missing in other games as he picked the ball up in midfield just afterwards and ran at the defence, and then playing a fine one-two with Akuamoah.

So what at the other end? If today was about the battle to be England's no. 1, which it probably wasn't actually, then Farrelly certainly did himself no favours early on. It could almost be a case for Mulder and Scully the way Farrelly has looked such a different player this season. After only a couple of minutes he came for a cross and missed it. The result of this saw Hodson head the ball against the bar. Yet the ball fell to the same player who, with the ball at his feet this time, fired against the bar again, from about six yards.

K's had to react to this threat, and piled on the pressure. Patterson and Leworthy created danger, and still early in the game K's had a penalty appeal turned down. A ball from Patterson on the left was hit towards Luckett. He beat one player and then as he went for a header in the area, was kicked in the face and fell to the floor. Whether or not it was a penalty, it would have been nice had the ref showed a little more compassion to Colin, who was in a bit of pain.

Akuamoah, in a more central role than a winger role, was looking hungrier than usual. He put in a good shot from a tight angle on the left and Luckett, who had been shouting for a pass for the last minute or so, had a chance from the follow up, but, alas, he put it way over.

It was looking as though goals would be likely. Pitcher, Mustafa and Akaumoah all had shots within three seconds of each other, and there were corners a plenty. Luckett and Pitcher combined well in a one-two but the ball was to Colin's right foot making his shot a bit weak. Yet Akuamoah broke the deadlock after just half an hour. He picked up the ball about forty yards from goal and just ran. His path was hardly obstructed and as he got just inside the area, he fired home, keeping the ball low, from about fifteen yards. Gothard didn't have a chance. Akuamoah looked delighted to have opened his account.

He was then in the thick of the action when another, this time weaker, penalty appeal came when Goodliffe and Eddie clashed in the area. It wasn't quite like 'a Pitcher', but it still seemed unlikely that a spot kick would be given. K's were probably happy to get into the dressing rooms with their lead in tact as the home team were pressuring hard before the interval. This time, however, Farrelly was able to deal with all that was asked of him.

The second half started quietly. This is always worrying when K's are involved and the worries had justification. Hayes again hit the woodwork just short of an hour. From a corner on the right, a Hayes shirted player headed/chested the ball onto the post. Again K's were fortunate to survive this, the third woodwork strike by Hayes.

But they couldn't hold out for ever. As Simon Stewart lay strewn on the floor, and received a stamp for good measure, a cross from the right was again not dealt with by the Kingstonian keeper. As the ball went away from him, it was Trebble who was on hand to score from close range.

As K's tried to resist the temptation to hoof when possible, another penalty appeal came. A long cross from Mustafa on the right was sent to Pitcher just inside the area. He controlled the ball brilliantly on his chest, and was then bundled over. This was nothing like 'a Pitcher', even though it was by the number 8, and K's would have felt aggrieved to have got nothing from it. And it feels worse when you're not winning.

K's had a very real opportunity to regain the lead with twenty minutes remaining. Akuamoah was performing magic on the left, and his run near the by-line saw him pull back a great pass to Pitcher. Unfortunately there were too many feet between the midfielder and the goal and his shot was blocked, with no yellow shirts on hand to help out. Soon after this, Hayes had their own penalty appeal, Allen being the K's player accused of handball.

Superiority by means of a lead came with a quarter of an hour left. Wingfield was given the ball on the left. And in one cross he showed why Chapple has shown such faith in him. The cross, from the disappointing winger, was perfectly placed to Akuamoah who headed his second of the game from six yards. At 2-1 up, some K's-ites were hoping the final whistle would blow before the seemingly inevitable equaliser was scored. But the K's players had different ideas. They again found their stride, and super linking between Patterson, Luckett, Leworthy and Akuamoah, saw the latter go very close to getting a hat-trick.

Lee Charles had a chance to equalise for the home team. Derek Allen's attempted clearance could only hit Crossley, and the ball spilled to the Hayes midfielder who disappointed his supporters with a weak shot which was easy for Farrelly to deal with. At the other end, Leworthy was looking to continue his scoring run. A Mustafa cross allowed him room to turn and shoot, but Gothard was down well to his right. Leworthy managed to put the ball in the net, following Pitcher's shot which was parried and flew straight to the top scorer who headed home for an easy finish. However, the linesman judged that Leworthy, who had not been interfering with the original shot, but certainly interfered with the follow up, was off-side at the time of Pitcher's effort and so flagged away. The ref agreed and disallowed it. Which was a shame.

In what seemed like an age of injury time (funny how there always seems a lot when you don't want any) there were still more chances. Another K's penalty appeal was made when Pitcher claimed a foul by a defender in the area. This one was much more of 'a Pitcher'. The players certainly made contact, but had a decision been made then it would only have led to an indirect free-kick for obstruction anyway. Hayes had a last gasp effort in the form of an overhead free-kick, but it was K's who were wearing the Brazil kits, and the Hayes striker should have known better.

As the final whistle sounded, K's were visibly happy and relieved to get their first away points of the season. On a day when the result could have gone either way - Hayes hit the woodwork three times - it was beautiful to see it going the way of the K's. It certainly makes Saturday's trip to Scarborough more bearable...

Mon 30th Aug 1999
Church Road
Football Conference
Akuamoah (2)
1Steve Farrelly
2Tarkan Mustafa
3Colin Luckett
4Matt Crossley
5Simon StewartCautioned
6Derek Allan
7Gary Patterson
8Geoff PitcherCautioned
9Eddie Akuamoah
10David Leworthy
11Phil Wingfield
12Mark Harris
13Richard Hurst
14Dwight Marshall
15Junior Kadi
16Danny Smith
Man of the Match
Eddie Akuamoah
Eddie Akuamoah
Match Report By
Gary Ekins