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Kingstonian 0-0 Hereford United

Last season, this fixture was the first in the Conference for both sides - K's after promotion and Hereford after relegation. That made it an exciting affair and one the Kingstonian did well to come out of as winners. This time around it was just one more match which has to be played to keep everybody happy. Even though Hereford are third in the table there is no danger of them making a return to the Football League, and with the home players' minds elsewhere there was every chance that this game would end nil-nil. And it did.

Most of the first team made an appearance in the hoops, although goal-machine Mark Harris had disappeared since his Gander Green Lane exploits as had Eddie Akuamoah. This gave Ronnie Green the first start of his mini-K's career and he certainly looked as though he realised that he needed to take it with both hands. Just to entertain, Hereford included Tom White in their team - the same Tom White who played five games in the hoops last year.

The first almost-chance fell to Lee Boylan. Gary Patterson did well to win the ball on the left and chipped out to the striker, stood on the right hand side of the box. His cross was aimed for Green, but in the end Cooksey had to be aware enough to claim the ball at the near post. Just after, Derek Allan played the ball back to Steve Farrelly, who took a huge swipe at the ball. One of the many holes-filled-with-sand probably got in the way, but whatever happened, the kick ended up sending the ball spinning left and towards May. Luckily Matt Crossley was there to hack clear.

A good ball was played across the face of the K's goal from the right, and with Mustafa somewhere upfield, Paul Parry really should have done better when the ball reached him at the far post. Thankfully his shot went slightly wide and high with Farrelly almost certainly beaten.

Two cautions followed for the travellers - one when Chris Lane fouled Pitcher on the left, which almost ended with a spectacular goal from Simba. But it actually ended with a spectacular miss from Simba when he got his overhead kick all wrong. The other booking came for Scott Cooksey in the Hereford goal. After taking some good natured taunting from the K's fans packed (?!) behind his goal, he attempted to stop a Mustafa cross from going off for what would have been a goal-kick. The linesman said that he'd taken the ball over the line and awarded a corner. Clearly upset at this decision Cooksey slammed the ball into the turf and looked up to see a yellow card being waved in his face.

The second half was a very similar affair. K's had the majority of the possession but didn't do a whole lot with it. There were chances, but only really one very clear one. Or possibly two if you include Simba's header against the bar. This came from a Colin Luckett corner and the striker did well to beat both Patterson and Cooksey to the ball. Unfortunately he rose to exactly the height of the goal and smacked the ball against the bar when he was literally two yards from it.

Boylan was set up by Mustafa, who is still looking very good going forward, but swung his leg at the ball only to see it bounce up and hit him on the behind. Another Mustafa cross just after was almost converted by Simba but Cooksey did well to send the ball out. Pitcher picked it up on the edge of the box and nicked it past sub Clarke. Clarke was in no mood to be beaten and stuck out his right arm to stop Pitcher getting through to the goal. Referee Mr.M North was looking the other way and the penalty appeals were rejected.

A fine shot came in from Gavin Williams after a good move on the left, and once again, had it been on target, Farrelly would probably have been left to pick the ball out of his net. But again the ball sailed just wide. Tom White then went close when he connected with a right wing corner, but his effort went past the left-hand post. But the best two chances of the night were still to come.

A ball was played through the Kingstonian defence for Williams to run onto which he did. With time and space it was a fairly easy chance, but Farrelly had come to the edge of his area to block and the shot was turned aside by the big man's legs. And then at the other end...

A ball was played through the Hereford defence for Green to run onto which he did. With time and space it was a fairly easy chance, but Cooksey had come to the edge of his area to block and the shot was turned aside by the big man's backside.

O'Connor was introduced for Boylan, who had again done little to win over the fans, some of whom seem to have decided to give him a hard time. There was time for one last chance which again fell to Simba. Another Mustafa cross reached him on the edge of the box but his right-footed shot was well turned away by Cooksey. And so a nil-nil draw. It certainly wasn't hard to predict, but at times it was certainly hard to watch.

Thu 6th Apr 2000
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Football Conference
Hereford United0
1Steve Farrelly
2Tarkan Mustafa
3Colin Luckett
4Matt Crossley
5Derek Allan
6Eddie Saunders
7Gary Patterson
8Geoff Pitcher
9Lee Boylan14
10Ronnie Green
11Amara Simba
12Junior Kadi
13Richard Hurst
14Joe O'Connor9
15Mike Lester
16Luke Basford
Man of the Match
Geoff Pitcher
Geoff Pitcher
Match Report By
Gary Ekins