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Kingstonian 2-0 Kettering Town

Less than six weeks after losing at Rockingham Road, K's gained their revenge at Kingsmeadow. The crowd was swelled as the club had finally managed to print the "free season tickets" that they had been promising for the last few weeks, meaning that under-15s made up a larger proportion of the attendance than usual.

The first half, if truth be told, was a dull affair. Neither side quite managed to find their rhythm, and it has to be said that K's looked anything but league leaders. But then it didn't really matter - Kettering shouldn't be considered one of the top teams in the Conference, so even playing below par, K's ended up comfortable winners.

Leworthy headed a Wingfield cross wide, whilst Brett McNamara shot over after Farrelly couldn't quite hold a cross from the right. Eddie was the first player to truly show some class, and this he did quite often during the afternoon. On one occasion he set off on a superb run on the left beating two players. His far post cross might have been turned in by either of Pitcher or Wingfield - had they not managed to knock each other over that is. The slightly more ambitious of the crowd seeked a penalty from the referee Mr.J.Singh, but nothing was given. Yet, as the goalkeeper attempted to kick out, Geoff Pitcher tried to nick it out of his hands. Sadly, a free kick was given.

Gary Setchell was proving to be a handful for the K's back line, and he almost opened the scoring after 35 minutes. His low shot was saved well by Farrelly, who looks to be right back in the form of last year. Perhaps his display today was down to the pressure of being watched by ex-K's number one Jerome John. Or perhaps not.

There were a few more chances in the half - Pitcher headed wide, Mustafa shot very straight from 25 yards and (uh-uh) Simon Stewart went close from long range - but at half-time the dullness shone through, with the scoresheet still blank.

The second half got off to a world record start. Within two seconds Derek Allan had committed a foul and was shown the yellow card. Now, our Guiness Book of Records is an old one, but there had definitely never been a quicker booking than that up until 1993. The referee was called upon to make another decision just afterwards, when Eddie nipped in between goalkeeper Sollitt and Ridgway. Eddie definitely got the ball, and he definitely fell over just afterwards, but the cause remains unknown. The mystery remains unsolved as the referee waved play on and everyone got back to watching the game.

Now, some people say that Eddie is in the best form of his life. Who knows ? But he's certainly playing well at the moment, and he showed all of his undoubted class on 49 minutes. He received a pass from Colin Luckett on the edge of the area with his back to goal. Surrounded by three defenders, most people would have attempted to pass out to the wing. But not wor'Ed. With one quick turn (and a couple of lucky bounces) he was into the area with just the goalkeeper to beat. A right foot stabbed shot ended up in the net and K's finally led. Thanks to Ed.

Most people in the crowd - with certain exceptions - had seen that Simon Stewart was having a blinding game. His performance at the back often goes unrecognised here, but today it was noticed. He read the game superbly, and even found the time to join in the attack on a couple of occasions. One of these saw a good run ending with a pass out to Tarkan Mustafa. His cross was inch perfect for Phil Wingfield's head, and this is what it connected with. Unfortunately, due to the lack of hair, there was no power behind the attempt from six yards, and so the goalkeeper had time to watch the ball bounce before it fell into his arms. Still, it was on target.

David Leworthy, due to start his suspension next week, was determined to give the home supporters something to remember him by. He was played through on the left with a chance to shoot. Sollitt did well to block, but Leworthy was onto the rebound as quick as a flash. His shot was from a very tight angle, but he did superbly to loop his shot over the goalkeeper. His aim was only slightly out as the ball struck the base of the right hand post, bouncing back across the goal-line. Unfortunately Tarkan Mustafa was in position, and so it was a Kettering defender who got to the rebound and cleared.

Simon Stewart went close with a header from a corner, but this was his last action of the game. A tackle by Carl Shutt ended with the defender clutching his knee. Now K's were clearly remembering last week's Stevenage game (when they kicked the ball out and Stevenage refused to give it back) because, instead of playing the ball out to let Jimmy Phys on, Tarkan Mustafa set off on a run at goal. Pitcher was played through into acres of space, but his shot was saved. Sadly, once Sollitt had thrown the ball out, Stewart departed on a stretcher.

The second goal was scored after 84 minutes, and it allowed the "top of the league" songs to be wheeled out once more. Leworthy had the ball in the centre circle, and he played a quick one-two with Eddie. From a position on the right hand edge of the area Leworthy looked up and shot inch-perfectly past Sollitt and just inside the right hand post. Playing without him for three games is going to be tough - if only he could have kept his hands to himself.

Now that Kettering had lost, they decided to take it out on Steve Farrelly - obviously an easy target. He had the ball and was about to kick out, but Hudson wouldn't let him. Using all of his creativity Farrelly managed to find a way to kick the ball anyway - by kicking it straight at the player and following through. Hudson fell, the ball ricocheted just wide and the Kettering crowd called for Steve Farrelly to be sent off. Once Hudson had recovered the referee gave his own version of events, and showed a yellow card to Hudson. Serves him right.

This was the last incident of the game, and to be truthful, one of the most memorable. Still, as every pundit tells us, if you win the games when you're playing badly, then you're "in with a shout". And if you want to win the league then you have to win your home games. So with 12 games gone, at least the pundits are happy.

Sat 2nd Oct 1999
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Football Conference
Akuamoah, Leworthy
Kettering Town0
1Steve Farrelly
2Tarkan Mustafa
3Colin Luckett
4Matt Crossley
5Simon Stewart15
6Derek AllanCautioned
7Gary Patterson
8Geoff Pitcher
9Eddie Akuamoah
10David Leworthy
11Phil Wingfield
12Dwight Marshall
13Richard Hurst
14Danny Smith
15Mark Harris5
16Junior Kadi
Man of the Match
Simon Stewart
Simon Stewart
Match Report By
Gary Ekins