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Kingstonian 2-1 Moor Green

It was after this round that K's-ites last year started thinking of potential Wembley trips. And it doesn't seem all that far away now, sitting comfortably in the last sixteen of the premier non-league knockout competition. Yet it wasn't all as easy as it might have been against Moor Green - a team at the top of their form. For the first time in ages (somebody else can do the research) K's had a full squad to choose from, due to Colin Luckett's welcome re-appearance. The unlucky one was Phil Wingfield who made way for Robin Taylor - moving up from Luckett's number 3 spot.

A sizeable Moor Green following had made the trip South from their Birmingham residences, and they made a good start vocally. The K's side didn't start well, but luckily for the holders, their visitors didn't react to their fans' urges and the match was void of incident for a good ten minutes. In fact it was on ten minutes when the first shot of any note came in, when Tarkan Mustafa shot side from the right. Now wasn't that worth the wait?

Richard Softley made a name for himself just after when he challenged Gary Patterson in a manner in no way described by his last name. For his sins he received a booking. Patto must really have been hurt as he wasn't even able to get up and wave his fist around threateningly. In his absence, Derek Allan took over threatening duty.

Mark Shepherd had one of Moor Green's best chances on twenty minutes when he was played though by Dennis Mulholland. Somehow Allan managed to get back and intercept, with the ball rolling off for a corner. Except the referee gave a goal-kick, whilst Derek Allan abused Simon Stewart for being a touch out of position. All in good humour we're sure... But at this time it was definitely the Doc Martens Midland Divisioners who held the upper hand. That was until Farrelly put his hand even higher to tip a Patterson "clearance" over his bar.

Mark Crisp shot wide just moments before he waltzed past Robin Taylor and crossed into the middle. Mark Harris was standing in exactly the right place to clear, and did so. Except somehow he managed only to kick the ball against Farrelly's back. Quite what Farrelly's back was doing in front of Harris is unclear. However, the result was that the ball looped up, down and then to the feet of Shepherd. He had an open goal and couldn't really miss. He didn't, and all of a sudden the grasp on the Trophy loosened just a touch.

And then, almost totally against the run of play, K's equalised. Derek Allan played in a superb ball from the right which was just headed out by Gillard. Unfortunately for the visitors, the ball landed perfectly for Robin Taylor to send in a superb shot. Well, it landed perfectly after Taylor had palmed it down onto the ground. But the referee didn't see it, so Taylor was allowed to send in his right footed shot, which went in off the underside of the bar. Yes it was handball, but it was such a good goal that we'll let that go for now.

Oddly, the start of the second half was similar to the start of the first. Nobody would have guessed that the visitors had a great chance to knock out the holders in an important match, because there was so little action. What there was, was now mostly at the end defended by the under-dogs. But then, after so little action, 3 amazing incidents one after the other.

First of all, Patterson played a ball into the Green box which was totally messed up by Mulholland and Gillard. Leworthy was standing waiting for just such an opportunity and luckily enough the ball settled on the edge of the six yard box perfectly for him to give K's the lead. He managed to send the ball past Jim Arnold in goal, but somehow also managed to put the ball wide of the right hand post. Heads were in hands all around the ground. Now you can't blame that on age, can you?

But then, amazingly, moments later saw an even worse miss. If that's possible. Crisp was through on goal, despite the 3 K's centre halves, but his shot was saved by Farrelly. The ball again looped up, down and then fell at Jamie Petty's feet. The goal was even opener than when Shepherd scored, but somehow Petty put his shot over.

The third amazing incident was just bizarre. Derek Allan fouled an anonymous Moor Green defender, the referee quite rightly played the advantage and Moor Green attacked. The ball ended up in Farrelly's hands, and with the defender still writhing in pain he kicked it off to allow him treatment. Now as everybody knows, the Moor Green player - in this case Shepherd - is expected to throw the ball back once play recommenced. And this he did. Except he then ran full pelt at Farrelly, putting pressure on the keeper, and making him kick off for a Moor Green throw. Not quite gentelmanly conduct now was it? As an aside, one has to wonder exactly what Shepherd would have done had Farrelly had the brains to simply not touch the ball and so preventing the attacker from playing it again. We'll never know.

As the game went on (and on), it became clear that K's opponents were tiring. Pitcher had another amazing 25 yard shot well saved by Arnold before Phil Wingfield made his belated entrance in place of Taylor. With his very first touch Wingers headed a Leworthy flick inches wide. With his second touch he headed an Akuamoah cross at goal, saw it saved by Arnold, before Pitcher smashed the ball over the line from all of a yard. We've always said that K's should use Wingfield's aerial prowess more.

And so that was that. For the twenty-eighth match in a row (or so it seems) K's didn't play well. But as it turned out it was ok. Moor Green started well, and really should have led at half time. But once the last third of the match arrived there was only one team in it. The fact is that the only real reason K's won is because of their superior fitness. They managed to keep running long after their opponents, and their prize is a place in the last sixteen. Except Wembley just doesn't seem as close as it did this time last year.

Sat 5th Feb 2000
Kingsmeadow Stadium
FA Trophy 4th round
Taylor, Pitcher
Moor Green1
1Steve Farrelly
2Tarkan Mustafa14
3Colin Luckett
4Derek AllanCautioned
5Simon StewartCautioned
6Mark Harris
7Gary Patterson
8Geoff Pitcher
9Eddie Akuamoah
10David Leworthy12
11Robin Taylor16
12Joe O'Connor10
13Richard Hurst
14Mike Lester2
15Matt Crossley
16Phil Wingfield11
Man of the Match
Gary Patterson
Gary Patterson
Match Report By
Gary Ekins