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Morecambe 1-2 Kingstonian

A somewhat crippled K's squad travelled to Christie Park. Although the starting eleven was fairly recognisable, the bench had a one-legged (almost) Simon Stewart on it, a certain D.Eatock and nobody where the number 16 should have sat. If they needed a sub they could've asked, there would have been plenty of offers. But in the end it mattered little that K's didn't have enough players to make up the squad. Three more points in the league-quest were gained in a tough game that K's did well not to lose.

But Morecambe tried hard. They almost scored as early as the second minute when Jackson fired across Farrelly's goal. Gary Patterson - the only one without Luton on the mind - came closest early on for K's when a Geoff Pitcher free-kick was headed out to him. He fired in a superb volley, aimed straight at Matt Crossley's head. Standing two yards in front of goal, Crossley decided to duck, leaving Banks to catch. But the goal would surely have been disallowed for offside had it gone in.

Farrell (without a 'y' on the end) volleyed just over after K's had cleared a corner, but it was certainly the travellers who were having the better of the opening exchanges. Tarkan Mustafa looked good once again, especially on the attack. He won a succession of corners on the right, the third of which ended in K's first goal. Wingfield spun it in, Derek Allan rose at the far post and headed his first goal for the club. And it really was as easy as that. Allan was delighted and ran off with his arms in the air. Wingfield was also delighted and chased after the scorer but just failed to catch him.

Yet on 29 minutes, a corner at the other end saw Morecambe equalise. Lyons took it from the left and somehow the ball ended up in the net. Farrelly was at the near post, as were more than one defenders. With some attackers thrown in for good measure there was much confusion, but little action. The net result was that Morecambe had equalised and the goal was credited to Lyons still standing out on the left wing.

Pitcher was having another superb game and showing us once again that when he plays well then the goals will come. He once again set Mustafa free on the right who passed to Leworthy. His volley was just wide, but then we know that he was just getting his sights aligned. And a few minutes later he proved that he'd got it right. This time it was Patterson who played him in with a delightful chip. Leworthy took one touch to control, one look at the goal and another touch to lift the ball over the advancing Banks. It was such a simple goal, yet it needed the touch of a master to execute. And with the touch K's took the lead again, and Leworthy took the lead in the scoring charts. Despite missing three matches. What a hero. Don't hit anyone again Dave.

After the break the game had changed somewhat. K's didn't necessarily sit back, it seemed that Morecambe were just trying that bit harder. And Farrelly needed to be at his best to keep them out. Drummond was the first to test him, with a shot low to the keeper's left. Next it was Lyons who shot towards the other side. Once again Farrelly saved, but this time the ball spilled back into play. It was a one-on-one race between Mark Harris and Hardy - luckily Harris' toe got there first stabbing the ball wide for a corner.

Morecambe were denied what looked to be a clear cut penalty in the second half when Colin Luckett seemed to clearly trip Jackson. The referee - Mr. A.Butler - didn't give it, and that wasn't the only bizarre decision of his afternoon. Both sides must have ended up thinking that he was against them, but it probably just came down to the fact that he just wasn't very good at his job.

The game was not all played out in the Kingstonian half of the field though. Mustafa (again) set off on a run on the right. He was fouled but the referee waved play on, he looked up and saw Wingfield running in at the far post. The cross was inch perfect, but not millimetre perfect as Wingfield stretched but just failed to connect. Had he done so the ball would certainly have gone in. But he didn't. And it didn't.

Yet Morecambe were still creating the better chances. Ward saw his 25 yard free-kick well saved by Farrelly, then Lyons volleyed into the bottom right hand corner of the net. Farrelly once again flung himself to his right and tipped the shot wide for a corner with a superb save. Just after, a cross from the right was played over his own bar by Matt Crossley, yet the referee awarded a goal-kick. Farrelly - obviously confused by the decision - stood around with the ball in place for a few minutes, the crowd moaned and the referee produced a yellow card for time wasting. Like we cared.

K's came back into the game as an attacking force towards the end of the game but still didn't manage to ease their supporters nerves. Patterson broke and played a (poor) pass to Leworthy on the right. He passed back to the midfielder but his shot was blocked. The ball flew down the other end of the pitch and this time it was Hardy who had his shot blocked - this time by Crossley. With the rain deciding that it was time to make an appearance, Lyons decided that it was time to get physical. He elbowed Tarkan in the head and got away with it.

Dwight Marshall thought that he had finally scored after such a long time without a goal when he tapped the ball over the line from two yards. Unfortunately the referee decided that Mark Harris had fouled the goalkeeper, which he probably had. But there was still time for worries at the other end. Jackson played in Takano who thankfully slipped when through on goal and Jackson then decided to go it alone. He had probably handled in the build up, but his shot across goal was all above board, and luckily for K's nobody was around to connect.

The last action of the game was Patterson receiving a yellow card - his sixth of the season - but at the whistle K's could celebrate. It had been a hard fought game and one which K's were on the whole slightly fortunate to win. A draw would have been a fairer result but then the defence - and especially goalkeeper - had played very well indeed. And so everything looks good for Luton, so long as K's can find somebody to wear the number 16 shirt that is.

Sat 23rd Oct 1999
Christie Park
Football Conference
Allan, Leworthy
1Steve FarrellyCautioned
2Tarkan Mustafa
3Colin Luckett
4Matt CrossleyCautioned
5Mark Harris
6Derek Allan
7Gary PattersonCautioned
8Geoff Pitcher
9Dwight Marshall14
10David Leworthy
11Phil Wingfield
12Simon Stewart
13Richard Hurst
14Junior Kadi9
15David Eatock
Man of the Match
Steve Farrelly
Steve Farrelly
Match Report By
Gary Ekins