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Kingstonian 0-0 Southport

At this stage of the Trophy last year, there seemed to be much more excitement amongst the Kingston faithful than this year. Maybe it's a "been there done that" attitude or maybe it's just the fact that the club still hasn't really managed to attract the interest of the town - but whatever the reason, nobody would have guessed that this match would see the winners just one round from Wembley by partaking of the atmosphere.

The line-up for K's was a slightly unusual one in that Gary Patterson was missing suspended. With his obvious replacement Robin Taylor nowhere to be seen (presumed injured) it was left to Colin Luckett to take over the midfield anchor role, with Luke Basford - still living on that wonder goal at Folkestone - filling in at left-back. Up front there was another change, with birthday-boy Phil Wingfield being replaced by Lee Boylan. Strange one that.

To be fair (and of course, we always are) this game was one for the defensive connoisseur (thank God for spell-checkers). K's probably just about shaded the first half on chances, yet both defences must have been happy at the break.

Colin Luckett, released from defensive duty, was looking to get forward on any occasion and he almost opened the scoring when a fine move involving Leworthy, Mustafa and Boylan ended with a right-footed shot flying wide from the number three. Boylan shot over from the edge of the box before more Luckett mastery provided Eddie with what proved to be the best chance of the game.

He prodded the ball through the middle for Akuamoah to run onto and the striker just got to the ball ahead of Phil Bolland. The first touch was a good one and Eddie was through on the edge of the area. The second touch was a poor one and Steve Dickinson in the 'Port goal did well to come out and smother the chance. And, although we didn't know it, the best chance of the game had come and gone before twenty minutes were up.

Boylan almost had a similar chance just after, but Scott Guyett had done well to follow him and managed to tap the ball off for a throw. And the only other real chance of the half fell to Derek Allan, as he headed a corner straight at Dickinson.

Although Southport hadn't really offered much going forward, it has to be said that in Colin Luckett they were up against a man possessed. He covered so much ground and made so many tackles that certain people commented that, if only we had two of him, we could play Luckett at left-back and Luckett in the midfield. But that's just silly.

The half-time break was memorable only for a cynical ginger winning the 50-50 draw to cries of "Fix!".

But then the second half, and it seemed as though K's would have to do without their inspired midfielder Luckett. After just a couple of minutes he went in for a challenge with Morley and came off with a rather nasty looking cut on the head. With the K's doctor busy looking after a spectator it was left to Geoff Chapple to assist the physio in bandaging up the midfielder's forehead. But with headband in place Luckett came back into the fray.

Southport finally came into the game just after, when a free-kick was headed just wide by Furlong. Andy Gourk then shot wide after a poor Pitcher clearance reminding K's that they really did have to score soon. Mustafa had the chance to do just that, but managed only to blast his shot wide of the near right-hand post, after a good move with Leworthy and Boylan.

Furlong went close again when he connected with an Elam free-kick, but luckily for K's he placed his header straight down the throat of Farrelly. And then an amazing thing almost happened. There had been rumours circulating Kingsmeadow all day that Mark "Chopper" Harris had gone close to scoring with an over-head kick in a recent reserve game - but as if that'd be true.

But then what? A corner to K's was taken by Pitcher who sent the ball towards Matt Crossley. Goalkeeper Dickinson touched it away before the defender could connect, Allan touched the ball back into the mixer, and there it was - Mark Harris doing a superb mid-air somersault which ended with his right boot sending a shot goalwards from over his own head. Amazing. The ball spun about two inches wide of the left-hand post, but surely it deserved some reward? Referee? Please? No.

The game threatened to turn nasty just after, when Morley and Gourk were cautioned by referee Mr. P.Dowd, which was followed by an horrendous attempt-at-a-foul by Luke Basford. Had he made contact with Guyett, the Southport right-back would have needed more medical help than even Geoff Chapple could offer. Luckily Basford missed, but got his man moments later and was rightly booked too.

Furlong went close with a left-footed shot and Leworthy shot over at the other end, after the referee had intercepted a Boylan pass but that really was that. Wingfield made a belated appearance and ran around quite a lot for the final ten minutes, but although he provided more crosses than Boylan had been able to do, there was still no final touch.

And so at ninety minutes the game ended all square, and meant that K's would need a replay in the Trophy for the first time since 1995. Southport appeared quite happy at the end of the game as they celebrated with their (relegation-doomed) supporters whilst K's trudged off to enquire exactly what time they'd be getting back on Wednesday morning. And certain K's supporters said that, mysteriously, they felt a stomach ache coming on.....

Sat 11th Mar 2000
Kingsmeadow Stadium
FA Trophy Quarter final
1Steve Farrelly
2Tarkan Mustafa
3Colin Luckett
4Matt Crossley
5Derek Allan
6Mark Harris
7Luke BasfordCautioned
8Geoff Pitcher
9Eddie Akuamoah
10David Leworthy
11Lee Boylan14
12Joe O'Connor
13Richard Hurst
14Phil Wingfield11
15Junior Kadi
16Ronnie Green
Man of the Match
Colin Luckett
Colin Luckett
Match Report By
Gary Ekins