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Kingstonian 0-1 Yeovil Town

Having just come away on the bad end of First V Second encounter, K's had to enter a Second V Third encounter. The fans who made the trip to Rushden had to suffer losing, despite not deserving to do so, when just one more goal would have seen them on the top of the Conference table. The match with Yeovil had a very familiar script, except the remake involved K's having four of their best players (well, three and Wingfield) sidelined, and the added bite of previous encounters with Yeovil and the Lippiatt saga.

With no Wingfield, Leworthy, Stewart or Akuamoah (Eddie is out for a month due to his major knee ligament injury) K's had to bring in the youngsters. Kadi made only his second start all season, and on loan prodigal son Richard Thomson wore the number 11 shirt. But for all our injury problems, the visitors came on the back of a very bad run of form, and there was all to play for. Well, three points anyway.

The game sprung to life with a very annoying drum beat courtesy of Yeovil's contingent, and a little bit of angst between both sets of fans. A lot of it concerning a certain Mr. Patterson. K's had the best of the early chances, Pitcher wasted a free-kick early on, but on only seven minutes came a good effort from which K's might have taken a lead. The new look strike force was looking good as Thompson fed Marshall whose layback to Kadi saw him put his shot over the bar. The best Yeovil could offer in this early spell was a weak free-kick by Archer. Patterson was giving and taking early on, the Yeovil players shall we say, seemed more keen to tackle him than any other K's player, and there was some slight off the ball argy bargy between Patto and Ben Smith. Steve Stott then performed some on the ball argy bargy with a foul on Patterson. Patterson did his usual get-up-very-quickly-and-threaten-from-above thing before the ref ran over. As the yellow card was produced, it was with a great sigh of relief that it was realised that this wasn't for Patto.

The second of the could-have-been-a-goal chances came after a good interception by Mustafa. Good also in that if he didn't make the interception he was at least forty yards out of position. But he controlled the ball well and looked to feed Dwight Marshall. As the keeper came out to challenge the K's striker the ball spilled out to Mustafa who controlled, looked up and floated a beautiful lob towards the goal. It cleared the defender on the line, but then bounced off the bar and back into play. It was as if he had been watching the K's subs in their half time kick-abouts.

Sensing a goal would come, K's piled on the pressure. Number three chance came after pressure in the Yeovil half, and then box, saw Thompson put in a shot which had the keeper beaten, but not Sparks who hoofed clear. There was still time for a threatening Patterson cross-shot to get hearts in mouths. All Yeovil could offer in return were speculative shots at the untroubled Steve Farrelly.

Kingstonian, a second half team, looked good to get a point, or all three, as the teams entered the fray for the second half. Pitcher and Patterson linked up well seeing Patto deftly touch a ball into Marshall's path, but visiting keeper Pennock was there too early. Soon after this Richard Thompson went on a good run, beating two players and then winning a corner. The resulting corner saw Pennock look very shakey in the sticks as he palmed away a ball into the danger area.

Tarkan Mustafa was having a good game tonight. And it was refreshing to see him doing so, and also doing his fair share of defensive duties. Talbot was watching the game, reportedly to watch Mustafa, and if he was doing so, on the strength of the last couple of performances, he may be seeking a cheque off Uncle Max. Mustafa's surging ran fed Pitcher in the area. He got stuck and then laid the ball off to Junior Kadi who steadied himself and hit a fierce shot goalbound. The shot though hit a Yeovil hand, and whilst those appealing for a penalty never really expected to get one, a corner really should have been given. Patterson then really did get in the book after an elbow duel with Stott.

Again, Ks went forward with seemingly nothing in return from Yeovil. Marhsall again had time to control in the area, but just couldn't find the shot to break the deadlock. How we wish Leworthy was not suspended. K's looked to have scored just before the hour. Crossley's header was cleared off the line, but Harris was following up and his header allowed Marshall to divert the travel of the ball and put the ball in the net. A quick look to the ref confirmed that the goal had been given. But then, the ref spotted the linesman's flag and play was brought back to where Marshall was given off-side. K's would surely score in a minute... Maybe it was that moment which led to slight lack of concentration amongst the K's defence. Adrian Foster's left wing delivery somehow got to Griffin who managed to head the ball into the goal, placing it, intentionally or otherwise, just inside the post.

As K's fans were still muttering expletives, K's were awarded a corner. They shouldn't have won it, but don't tell anyone. From this Pitcher's cross went to Crossley at the back post. It surely required more skill not to score, than to score from that distance, and maybe Crossley was trying to show that he is a very gifted footballer. But he chose the wrong moment to do so. He had another effort, again from a Pitcher cross. This time he connected, but there was nothing he could do from such a tight angle.

The frustrating thing is, the pressure was still mainly K's. Apart from, that is, a neat curling effort from Archer, just outside the edge of the area. Pitman and Patterson did have one spot of bother. The scream from the young lad when Patterson clobbered into him was very loud. And Patterson had to be careful not to be sent off. He will undoubtedly be suspended soon with the yellow cards he is collecting. Patterson wasn't playing his usual game. Indeed, he seemed very reluctant to shoot, and always looked to find team mate Pitcher, and let him continue whatever move was in progress. Soon after Mustafa was shouldered off the ball, play reverted to Farelly's box, and Yeovil had a strong penalty appeal turned down after Foster had been felled in the area, but it was, thankfully, not given. "Aha, a penalty" thought Pitcher, so as soon as he got the ball in the area, he went back to his diving ways. Nothing was given, but it was still worth a shout.

And then the game got all a bit niggly. Stowell and Crossley were involved in some more confrontation, Patterson hacked down Pitman, Brown chopped down Marhsall. But in the dying minutes Ks went hell for leather to get the equaliser. Harris went up front and with only four minutes reamining (including injury time) there was still time for two more real chances. The first fell to Marshall receiving a Patterson delivery. He controlled well in the area and although Pennock did well to palm the ball away, you would have expected a K's no. 10 to score from nine yards out. With half a minute remaining, a real chance was squandered. Thompson gave the ball to Patterson who delivered a perfect cross to Pitcher. Geoff couldn't direct his unchallenged header from eight yards, and saw the ball, and a point, glance to the left of the upright.

And that was the last chance of the game. The best team lost, and K's really should have got at least a couple of goals. Kingstonian were very much missing Leworthy and Akuamoah particularly, but still created enough chances to ensure victory. All, well a lot of, credit to Yeovil though, who put in a gutsy performance. Indeed, it sometimes feels better when you win and don't deserve to do so. But it makes losing that much more frustrating. Of course, if someone had said that we'd be one point off the lead after 14 games...etc etc. but it still sucks.

Wed 13th Oct 1999
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Football Conference
Yeovil Town1
1Steve Farrelly
2Tarkan Mustafa
3Colin Luckett
4Matt Crossley
5Mark Harris
6Derek Allan
7Gary PattersonCautioned
8Geoff Pitcher
9Junior Kadi12
10Dwight Marshall
11Richard Thompson
12Johnny Walker9
13Richard Hurst
14Danny Smith
15Luke Basford
16Mike Lester
Man of the Match
Tarkan Mustafa
Tarkan Mustafa
Match Report By
Gary Ekins