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Kingstonian 1-3 Chester City

A month and a day since their last victory, Kingstonian embarked on a tough run of games which started at home to relegated league side Chester City. The visitors had brought a fair few followers along, and the crowd was swelled to over a thousand by K's own "Bring a friend" day. Let's just hope we see some of those new faces again...

Wearing black shorts - whether for luck or image we're not sure - and with Steve Farrelly back and Marvin Harriott in at centre half, Kingstonian started fairly well. Theirs was the first chance of the match when Geoff Pitcher performed miracles in the left hand corner of the pitch and swung the ball across. Sammy Winston flicked on at the near post and directed the ball towards the waiting Amara Simba. Unfortunately goalkeeper Wayne Brown (now there's a name) just got his hand there before Simba could connect.

And then out of nowhere Chester scored. Steve Whitehall picked up the ball from Chris Blackburn, turned towards goal, and unleashed an unstoppable shot past Steve Farrelly to ruin the goalkeeper's welcome return. The ball went right in the top-left hand corner and City led one-nil. And you could almost see the hoops' heads go down.

But thankfully, they didn't throw in the towel. Instead they did what we've wanted them to do for weeks. They fought back. Pitcher played in Boyce on the right of the area and his attempt to flick the ball over the goalkeeper wasn't too far away from doing the job. Then another piece of wizardry from Pitcher in the corner allowed Eddie Akuamoah to cross. The ball dropped in front of goal and seemed to strike Martin Lancaster on the hand. Appeals were waved away, and the ball was hacked away to safety by Matt Doughty.

K's didn't have it all their own way though. Steve Farrelly was called upon to make a quite outstanding save when Beesley hit a 20 yard shot which was destined for the top corner. The ball rolled away from Farrelly and thankfully it was Colin Luckett who cleared the remaining danger.

There were more calls for a penalty for the home side when Eddie beat everybody on the left and whipped in a dangerous cross. Simba rose with Doughty at the far post, Doughty seemed to place his hands in the Frenchman's back and Simba's hand struck the ball. The free kick went Chester's way. Winston had a chance just after, when he was played through by Pitcher. The ball fell in between himself and Brown and the ball ricocheted off both players resulting in just a goal kick for Chester.

Now with Chapple claiming that Hurst is a "good goalkeeper" in this week's local papers, it was a joy to see the real thing back at Kingsmeadow. And Farrelly proved his worth before the break with an amazing double save. A cross from the left was met by Whitehall - standing unmarked at the near post - but Farrelly blocked his headed effort well. The ball dropped to the feet of Beesley, and five yards from goal it seemed a certainty that the lead would be doubled. Not so, as Farrelly somehow threw himself in front of the shot to save yet again.

The second half started in much the way that the first had ended. With K's looking for a goal. A Colin Luckett throw from the left allowed Gary Patterson (via Colin Luckett, via Gary Patterson, via Colin Luckett again) to pick out Mark Boyce, who had made a superb late run into the area. He met the cross at around about the penalty spot, but his flicked header just went the wrong side of the post. Some said he should have scored, but it was certainly a tough chance.

But after 66 minutes, the goal that Kingstonian's play had deserved did come. Patterson played a ball through to Winston on the left of the area, Darren Moss came over to challenge, Winston saw the legs of the tackle coming and took a tumble. Whether he was fouled or not, it was a silly challenge by the defender and one which was punished with a penalty. Colin Luckett did the expected by placing the ball past Brown to equalise.

But equality lasted just eight minutes. And this time, Colin Luckett - hero moments earlier - was cast in the opposite role. A ball was played across the edge of the K's area to Whitehall, Luckett turned slightly late and caught the striker. It was a definite penalty, it was just a shame that it came so soon after K's own. The attacker picked himself up and just about beat Farrelly low to the goalkeeper's right to reclaim the lead for his side.

Yet still K's didn't throw in the towel. Winston laid the ball back for Luckett to cross and substitute Ronnie Green connected at the far post. His header was a good one, but it just hit the top of the bar going away for a goal kick. Again, some said that he should have scored, but then they probably wouldn't have done any better.

But when the third goal went in with just eight minutes remaining, the game was all over. It came from a corner - that element of the game that seems to worry K's most of all - which was conceded when Farrelly made another good save, this time from Chris Blackburn. Doughty took it, Andy Evans ran in and shot from about ten yards past the stationary defence and goalkeeper. And this time the heads really did go down.

A three-one loss is probably quite harsh on K's. They gave so much effort and created quite a few chances that they probably deserved a point. But they didn't get it. And when you're 21st out of 22 in the table, "probably deserved a point" doesn't count for much. And now we embark on a three game tour that could well make or break the season. Dover, Rushden and Hereford are all in the top echelon of the table, and should no points be claimed, there may well be a big gap between ourselves and the rest come the time of Morecambe away. Let's hope not.

Sat 23rd Sep 2000
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Football Conference
Luckett (pen)
Chester City3
1Steve Farrelly
2Mark Boyce16
3Colin Luckett
4Derek Allan
5Marvin Harriott
6Mark HarrisCautioned
7Gary Patterson
8Geoff Pitcher
9Sammy Winston
10Amara Simba
11Eddie Akuamoah
12Lee Allen
13Richard Hurst
14David Bass
15Luke Basford
16Ronnie Green2
Man of the Match
Mark Boyce
Mark Boyce
Match Report By
Gary Ekins