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Kingstonian 0-1 Hayes

Another worryingly low crowd of just 902 saw Kingstonian entertain those perennial Bank Holiday opponents Hayes. After three poor-ish performances, Chapple decided that changes were due, so in came Derek Allan for Simon Stewart, whilst Amara Simba replaced Ronnie Green. On the bench there was a welcome return for Gary Patterson, who was sat next to Steve Farrelly.

K's started as brightly as the afternoon sunshine with Geoff Pitcher sending an early shot just high and wide of Paul Gothard's goal. Minutes later and the midfielder had another effort, but this one went slightly wider, resulting in a throw-in for the visitors.

More chances were created for K's, but none were of the clear-cut variety and none were converted. There were claims for a penalty when Beard set up Simba on the right. His cross went in front of everybody finally reaching Sammy Winston stood on the left. He crossed the ball back in and Steve McKimm played the ball off. Some thought he'd used his hand, but the referee didn't so K's only reward was a corner. From this Eddie Saunders went close with a header, but couldn't direct it down.

Winston, suspended for three games following this one, was looking to depart in style and tried a spectacular effort on 26 minutes. A quick Mark Harris free-kick found Simba who crossed from the left. With his back to goal, Winston connected with the ball and sent what must be one of the slowest efforts ever just wide of Gothard's left-hand post with the goalkeeper scrambling.

It might not sound like it, but Hayes were playing a full part in the game. Although the K's defence might have been looking slightly stronger there were still chances being created. Notably when Lee Flynn shot narrowly over from the edge of the area. But the best chance of a first-half goal fell to K's, but Pitcher wasted it. Beard crossed well from the right, Pitcher leapt but directed his header just wide of the post. Still, things looked pretty good for the second forty-five. Or so we all thought.

Just two minutes had passed before Pitcher wasted what was an even better chance than the previous one. Colin Luckett played in Simba on the left, his cross was met by Winston on the right who crossed to Pitcher at the near post. From all of three yards, the midfielder got to the ball and looked odds-on to score. But somehow he headed down and over with Gothard stranded.

The deadlock was finally broken after 52 minutes, but when it was, it was the yellow-shirted ones who were celebrating. Lee Flynn crossed from the left, the ball was laid back to the edge of the area and the best named player of the season so far - Rocky Baptiste - rocketed the ball into the corner of the net. Hurst dived but did little to convince Chapple that he deserves to keep out Farrelly once the Scouser is fully fit.

The lead was almost doubled just after when a cross from the right was met by Baptiste but his header just cleared the bar as the panic bells started to ring for K's. The game really had swung Hayes' way and they really should have extended their lead. David Stevens had one shot well saved by Hurst before they were presented with the ultimate chance - a penalty.

A corner on the right was played back to Mark Preston. He easily rounded David Bass and crossed into the middle of the area. Amongst the melee of players was referee Mr.M.Ives (who likes computers) who awarded a spot-kick to the visitors, supposedly for a push on Baptiste. Up stepped Barry Moore, sending Hurst the wrong way, but he'd got his calculations just slightly wrong as the ball smashed against the left-hand post and spun across goal and to safety.

A double substitution saw the welcome return of Patterson and the earlier-than-expected departure of Winston - who now needs to spend his off-time getting fully fit. Patterson was immediately involved in the game, cutting in from the right and setting up Bass on the edge of the area. His shot caused problems for Gothard, but not too many as it was pushed away for a corner.

One of K's corners almost saw an equaliser, when Derek Allan headed back into the middle from the far post only for Simba's header to be very well saved by Gothard. The goalkeeper couldn't hold the ball, but no hooped shirt could get to the rebound, which was finally hacked away by Dominic Sterling.

David Stevens had two late chances for Hayes, the first of which was well saved by Hurst, the second of which went in but was ruled out for offside. From K's free-kick the ball was played to the other end where Simba's shot from the edge of the area was easily dealt with.

The introduction of Simon Stewart saw K's switch to a 4-2-4 formation, with Stewart playing out the last ten or so minutes as a centre-forward. Perhaps they wouldn't have bothered had they seen him during the half-time kick-in. As it was, the plan didn't work, as the only further chance was created by Beard, but Gothard got to the ball ahead of Pitcher and Stewart.

And so the fourth game of the season had seen what must be the poorest performance so far. Chances were created, but none were taken. The fact that there were only two shots on target and only four corners for the home side must be worrying. The fact that just 902 people were attracted to a Bank Holiday local derby is disastrous.

Mon 28th Aug 2000
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Football Conference
1Richard Hurst
2Mark BeardCautioned
3Colin Luckett
4Eddie Saunders
5Derek Allan
6Mark Harris15
7David BassCautioned12
8Geoff Pitcher
9Sammy Winston14
10Amara Simba
11Eddie Akuamoah
12Simon Stewart7
13Steve Farrelly
14Ronnie Green9
15Gary Patterson6
16Luke Basford
Man of the Match
Eddie Saunders
Eddie Saunders
Match Report By
Gary Ekins