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Morecambe 3-2 Kingstonian

K's travelled North for the season's longest trek once again without manager Geoff Chapple. Also absent was Geoff Pitcher whose claim to be suffering from a virus was rubbished by Colin Luckett who said that he'd get a nose bleed if he went that close to Scotland.

Two new faces were in evidence at Christie Park. Scott Mean from Bournemouth slotted into the midfield whilst Ian Duerden - twice a scorer against K's for Doncaster in recent times - joined Sammy Winston in attack. In a slightly confusing move two players were asked to play out of position - David Bass in the centre of defence and Mark Boyce at right back - whilst the two regulars - Mark Harris and Marvin Harriott - sat on the bench.

In a somewhat subdued start, during which it seemed as though the game was a contest of who could play poorly enough to lose rather than the more recognised game of who could play well enough to win, Morecambe came out with the best chances. The home side hadn't won since August 28th, but they looked to fancy their chances against out-of-form K's.

Either side of Duerden's first shot for the club, David McKearney shot over from 30 yards and Steve Walters had a left foot shot stopped by Farrelly. The latter chance saw the ball spill away from the keeper but he recovered just before Phil Eastwood got a touch. Following this was that most worrisome of tasks for the travellers' defence - that of defending a corner. Ryan-Zico Black took it, sent the ball to the far post, Stuart Drummond rose and got in a good header at goal. Fortunately it was rather a slow effort and Farrelly was able to drop onto the ball.

The chances continued to be created for the home side when Eastwood crossed from the left in between Julian Dowe and Bass. Dowe got there first, but again his effort wasn't good enough to beat Farrelly.

A right-footed Patterson effort, which cleared the bar, did little to stem the tide of forward rushing red shirts as Adriano Rigoglioso sent a left-footed shot not far wide from the edge of the area. Eastwood had a chance with a free-kick from the same area and got his shot on target. But yet again Farrelly was there to save. The efforts were gradually getting closer and Dowe was the closest yet when he met a right-wing corner but headed just wide of the left-hand post.

The pressure finally told on 40 minutes when Morecambe took the lead. Andy Lyons sprinted forward on the left and unleashed a stunning shot from some 30 yards. Farrelly had no chance of keeping this one out and the home side had the goal which their first half performance had deserved. There was a somewhat heated discussion between Boyce, Kadi and Saunders but the outcome was the same - one-nil.

One almost became two in the moments before the break when Walters shot marginally wide from 25 yards after the ball had been laid back from the edge of the box. Yet at half-time, despite creating what must have been at least 75% of the chances, the score of one-nil was somewhat unkind to Morecambe.

K's were presented with a golden opportunity of getting back into the game after just five minutes of the second forty-five. A shot from Patterson hit the referee and the captain then played the rebound through to Sammy Winston. In the perfect place for a shot (i.e. in the area with no defenders directly between him and the goal) the K's striker decided to play a square ball across the area. Except nobody in a yellow shirt was anywhere near where the ball went.

At a time when K's had a chance of getting back into the game it was a terrible piece of play, and just three minutes later things got worse. Dowe was played through on the right, Bass went back to challenge, the striker fell and the referee pointed to the spot. Despite the protests Phil Eastwood placed the ball and scored straight down the middle to double the lead. From eye-witness accounts it looks as thought the decision might have been a harsh one, but the fact was that, just moments after having a chance to equalise, K's were two down.

As has seemingly been the case this season, in adversity the K's team produce the goods. So we had the situation, once again, where after going two down, they started to show us just how good they really are. And they really are quite good.

It took 5 minutes for a goal to come, and when it did it was from an unlikely source. Mean played in Boyce on the right who just about managed to persuade the linesman to keep his flag down. His cross was pulled back to the edge of the area where Junior Kadi was lurking. His chest control was exemplary and his right-footed-angled volley was perfection. The ball nestled in the corner of the net and all of a sudden things began to look brighter.

Now playing with more belief, the chances finally began to come to those in yellow. Harriott and Ronnie Green were introduced for Mean and Winston - who, it was decided unanimously, had the worst game of his short K's career so far - as K's started to look like a team who thought they'd be challenging at the top of the table by now.

Another cross from Boyce saw another shot from Kadi, but unfortunately this one wasn't quite as good as Mark Smith saved. Then a lofted Patterson free-kick from the right was met by the head of Duerden, but his headed effort just went wide of the post. But at least the travelling fans had some things to "ooh" at.

The game should have been tied up for Morecambe though, when a cross from Rigoglioso - lurking totally unmarked on the right - was met by substitute Steve McIlharghey in front of goal. He somehow managed to poke the ball wide of the post when it really did seem easier to score. Maybe this was a sign.....

Patterson shot over and a Duerden header hit Colin Luckett as K's piled on the pressure. And they finally got their just deserts on 82 minutes. A corner was played in by Colin Luckett from the right and it was met by the fist of Smith. The ball landed just inside the area where standing was Eddie Akuamoah. One swing of his left boot saw the ball shoot underneath the keeper and between the defenders on the line and K's had salvaged a point.

Or so we all thought. Right at the end of normal time, a cross from the right was met by Andy Fensome, Farrelly fell over, a shot was cleared off of the line by Eddie Saunders, but Stuart Drummond was following up and he secured the win for Morecambe.

At the final whistle some of the K's players sunk to the turf in despair. They may have lost the fist-half deservedly, but they put up a pretty good show in the second. And to be just eight minutes away from a point, after fighting back from two down, just to lose with almost the last kick, must be sole destroying. But they mustn't give up. Once again the performance showed that the team really is on the right track. Once the injuries have cleared up there is no reason why K's can't put a run of results together.

Sun 8th Oct 2000
Christie Park
Football Conference
Kadi, Akuamoah
1Steve Farrelly
2Mark Boyce
3Colin Luckett
4David Bass
5Eddie Saunders
6Scott MeanCautioned15
7Gary Patterson
8Junior KadiCautioned
9Sammy Winston12
10Ian Duerden
11Eddie Akuamoah
12Ronnie Green9
14Mark Harris
15Marvin Harriott6
16Gary Drewett
Man of the Match
Ian Duerden
Ian Duerden
Match Report By
Gary Ekins