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Kingstonian 0-1 Telford United

Kingstonian ran out to face Telford knowing that if a fight against relegation was to be fought - this was where it would have to start. Things looked good early on, as the visiting team had been seriously delayed on their journey East and thus kick-off was delayed by fifteen minutes. K's, who had managed to warm up, would surely be able to take advantage of their visitors' stiffness.

At least, that was the plan. In reality the game turned out much as it had at the Buck's Head a few weeks ago, with the late arrivals making an impressive start. Kevin Davis took a corner from the right, Neil Moore headed the ball back into the middle from his far post position, Jimmy Glass stayed rooted to his line and Steve Palmer headed in from some six yards out. Further proof, if it were needed, that the Kingstonian defence is completely incapable of defending a cross. And so it was one-nil with just twelve minutes on the clock.

One almost became two just after, when Gary Martin-Dale played in Jake Edwards. He cut back behind Derek Allan but fired his shot across Glass' goal. Yet K's responded in the best possible fashion - with a sustained period of pressure.

Firstly Phil Wingfield crossed from the left only for both Ian Duerden and Gary Patterson to fail to connect when any touch would surely have equalised. Next a left-wing Pitcher corner was crossed for the second time by the number eight and Allan met it from ten yards. The distance between post and ball was mere inches - sadly the inches were on the wrong side of the post from K's point of view.

Simon Stewart shot wide and Duerden saw a volley headed clear by Mark Albrighton, but the best chance of the half came just before the break. Pitcher did well to get a cross in from the right and Wingfield's far post header was brilliantly saved by Dean Williams. The rebound fell to Ronnie Green, who had come in from his right-wing position, and who executed the perfect volley from some ten yards out. Sadly the shot went straight at Albrighton, who headed the effort away.

And so the half-time break came and went with K's trailing - somewhat undeservedly - by a solitary goal. Hopes were high that, if the first-half onslaught could be repeated, this game wouldn't have been over. But in the end it never really materialised.

There were chances - most notably several skied Pitcher shots from the edge of the box - but the team didn't seem to show as much desire in the second half as they did in the first. The introduction of Messrs. Akuamoah and Winston did little to alter the balance of play, and in the end it was a fairly comfortable final thirty minutes for Telford.

In fact, as K's sent more men forward, the visitors came close to increasing their lead. Palmer headed an Edwards cross over when completely unmarked (imagine that) and Martin-Dale shot wide after being played in by Palmer.

The best chance for an equaliser fell to Sammy Winston when a cross from the left hit Palmer - possibly on the hand - and dropped to the striker some eight yards out. A volley was called for, but what was produced was something akin to a collapse. He somehow made no contact with the ball and the chance was gone.

At the end of the game the players once again trooped off disconsolately. Of course it's still possible, and of course they shouldn't give up, but most of the 867 present know that the reality for next season is Aldershot, Grays and Sutton to name but three. This was a must win game. K's lost. K's are down.

Mon 16th Apr 2001
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Football Conference
Telford United1
1Jimmy Glass
2Mark Boyce
3Colin Luckett
4Derek Allan
5Simon Stewart
6Ian Duerden14
7Gary Patterson
8Geoff PitcherCautioned
9Ronnie Green
10Gavin Holligan
11Phil Wingfield12
12Eddie Akuamoah11
13Adrian Blake
14Sammy Winston6
15David Bass
16Mark Harris
Man of the Match
Colin Luckett
Colin Luckett
Match Report By
Gary Ekins