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Yeovil Town 3-1 Kingstonian

Kingstonian travelled West for their meeting with the league leaders minus three suspended first-teamers - Steve Farrelly, Colin Luckett and Geoff Pitcher - and with debutante Matt Murray (on loan from Wolves) in goal. The shape of the team was somewhat confusing, with a welcome return for Mark Beard meaning that K's were playing with two right-sided players and nobody really playing on the left.

However, the strange line up seemed not to inhibit the yellows, as theirs was the first chance of the game. Beard got down the right and swung in a cross only for Ian Duerden to head straight into the arms of Tony Pennock in the Glovers' goal. But with a chance to consolidate their lead at the top of the table, it didn't take Yeovil long to get into the game.

There were appeals for a home penalty after some 20 minutes when a free-kick was played into K's box. The ball was headed on and Barrington Belgrave challenged Murray. The scrawny (to say the least) goalkeeper just about got to the ball first, Belgrave tumbled, but the referee waved away the appeals. A second, slightly quieter, appeal was turned down moments later when the same two players collided on the edge of the K's six yard box, but the referee almost certainly got this one right by waving play on.

With half an hour on the clock, things seemed to take a turn for the worse for K's. David Bass - again playing at centre-half - totally missed a through ball and Warren Patmore raced (sic) onto the ball. His quick one-two with Bradley Peters almost got him into position for a shot, but Gary Patterson was covering well and the ball ended up in the arms of Murray.

Yet somehow, by bending down to pick up the ball, the on-loaner had injured himself. Seemingly in agony, he threw the ball out of play to receive treatment from Jim Pearce whilst everybody had a quick check of the subs bench to discover that, no, K's didn't have a reserve goalkeeper sat there.

Thankfully Murray seemed to recover and K's got on with the game. And they did so in the best possible way. A good run by Eddie Akuamoah on the left saw a cross only half cleared by the Yeovil defence. Eddie Saunders got the ball and played a square ball to Derek Allan. Touch one sat the ball up nicely for a shot and touch two saw the right-footed shot rocket into the right hand corner of the net. So from out of nowhere, after having two shots all half, K's led the league leaders one-nil.

And one might have become two when a Scott Mean pass allowed Sammy Winston to stab a ball across goal towards Patterson. Luckily for Yeovil Pennock got there first, as otherwise the K's number seven would have had an easy chance to double the lead. But it was not to be, as the players trooped off for the break. Entertainment was continued though, as Mark Harris did his best to do an impression of a goalkeeper, just in case he were called upon.

News that Rushden were losing at the break must have inspired Yeovil, and Colin Addison's first home half-time team talk must have given them a real wake-up. They appeared a much more together team in the second forty-five and it took just three minutes for the reward to come.

A debatable challenge on Mark Boyce was ignored by the referee and Anthony Tonkin raced away down the K's right. His cross was stopped by Patterson who cleared, but the follow-up cross from Belgrave was met by Patmore who shot under Murray to equalise. Scott Mean kept up the tradition of K's number eights by being cautioned for complaining about the Boyce (non)foul.

Belgrave had a chance to score himself when he connected with a cross from substitute Roy O'Brien. Murray caught easily, and then the penalty appeals re-started. Belgrave was played through with Derek Allan in pursuit, Allan slipped but thankfully Akuamoah was covering. His challenge saw Belgrave tumble and the ball roll off for a corner. Which was all that Yeovil received.

66 minutes were on the clock when Mark Harris thought that he was actually going to called on. A shot from Nick Crittenden was well saved by Murray low to his right, but as he got up it was clear that he was once again in pain. The physio once again got him going, but this sight must have encouraged the home side. And three minutes later they had the lead.

K's were actually down to ten men when the second goal came, as David Bass and Eddie Saunders had managed to collide with each other in the middle of a huge football pitch. While Bass was having his head bandaged up by an in-demand Jim Pearce, a cross from Andy Lindegaard from the right was met by Belgrave, and his delayed shot crept under Murray.

Restored to a full compliment of players, K's did go looking for an equaliser. A spell of pressure ended with a left-sided corner from Akuamoah. The ball was cleared, but Patterson gave Eddie another chance to cross. This one went to the far post and Sammy Winston's right-footed volley just skimmed the top of the cross-bar. Shame.

Eddie Akuamoah, who was doing his best to fill in a left-back, made a slip late on which Yeovil punished to the fullest. Lindegaard again fed Belgrave on the right whose run took him past Saunders and Bass and into the area. His shot beat Murray and the game was over.

K's did have a slight spell of pressure towards the end, and the introduction of substitutes Ronnie Green and Craig Ward wasn't a bad thing, but there were no real chances to speak of. There were a couple of blocked efforts, but other than that it was a tale of Yeovil waiting to find out whether Rushden really had lost. They had, which meant - worryingly for K's - that Morecambe had won.

It really is a shame for K's that the two recent league wins, against Dover and Southport, have been followed by games against Rushden and Yeovil respectably. If the team could get a run of two or three results together then everything will look better. Because this was a display of guts from the K's side, playing light of numbers and against a team in fine form. If this performance can be repeated against lower sides then there is absolutely nothing to worry about.

Sat 21st Oct 2000
Huish Park
Football Conference
Yeovil Town3
1Matt Murray
2Mark Boyce15
3Mark Beard
4David BassCautioned
5Derek AllanCautioned
6Eddie SaundersCautioned
7Gary Patterson
8Scott MeanCautioned
9Sammy Winston14
10Ian Duerden
11Eddie Akuamoah
12Luke Basford
13Gary Drewett
14Ronnie Green9
15Craig Ward2
16Mark Harris
Man of the Match
Gary Patterson
Gary Patterson
Match Report By
Gary Ekins