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Kingstonian 3-4 Yeovil Town

Ten years ago a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the London Underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of (mis)fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire THE K'S DEFENCE.

Or then again, maybe not.

On a day in which the K's attack proved that they are indeed "too good to go down", the other half of the team seemed desperate to remove any hope which had been instilled by the forwards. To lead three times against the second placed team and to then lose was hard to take. Perhaps even more so because of the lateness with which the winner finally came.

Things started in a worrying fashion for the (out-numbered) home support. Yeovil seemed determined to prove that their recent poor run had come to an end, and if it wasn't for Jimmy Glass K's could have been two or three behind within ten minutes. Anthony Tonkin actually tested the K's goalkeeper within thirty seconds of the start, but this was a mere taste of what was to come. The ball was in the home net in the fourth minute when Marcus Jones tapped home following a penalty area scramble, but the linesman's flag had been up for some time and the goal was correctly ruled out.

Barrington Belgrave, unusually playing on Yeovil's right, combined well with Darren Way who crossed to the far post for Warren Patmore and Derek Allan to compete. Patmore won, but his shot was very well turned aside by Glass, low down to his right. Just minutes later a quick free-kick was played square to Jones who, from just outside the K's area, saw his shot nonchalantly turned over by Glass.

It would have been impossible for this sort of pressure to have continued without a goal coming, so it was with some relief that the ball finally reverted to the other end of the pitch. Colin Luckett, once again playing in midfield, played in Ronnie Green on the right whose pass allowed Geoff Pitcher - playing as a centre-forward - to shoot from the edge of the area. It wasn't the best of shots, but it did allow some of those from Somerset to sweat slightly.

The next chance also fell to K's and it really came from nothing. A free-kick was pumped high up in the air for Pitcher to jump for and the ball bounced out to Gavin Holligan. He shot from some twenty-plus yards with his left foot and the ball took a couple of bounces before nestling in the corner of Chris Weale's net. It wasn't the best shot ever produced by Holligan, but that mattered not a jot as K's took the lead.

Chances continued to come for the visitors, most notably when Howard Forinton crossed for Nick Crittenden. Mark Boyce just about did enough to put him off as the ball went away for a goal-kick. Yet things almost got better for K's when Holligan went close to doubling the lead. A superb run began somewhere out on the right, he cut in and shot from a similar distance from where he scored. This time the shot was deflected, Weale did very well to get a hand on the ball, it carried on, struck the top of Yeovil's bar and bounced away for a corner.

The visitors should really have gone into the half-time break on level terms when a long clearance was totally misjudged by Mark Jones. Forinton ran on to capitalise, but once again he found Glass in top form as he turned the ball aside. And so the break arrived with K's holding on to a slightly-fortunate one-nil lead.

What would have been a remarkable second K's goal was almost produced in the opening stages of the half, when a Jones throw was collected by Pitcher. He did well to create space on the left and his cross to the far post found an unmarked Ronnie Green. But heading isn't Green's greatest asset, which he proved as his effort went some way over. Then, after a one-two with (the once again anonymous) Gary Patterson, Pitcher fired a shot just wide, when perhaps he might have set up Holligan who was lurking around the six yard box.

But then the equaliser came. A horrible pass from Patterson was easily intercepted by Crittenden on the left and his run into the area was untroubled. He crossed to the far post and there Patmore had an easy chance to score. He managed to mess it up though, as his header came back off the bar. But following up was Forinton who had an even easier chance from which he made no mistake.

Yet just when everybody expected K's to roll over and die, they did the exact opposite. They went and scored again. A corner was taken by Luckett but was easily cleared by Tonkin. The ball only reached Ronnie Green on the right though, and when he crossed to the far post, most of the Yeovil defence had gone AWOL and Derek Allan was left with the simple job of heading home to restore the lead.

Mark Boyce was forced to clear off of his own line as the pressure intensified once more. Yet things then took a turn for the better for K's, when Forinton was stretchered off. This involved a huge delay, and when play restarted the passion seemed to have gone out of some of the K's play. Yeovil capitalised within minutes, when a cross from sub David Piper was met by the - unmarked - flying Patmore who headed home the second equaliser.

Yet just when everybody expected K's to roll over and die, they did the exact opposite. They went and scored again. It took just six minutes for the lead to be restored, and it was Ronnie Green who provided the goal. Pitcher had crossed from the right, nobody had gotten a touch, but Eddie Akuamoah retrieved the ball and crossed to the far post where Green showed that his heading isn't that bad to make it three-two.

By now K's were desperately hanging on to the lead, but if anything the pressure increased. And another six minutes passed before the third equaliser of the day came. Michael McIndoe took a corner from the right, Glass attempted to punch clear but got it all wrong as the ball struck Eddie and went in for an o.g. There was still time for K's to threaten to regain the lead once more, most notably when Holligan crossed from the left only for Tonkin to clear from Green's boot.

By now injury time was upon us, and five minutes had been signaled after the Forinton stoppage. Patterson shot over from the edge of the box after good work from Jones, and Ronnie Green was given another chance, this time by Patterson. Holligan and Pitcher were awaiting a cross, but the shot came in only for a defender to clear.

Yet just as thoughts were turning to a "well-deserved point" things took a down-turn. Crittenden crossed from the right, Belgrave attempted a spectacular overhead kick and the ball fell to Patmore who turned his shot in to give Yeovil an astonishing four-three lead. With mere seconds to play after the restart, there was no way back from this and the points had slipped away.

At the end there were huge celebrations at the Yeovil end, but huge disappointment at t'other. Nobody in their right mind could have predicted that K's would produce such a good attacking display or that they would score three against a defence which has conceded just once in the previous four matches. Yet the attackers were let down by the back line, who just had no answer to the pressure exerted on them by Yeovil.

Were it not for Glass' early saves the score may well have been more one-sided, but he then managed to let himself down badly by failing to deal with the last two goals. Patterson once again proved that he is living on past glories, but thankfully more was seen from Pitcher.

At the end of the day K's should take heart from this performance. Three times they managed to penetrate what is a very good defence, and their leads were not undeserved. The fact that the leads could not be held, whilst troubling, should not be the main thing taken from this game. Sides such as Northwich, Boston, Dover and Forest Green will not produce the chances that fell to Yeovil, and so if this form can be shown against those sides there is no reason to expect that those points will be lost.

Sat 7th Apr 2001
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Football Conference
Holligan, Allan, Green
Yeovil Town4
1Jimmy Glass
2Mark Boyce
3Colin Luckett
4Derek Allan
5Simon Stewart
6Mark Jones
7Gary Patterson
8Geoff Pitcher
9Ronnie Green
10Gavin Holligan
11Eddie AkuamoahCautioned
12Sammy Winston
13Adrian Blake
14Eddie Saunders
15Ian Duerden
16Mark Harris
Man of the Match
Ronnie Green
Ronnie Green
Match Report By
Gary Ekins