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Aldershot Town 3-0 Kingstonian

If there is any place that a team wouldn't want to go immediately after entering Administration it must be the Recreation Ground at Aldershot. The home side have, of course, been through all of this and more some years ago, and have come out the other side. They are one of the teams who will always be "right up there" in the league, and they proved that at this moment in time they are far far stronger than any team Kingstonian could field.

In actual fact, the nucleus of the K's side did start the game, with Lance Key still very much in goal, Peter Barnsby wearing the captain's arm band, and Dave Clarke patrolling the midfield area just behind David Sadler. Yet the rest of the team was made up of some square pegs in round holes. Whatever Billy Mead is, he clearly isn't a right-back, and the Aldershot left winger, Mark Graham, gave him a torrid time from the first minute to the last.

2000 fans every week - and still they can't win the league

The home side almost took the lead with just two minutes on the clock. Lee Protheroe sent in a free-kick from the right touchline, Stafford Brown headed goalwards, only for a combination of Barnsby and post to keep the ball out. Still, just three minutes went by before Grant Payne secured the first goal of the afternoon.

Graham ran rings around Mead, turned inside to leave him sat on his backside in one of the many puddles on the pitch and crossed to the far post. Payne met it, but saw his first shot strike Mark Jones. Undeterred, he picked up the rebound and drove the ball past Key's diving right hand.

Phil Wingfield came close to pulling a goal back for K's when he met a Sadler cross with his head, but goalkeeper Gareth Howells (he who let in six last time he met a Kingstonian side) managed to pluck the ball out from under the crossbar. And had he missed it, Coll was waiting on the line for any slip-up.

The home side were creating the vast majority of the chances, and they came close to extending their lead on numerous occasions. Brown wasted one wonderful chance when the ball rebounded to him following a fantastic Key save from a Payne header. The ball landed at the striker's feet some six yards from goal, and even though Max Hustwick put him under pressure, the high-and-wide blast was hopeless.

(uh-uh) Peter Barnsby - doesn't quite go does it?

Payne forced Key to make another stunning save, this time with a shot to the keeper's left, and just one minute later it was Brown who forced the acrobatics - his header being tipped over after Hustwick was beaten in the air.

Phil Wingfield went close once more when he met a Danny Bolt corner only for Adedeji to head just past his own post, but just a couple of minutes later the K's winger hobbled off to be replaced by Jonathan Leacock for his first appearance for the club.

Greg Ball had a chance for K's with half an hour gone only for Howells to do well to clear, but the majority of the chances were still falling to those in red and blue. Kirby in particular must accept a large proportion of the blame for the fact that the score remained one-nil at the break, as he wasted several guilt edged chances by shooting hopelessly.

The second half began as the first had ended - with Aldershot going close. Parker played a wonderful one-two with Brown and finished off the move with a superb volley from the edge of the box. But he got his measurements just wrong, as the ball flew part the post. Yet, just as all of those present were expecting more torture to be applied to the Administrated, the tide turned.

The first sign of improvement followed a hoof up field by Bashiru Alimi. The ball bounced in between Howells and Sadler, and although the goalkeeper got there first, he could only knee the ball out to Leacock. The youngster played in Ball who was sprinting goalwards on the left of the area. But sadly Howells did everything right by standing up for as long as possible, and when the shot came it was saved well for a corner kick (below).

He scored a hat trick once...

Leacock had a chance of his own not long after when he cut in from the right to shoot. Yet he showed the nervousness that comes with making your debut in front of over 2000 people, and his shot was easily fielded by Howells. Yet still it continued. Ball crossed and Sadler shot wide, Leacock crossed and Ball's shot was saved.

But Aldershot began to work their way back into the game. Kirby shot wide again and Key did well to come out and knock the ball away from Brown in a way that Fabian Barthez can only dream about.

Ronnie Green was introduced for Greg Ball, but within a couple of minutes the lead had become two. Protheroe sent in a free-kick from the Shots' right, Brown rose unchallenged and headed home from twelve yards out. It was a simple goal, and after the encouraging previous twenty minutes it was something of a knock-out blow to K's.

The score became three with just nine minutes remaining when a clearance fell to Protheroe. His cross-field ball found Graham who beat Billy Mead again. The cross from the goal-line was met by Parker who got there just ahead of Hustwick to turn the ball past Key. Worse almost came when substitute Nutter was set up six yards out by substitute Watson. Somehow the ball was missed completely, but it really didn't matter much at all.

The faithful

As the whistle went the K's players trooped off. They were stopped by manager Steve Sedgley, who insisted that they acknowledge the supporters who still know little of what the future holds, but this match just proved that the current Kingstonian team has no link with that which had so much success just a short time ago. Aldershot were by far the better team, and if they had had their shooting boots on could have doubled their goal haul. Notable performances came from Key (as usual), Alimi, Clarke and Sadler, but the rest of the team perhaps needs to improve slightly so that the Administrator will be unable to suggest more lay-offs in the playing department.

Sat 20th Oct 2001
Recreation Ground
Isthmian League Premier
Aldershot Town3
1Lance Key
2Billy Mead
3Mark Jones
4Peter Barnsby
5Max Hustwick
6Bashiru Alimi
7Dave ClarkeCautioned
8Danny Bolt
9Greg Ball12
10David Sadler
11Phil Wingfield14
12Ronnie Green9
14Jon Leacock11
15Sean Thurgood
Man of the Match
Bashiru Alimi
Bashiru Alimi
Match Report By
Gary Ekins