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Kingstonian 1-0 Chesham United

It is perhaps trite to say that this match was of little significance in the grand scheme of things, but in its own small way, perhaps it was an indication that life goes on - if not quite as normal, then something akin to it. The match was played out in front of a crowd which had once again slipped from the numbers who watched the previous match, and a crowd which seemed somewhat pre-occupied by events elsewhere for much of the duration.

With his selection Bill Williams once again put his faith in youth, with nineteen year olds Max Hustwick, Bashiry Alimi and Liam Collins starting alongside twenty years and one week old Mark Jones. On the bench as well were youngsters Greg Ball and Ronnie Green, and at the end of the day the youngsters were much involved in what could just be the turning point in K's season.

Chesham were making their first visit to Kingsmeadow and they started brightly. Wayne Andrews crossed from the right, Hustwick got a touch, but Richard Graham still got a shot in. Lance Key probably had it covered as it flew past his left-hand post. Just afterwards his other post got a close view of the ball as Graham again shot wide - this time with a volley from the edge of the box.

Wrong way - come this way

David Sadler and Steve Brown were once again paired together up front, and they gave the impression that their partnership may be about to take-off. Sadler had a sniff of a chance when Brown flicked on a long kick from Key, but fired disappointingly wide from the edge of the box. He would have been relieved then to see the linesman with flag aloft.

Twenty-four minutes were on the clock when K's took the lead - the first time they had done so in a home league game since April's match versus Yeovil. Brown did well on the left and played the ball across the box for Collins who was in a fair amount of space on the right. He sent in a cross for Sadler who had the chance to break his duck, unmarked and ten yards out. Goalkeeper Delroy Preddie did well to spread himself and block the first shot, but when the ball bounced back to Sadler he really couldn't miss. And he didn't. He blasted the ball home from three yards out (see that blurred photo below) and the prone form of Preddie could do nothing. Fists were clenched all around.

Sadler scores

K's came close to doubling their advantage a few times before the break, most notably following an Alimi corner. Steve Brown got a flicked headed effort in at goal only for Preddie to punch/flap clear. The ball dropped to Max Hustwick on the edge of the area, his shot looked destined for the net, but Brian Statham managed to get his hands in the way to block the effort. The referee waved play on.

But it was Chesham who again started the better after the break. Graham sent in a corner from the right and Statham forced Key into a very good save as he headed goalwards. Yet that partnership was still at work at the other end of the field. A good ball from Billy Mead set Brown free, with Sadler in support. If the pass to him had got through he would have had a clear run at goal, but Michael Gorman did exceptionally well to not only get back, but to play the pass off for a corner. That came to nothing as Mead headed wide.

The visitors came as close as they could to pulling the one goal deficit back with an hour played. David Pratt crossed to the near post from the right wing where Graham and Peter Barnsby competed. The forward won the battle and got in a shot at the near post. Lance Key did well to turn the ball aside, somehow the ball struck a post and was finally hacked clear for a corner kick. Key did it again soon after when he produced another fine save when Terry Bowes cut in and shot from the left.

Go on - jump

But K's kept at the job at the other end of the field. Jones had a chance to get on the end of a Brown cross but was forced just too wide, and not long after, the provider almost became the providee. Preddie played a short goal-kick to Lee Kersey on the edge of his own box, Brown nipped in, turned well and shot against the post. The rebound fell straight to a defender who then panicked and blasted the ball off for a corner.

But still Chesham threatened. Max Hustwick turned one shot from Graham over the bar for a corner, and from that Mark Jones was called upon to head off the line following a header from Andrews. Lance Key saved from the same player just afterwards, and then the striker blasted the ball over when it seemed somewhat easier to score. K's were hanging on.

The programme

The game finally ended after a moment of controversy in the corner of the field. Chesham won a throw deep in their left-back's area, and as Mark Beard regained his balance Ernie Cooksey stormed in and pushed/hit him to the ground. Things threatened to turn ugly as several players gathered, but the referee did well to calm everything down. When he had done so he called Cooksey over, showed him his second yellow card of the evening and a red followed. Preddie wasn't happy and had a bit of a tantrum, getting his own caution for his pains.

And so K's claimed three points for just the second time this season. It was perhaps difficult to judge on such a strange evening, but there were signs that light may be hovering just below the horizon. Both Brown and Sadler furthered their cause for a prolonged run in the side together, as did all of the youngsters. K's won. Let's hope it's the start of a much better run.

Tue 11th Sep 2001
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Isthmian League Premier
Chesham United0
1Lance Key
2Mark Beard
3Colin Luckett
4Peter Barnsby
5Max Hustwick
6Bashiru Alimi
7Liam Collins
8Billy Mead
9David Sadler12
10Steve Brown
11Mark Jones
12Greg Ball9
14Ronnie Green
15Steve McKimm
Man of the Match
Steve Brown
Steve Brown
Match Report By
Gary Ekins