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Kingstonian 6-2 Cirencester Town

The shadow of September's defeat at the hands of Brockenhurst hung over Kingsmeadow as Cirencester - currently 21st from 22 in the Western Division of the Southern League - headed East looking for an upset. Steve Sedgley's side was that which performed so well at Boreham Wood seven days earlier, although there was a welcome return for David Sadler, even if the form of Greg Ball and Ronnie Green meant that he had to be content with a place on the bench.

K's started as the favourites that they were, and came close to opening the scoring within three minutes of the kick-off. Dave Clarke was played through a static Cirencester defence, he rounded goalkeeper Kevin Scrivens only for his cross to just elude Ronnie Green. Still, those present had only to wait five more minutes for the opening goal.

Mark Jones nipped in on the half-way line and played in Danny Bolt on the left. His cross was met at the far post by the right boot of Ronnie Green and his volley went across Scrivens and nestled into the far corner of the net for a very good goal. Yet this wasn't the signal for the floodgates to open. The visitors almost scored a very quick equaliser when David Godley played in Justin Miller on the right, he rounded Jones and crossed back to Godley. His shot was first deflected, then turned aside by the thankfully alert Lance Key.

Greg Ball headed into Scrivens' arms following a Liam Collins run and cross, but just after this things took a down-turn for Cirencester. A foul on Bashiru Alimi by Nathon Holt saw the transgressor himself injured, and after lengthy treatment - for both him and captain Gary Horgan, who had gotten injured in a completely separate incident - Holt walked off and proceeded to wait for an ambulance to take him to hospital with suspected broken ribs.

Some fifteen further minutes passed before the depth of Cirencester's squad was tested once more. Greg Ball crossed from the right for Scrivens, Andy Woollen and Ronnie Green to compete. A collision between the two Cirencester players saw Woollen fall to the ground, and moments later he was stretchered off (below) with a suspected broken leg. Kingston A and E would be a busy place this afternoon.

Andy Woollen gets stretchered off

Yet the forced re-shuffle did no harm to the away side. Not two minutes after the second injury, they were back on level terms. Sean Terry crossed from the right and substitute Jimmy Carter was standing all alone as he headed home from the penalty spot. And so at the break the score was one-one, leading some of the less than optimistic K's fans to enquire exactly what time the coach would depart for Tuesday's replay.

But all thoughts of a replay were expunged as K's started the second half like a train. On 48 minutes Clarke played a square ball to Billy Mead on the right and he crossed only for a defender to deflect the ball away from the onrushing attackers and towards Scrivens. But something obviously went awry as the keeper rushed out, trying to catch the ball on the edge of the six yard box. The ball slipped through his hands, bounced between his legs and nestled into the net. And so Billy Mead had his first goal since his "infamous" appearance against Tooting and Mitcham in last season's Surrey Senior Cup.

Greg 'deadly from three yards' Ball

Things just got better for K's from this moment on. Half-time substitute Phil Wingfield was brought down on the left wing, and some quick thinking from Mark Jones saw the free-kick played to the winger in plenty of space on the left. He drilled the ball across goal, and Greg Ball was in exactly the right place to nod home his regular "three yards out" goal (above) to take himself into double figures for the season.

And still things got better. Ball received a pass from Clarke just inside the Cirencester half and headed goalwards. Ronnie Green was looking for the through ball, but the leading scorer ignored him and disproved the theory that he can't score from outside the area. He unleashed a fierce shot from twenty-five yards leaving Scrivens no chance, and leaving K's celebrating a remarkable four-one lead (below).

Slapped backs aplenty

Yet Cirencester still didn't give up. Adam Mayo strode forward and unleashed his own pile-driver from twenty-odd yards. This one didn't quite have the desired effect, but it came as close as possible as it struck Lance Key's left-hand post and bounced away.

But still there was no end to the scoring at the other end. Greg Ball took a corner from the left, Horgan headed the ball back to him, his second cross was well controlled by Green just outside the box, and he shot home for the fifth. A glance at the watch revealed that K's had scored four goals in eleven second-half minutes.

Yet still they battled on. Carter played in Miller on the edge of the box, Wingfield got a foul in just as Miller shot, and as the ball went wide, referee Mr M Knight awarded the free-kick. Another long delay was once again ended with the appearance of the stretcher as Miller became the third Cirencester player to leave the field. No matter. Up stepped Sean Terry, who fired home the free-kick to make the score five-two.

Strangely, for the next ten or fifteen minutes there was only one team in the game. Cirencester. They had chance after chance, corner after corner, and forced Lance Key to make save after save. Godley forced one particularly impressive save when he shot from twelve yards out, and Mayo stabbed inches wide after being set up by Chris Bass.

But the lack of a goal meant that there was never any real doubt in who would go through, and substitute David Sadler made sure with the sixth and final goal in the very last minute. Ball played in Green on the left and he crossed to Sadler who had no problem heading home from three yards out. Not ten seconds after the re-start - at 4.57pm - the final whistle went.

And so a convincing six-two win. Yet somehow it didn't feel quite as convincing as the scoreline suggests. Cirencester were clearly upset by all of their injuries, and K's hit a purple patch when they could do no wrong. Things could have been very different, but they aren't. Kingstonian march on in the trophy - and now we're in with the big boys.

Sat 1st Dec 2001
Kingsmeadow Stadium
FA Trophy 2nd round
Green (2), Mead, Ball (2), Sadler
Cirencester Town2
1Lance Key
2Billy Mead
3Mark Jones
4Peter Barnsby
5Max Hustwick
6Bashiru Alimi16
7Dave Clarke
8Danny Bolt14
9Greg Ball
10Ronnie Green
11Liam Collins
12Mark Royal
13Adrian Jones
14Phil Wingfield8
15Sean Thurgood
16David Sadler6
Man of the Match
Greg Ball
Greg Ball
Match Report By
Gary Ekins