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Enfield 2-2 Kingstonian

Spending New Year's Day in Boreham Wood probably wasn't the most attractive option for many people - yet spending a cold Tuesday evening there late in January clearly wasn't either. A crowd of just 129 (the lowest of K's season so far) witnessed a match which, in many ways, resembled a train crash. Everybody knew what was going to happen, they didn't want to watch, but they just couldn't peel their eyes away from it.

Changes had once again been rung, meaning that Sean Thurgood and Max Hustwick were paired at the back, Craig Lewington made his first start in midfield and Ronnie Green was handed another chance to impress, this time alongside Tim Sills. With Dave Clarke suspended (and not playing either.....) and Peter Barnsby injured, the armband was given to Craig Rocastle who lined up on the left.

On the opposite flank was James Pinnock - a player who is looking more and more like the "Football Leaguer" that we were expecting to see back in August. And September, and October, and November etc etc. And it was he who crafted the first chance of the evening. A pass down the right touchline was aimed at Sills, stood with back to goal; a flick of his right foot sent the ball past the watching Enfield defenders and into the path of Ronnie Green; one touch centred him in front of goal and the second despatched the ball past Michael Kalli's dive for the opening goal.

Just ten minutes were on the clock at that point, and it took slightly less time than that for the lead to double. A late challenge by George Gregoriou on Sills was punished with a free-kick for K's and a yellow card for the aggressor, but the visitors exacted even more retribution than that.

Hustwick lofted the free-kick towards the Enfield penalty area and Sills showed his dominance in the air by flicking the ball on to Ronnie Green. On the edge of the area he did superbly well to control and pass the ball back into the path of Sills, and his right-footed shot crept in under the body of Kalli for two-nil (below). And so with but eighteen minutes on the clock K's were two up and totally dominant. Was this to be a night to remember? Well yes, but not in that way.

It may be blurred - but they all count

The beleaguered (© OD - Yo!) home side started to get themselves back in the game as K's started to sit slightly deeper. Ex-K Lee Allen saw his shot well saved by Lance Key after cutting in from the left and shortly after, Billy Mead limped off injured to enforce an un-wanted change in the K's team.

The attacking half of the team were still doing superbly, forcing a couple of fine saves from Kalli - most notably from Pinnock from distance and Rocastle from in close after a Liam Collins cross. However as time wore on it was the home side who began to take control of the majority of the possession.

The first moment of real controversy occurred shortly before the break. Ronnie Green received the ball on the left and set off towards goal. Two defenders - Nicky Gyoury and Simon Peddie - converged on him and Green lost the ball and went down. Reports differ on which part of the body he was clutching - some people say knee, some people say head, some people really need to admit that they weren't watching...

Whichever, Gyoury immediately started a move which ended with the ball being played into the Kingstonian box, Thurgood, Pinnock and Hustwick played "no, after you" and George Georgiou nipped in to cut the deficit in half. Physio Frank Brooks was immediately allowed onto the field to treat the head-clutching (by now at least) Green whilst the protests of those in yellow did nothing to change referee Mr Miller's mind on the updated scoreline. fast as a train...

The half ended shortly afterwards, and during the interval the majority of those watching (the majority being visiting supporters) agreed that the lead really should have been more than one. Now, about that train crash that was mentioned earlier.....

Whilst a few people (roughly a third of the crowd) were still enjoying their half-time beverages, K's had a tremendous spell. Tim Sills came within a foot of converting a Mark Jones cross from the left, and Ronnie Green came within inches of converting a headed pass from Sills. Yet Enfield were still very much alive.

Lance Key was called upon to get another save out of his top drawer when a cross from the left was met by the head of Dwayne Lewis. He headed the ball down and to Key's right, but a fine tip away saw the ball off for a corner. That one goal lead was looking every so slightly more perilous.

Another Enfield surge saw a poor challenge by Lewington on Allen go unpunished by the referee, who then played the advantage when Pinnock was brought down by James Ayres. But the ball had by then run through for Green who had a clear run in on goal. His shot from slightly to the right of goal was on target, but Kalli had done well to get out quickly and thus blocked the shot.

Although no cautions resulted from that phase of play, two came from one soon after. Enfield had cleared a semi-dangerous K's attack when one of the linesmen started waving furiously. He had seen an altercation between Sills and Ayres on the edge of the home box, and after Simon Peddie was mistakenly called over for a telling off, both were shown yellow cards and the handbags could be put away.

All those adverts - how do they do it?  They must, like, contact people

As time wore on Kingstonian seemed to sit deeper and deeper, for some reason inviting the home side to attack. Key saved from Marvin Walker after a mistake by Lewington and was then called upon to do the same when a corner was only cleared to the edge of the box. That time it was substitute Jermaine Hunter who was denied.

Steve Sedgley made a late change by replacing the front two with the "other" front two, as Greg Ball and David Sadler were given a chance to worry the home defence. As it was they only got one chance to do so, combining well only for Rocastle to shoot wastefully wide.

The train was getting ever closer to the buffers, and a series of corners for the home side just increased the inevitability of it all. Some five minutes of overtime had been played when yet another corner was swung in from the left. Key punched weakly to the edge of the box, Lewis headed back in and after a couple of chances to clear were turned down Glen Wilkie stabbed the ball home for what was really a deserved equaliser.

The match ended shortly afterwards with the usual complaints about the time added on. Yet if facts alone are considered Enfield really did deserve their point. K's wasted several good early opportunities to put the game beyond doubt, and were at times defending with only a large slice of luck keeping the ball out. Going forward looks good - it's the other end of the field that's a worry.

Tue 29th Jan 2002
Broughinge Road (Boreham Wood FC)
Isthmian League Premier
Green, Sills
1Lance Key
2Billy Mead15
3Mark Jones
4Sean Thurgood
5Max Hustwick
6Liam Collins
7James Pinnock
8Craig Lewington
9Craig Rocastle
10Ronnie Green14
11Tim SillsCautioned12
12Greg Ball11
14David Sadler10
15Eddie Duah2
Man of the Match
Tim Sills
Tim Sills
Match Report By
Gary Ekins