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Kingstonian 1-0 Maidenhead United

The league table suggested the prospect of an evenly matched game, and so it nearly was. With neither Kingstonian nor visitors Maidenhead enjoying much in the way of sustained form, the emphasis was on picking up points in strangely tropical late March conditions at Kingsmeadow.

Lance Key continued to wear the captain's armband, whilst Matt Elverson returned to the side - presumably somewhat fitter than the other time he was required to wear his hoops (this season). As with his previous appearance, he was joined by Max Hustwick and Shaun Thurgood at the heart of a defence which, despite favourable statistics through the whole season, had been leaking goals at the rate of two per game all month.

The trend of early opposition goals was destined not to continue once Lance Key saw a couple of speculative efforts shoot wide of his goal. The sides exchanged attacking opportunities at either end, though the defences were in determined mood to clear any signs of danger.

K's gradually took the edge and it was midway through the half that Ronnie Green broke through for the first clear opportunity of the game. Having drawn Richard Barnard out of the visitor's goal, Green rounded him with the neat footwork that is associated with him (below). A slight pause, however, became full-blown hesitation as the young striker saw his clear target closed by the retreating Maidenhead defenders. Rolling the ball onto his inside, the target was opened up again and Green knocked the ball goalbound. The strike lacked the pace it needed and allowed Orlando Jeffrey to make a good sliding goal-line clearance.


One-nil it should have been, and to emphasise the fact that it wasn't, Maidenhead swiftly moved upfield to show off their own ability in front of the target. The angled effort was on target too, though Lance Key was able to push the ball away to the relative safety of a corner.

Maidenhead were to create their clearest opening of the game some ten minutes after Green's effort. Obina Ulasi took advantage of a miss-kick in the K's defence at drove down the left channel on Lance Key's goal. Ulasi rolled the ball across the penalty area to gift an open goal opportunity to Lee Channell, whose miss-kick was far more spectacular than anything preceding it.

Still recovering form events at the other end, Maidenhead were nearly caught at the back as Tim Sills got a yard clear of his markers and fired an effort from close range which Barnard did well to save low to his left upright. Billy Mead, enjoying an advanced position, combined well with Ronnie Green on the right, though there was no finish to go with the move. Green burst through from a deep position just before half time and after a strong run was eventually crowded out as he entered the area. K's went into the break having had the better of the game, yet both sides should have scored from their few chances so far in the game.

Maidenhead opened the second half with intent. Substitute Barry Rake added an extra dimension to their game and Key was beaten five minutes after the break, only for Matt Elverson to intercept with a fine goal-line clearance. Shaun Thurgood experienced 'a moment' when he only manage to get a faint touch onto a ball over the top, landing nicely for the Maidenhead forward to drive in unchallenged down the right channel on goal. Key came flying out and would have been thankful to see the ball knocked too far past him and out for a goal kick.

Tim Sills was in amongst the thick of things as K's looked to re-establish themselves in the game, and with a quarter of an hour left visiting 'keeper Barnard was forced to clear a long floating ball with his head under pressure from the challenging Sills (below). Full back Chris Ferdinand was on hand to complete his goalkeeper's clearance.

Heads I win...

Dave Sadler's introduction further increased Kingstonian's aerial threat, with corners now looking a much-increased threat on the Maidenhead goal. The midfielders, bolstered by the arrivals of Craig Rocastle and James Pinnock, enjoyed some success down the left and Rocastle and Alimi combined well for the latter to cross the ball to Pinnock at the far post with just a couple of minutes to go. Pinnock unleashed a powerful effort which struck big Magpies defender Jamie Jarvis on the arm as he blocked the shot.

Referee Eamonn Smith, after a momentary pause for thought, pointed to the spot. With Luckett and Bolt gone, Greg Ball injured - who would take the penalty. Up stepped Tim Sills who confidently knocked the ball down the middle of the goal with Bernard diving to his right (below). One-nil the scoreline, just one minute to play plus stoppage time. Maidenhead, who had the better of the second half were unable to exert any pressure for a last-gasp equaliser, and the Kingstonian players were able to pass the dying seconds with comfort.

No stopping it now!

Maidenhead may feel somewhat unfortunate to have left their first ever visit to Kingsmeadow with no points, but in a game of few clear chances it is those who take them who win. Or even those who get the spot kick at the end.

Sat 30th Mar 2002
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Isthmian League Premier
Sills (pen)
Maidenhead United0
1Lance Key
2Billy Mead
3Max Hustwick
4Sean Thurgood
5Matt Elverson
6Bashiru Alimi
7Dave Clarke
8Liam Collins15
9Tim Sills
10Ronnie Green12
11Mark Jones14
12David Sadler10
14Craig Rocastle11
15James Pinnock8
Man of the Match
Tim Sills
Tim Sills
Match Report By
Ali Kazemi