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Kingstonian 1-1 Sutton United

All the pre match talk from K's fans understandably focused on the various behind the scenes activity following the news of bids and counter bids to take control of the club. In trying to ensure that this wasn't the last ever K's v Sutton game, many K's fans were actively petitioning the local council to do what they can to block any hostile bid to seize Kingsmeadow, and to those Sutton fans who added their names to the ever growing list we extend our thanks.

It was so drab he couldn't face a rematch

But there was of course the small matter of the second instalment of K's versus Sutton, and those present were hoping for a slightly more entertaining game than the drab affair at Gander Green Lane 8 days earlier where neither side managed to break the deadlock.

K's fans, and indeed players, could be excused if their minds were elsewhere, but one man who was totally focused was K's legend Eddie Akuamoah, determined to make a point to those who treated him so disgracefully after many years of loyal service.

Eddie was one of three Ex K's in the visitors' starting line ups, Phil Wingfield and Scott Corbett shaking off injuries which kept them out of the first game and Wingfield came close to opening the scoring early on, but his weak header was without direction and Key fielded his effort with ease.

Sutton attack...

Sutton were making all of the early running and the first quarter of an hour provided more entertainment than the whole ninety minutes had done at Gander Green Lane, albeit most of the chances were falling to the visitors. One of which fell to Rob Haworth, whose fierce drive was well tipped over by Key.

As the half wore on K's got visibly stronger and it was no real surprise when they took the lead just before half time. A long ball from the back was knocked down by the industrious Sadler, the ball falling to Sills who instinctively hit a volley fully 30 yards from goal which screamed into the net. A late contender for goal of the season which was received with much fervour by players and fans alike.

Kingstonian attack...

K's had chances to increase their advantage after the break, Sills firing straight at the keeper from another Sadler flick, and Clarke rounding Tommy Dunn before being crowded out by covering defenders.

Greg Ball made a welcome return from injury, replacing Sadler on the hour mark and almost scored with his first touch, nicking the ball away from Dunn following a sloppy back pass, but the ball ricocheted away from goal and Dunn recovered to save well.

Sadler had a golden opportunity to double the lead, and put the game beyond reach when he was put clean through. He opted for a chip over the keeper and the ball clipped Dunn's thigh and was directed wide.

Sutton weren't without their chances, Key did well to smother a dangerous looking cross shot and Corbett twice went close, first with a free kick and again when he burst through a crowded penalty box, the ball falling to his unfavoured left foot and Key was able to make the save.

As the game wore on you got the feeling that, while looking comfortable, one goal would never be enough and so it finally proved. With just five minutes remaining Akuamoah picked up the ball midway through K's half and with an air of inevitability, ghosted past four K's players before slotting past a despairing Key. A truly magnificent goal, from a truly gifted player and I would imagine a candidate for Sutton's goal of the season.

Of course the removal of the shirt, half lap of honour and gestures towards the K's bench and directors may have been a little over the top (apart from the directors bit), but who could blame him, and rather it happen in a meaningless end of season game than when there's more at stake.

K's probably edged this evening's game on clear cut chances, Sutton the upper hand on possession, but with a bit more ruthlessness in front of goal K's would have run out easy winners. But it wasn't to be, and in all honesty with all that is going on at the club at the moment this result will not be the most memorable thing to come out of the last month of the 2001/02 season. Hopefully K's will have the chance to put one over on their Surrey neighbours next season.

Tue 9th Apr 2002
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Isthmian League Premier
Sutton United1
1Lance Key
2Billy Mead
3Liam Garman
4Peter Barnsby
5Sean Thurgood
6Bashiru AlimiCautioned
7James Pinnock
8Dave Clarke
9Tim Sills
10David Sadler12
11Liam Collins
12Greg Ball10
14Mark Jones
15Max Hustwick
Man of the Match
Tim Sills
Tim Sills
Match Report By
Simon Murray