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Woking 2-1 Kingstonian

What was clearly the biggest game of Kingstonian's season was always likely to produce a few talking points. Geoff Chapple against his old club, Steve Sedgley against his old manager, Danny Bolt against his old club etc etc. Yet at the end of what was often a thrilling FA Trophy tie, the main talking point may be just about to start.

The post-match revelation that Kingstonian's captain, Peter Barnsby, was suspended for this third round tie, is a matter which will be much debated in the days to come. It did however mean that, whatever result the eleven K's players had achieved at Kingfield on the day, Woking were always going to proceed to round four.

Yet at points during the match, that outcome seemed not so definite as some before the game had believed. A late, late chance fell to David Sadler, and had that been converted, the scores would have been levelled - giving more importance to any FA involvement.

Is that their good stand then?

The match itself wasn't quite a classic. The travelling side started fairly brightly, with Max Hustwick going close to converting an early Danny Bolt corner, but the home side struck with what was their first effort on goal. Jamie Pitman - notorious amongst the K's followers - sent in a free-kick from the middle of the pitch, Warren Patmore - similarly notorious - headed the ball square to strike-partner Chris Sharpling, and his left footed volley from the edge of the box went in to Lance Key's left to give Woking a seventh minute lead.

Patmore almost made it two with a flicked header from a David Piper cross, but Lance Key produced his first outstanding save of the afternoon. At the other end Greg Ball and David Sadler were showing the form which has seen Ronnie Green relegated to the bench, and they came close to producing an equaliser with some twenty minutes on the clock. Bolt threw to Ball on the left, and as the Cards' defence slept, he cut in along the goal-line. Sadler was free in the middle, but the youngster decided to go it alone, only to see his shot saved well by Tony Tucker.

The follow-up saw the belated cross for Sadler, but Tucker got to that too. And less than thirty seconds later it was K's breathing a sigh of relief. Scott Steele picked up the ball on the Woking left, cut in-field and unleashed a shot from twenty-five yards. Key looked to have the shot covered, but when it struck Hustwick's back the flight of the ball changed completely as it struck the post and thankfully bounced away.

Steele and Patmore both missed seemingly simple chances as K's got caught up-field, but when the second goal came it was slightly undeserved. Barnsby lost the ball in the middle of the field to Sharpling, his touch sent Patmore free, and his chip from forty yards was perfection itself. Key had no chance to recover and as the ball nestled in the net most watching believed the game to be as good as over.

He's still fat then

But let it not be said that this Kingstonian side lacks spirit. Two cautions before the break - one for Dave Clarke (dissent) and one for Barnsby (foul) - showed that the desire was there for a comeback, and just six minutes of the second period had passed before that desire was rewarded.

Danny Bolt played a ball through the slightly-horizontal Woking defence and Sadler was on it in a flash. One touch took him inside the area, and the outside of his right foot sent the second past Tucker's dive and inside the far corner of the net to halve the deficit. The change in both sides was obvious. The red and white Cardinals were visibly worried, whilst those in yellow suddenly believed that this game wasn't over yet.

Patmore did get the ball in the net during a rare period of Woking pressure just after, but referee Mr Singh quite rightly ruled the goal out as the striker had used his hand to control a Lloyd Webber shot.

The introduction of debutant Leon White in place of Luke Dowling saw K's switch to a 3-5-2 formation as they really set about gaining the equaliser. Dave Clarke - who was having a storming second half - led one break and played in Bashiru Alimi. His twenty-five yard shot looked to all the world as though it would sneak into the top corner, but at the last it veered away to leave heads being clutched.

Danny Bolt in 'crosses with left foot' shock

Woking did have chances of their own in the second half, but they found Lance Key in the top of his form. Yet he almost gifted them a third when he got a punch ever so slightly wrong after a cross from the left. The goalkeeper jumped with Sharpling, but his punch deflected the ball not out, but goalwards. Thankfully for the keeper Barnsby was on hand to hoof clear and spare his blushes.

But Key made up for that aberration not longer afterwards with an amazing save. Steele crossed from the left, Patmore had run to the near post and had taken all three defenders with him, and so when he dummied, Roscoe D'Sane had a simple tap-in from six yards at the far post. Yet somehow Key flung himself to his left and even managed to hold on as he prevented the third goal from being scored.

Yet all of the good work from the visitors in the second half was thrown away with some ten minutes remaining. Dave Clarke led another attack with a surging run deep into the Woking half. D'Sane tracked him all the way, and just ten yards outside the area he brought him down with a cynical foul. The free-kick was awarded, but that wasn't enough to please Mr Clarke.

In a display of petulance which would have embarrassed a four year old, he picked up the ball and threw it into the face of D'Sane. The referee was given only two choices: either a straight red card or a yellow. He plumped for the latter, but Clarke's earlier caution meant that even this didn't save him as K's restarted one man, as well as one goal, down.

The travelling messes

Ronnie Green was brought on to try and salvage something, and even though they were superior by one man, Woking didn't look like they knew how to take advantage. In fact it was Kingstonian who crafted the last real chance of the match. A long kick from Key was controlled by Greg Ball in the middle, and he did well to play the ball through for Sadler. Scott Smith tried and failed to stay with him, and all of a sudden the chance of a replay was presented. Sadly for K's the shot didn't quite creep under Tucker's body, and just a few minutes later the whistle went to signal the end of this year's Trophy run.

In actual fact, a two-one win for Woking was probably the fairest result. They had by far the better of the chances (apparently they hit the post as well as those described above), and certainly controlled large portions of the game. However Kingstonian didn't disgrace themselves in any way. To come close to earning a replay against a Conference side is nothing to be ashamed of for such a young side. This should stand everyone in good stead for the matches to come, and who knows what might happen next time we visit Kingfield. Whatever competition that may be in.....

Sat 12th Jan 2002
Kingfield Stadium
FA Trophy 3rd round
1Lance Key
2Billy Mead
3Luke DowlingCautioned14
4Peter BarnsbyCautioned
5Max Hustwick
6Bashiru Alimi16
7Dave ClarkeSent Off
8Danny Bolt
9Greg Ball
10David Sadler
11James Pinnock15
12Liam Collins
13Adrian Jones
14Leon White3
15Ronnie Green11
16Craig Rocastle6
Man of the Match
David Sadler
David Sadler
Match Report By
Gary Ekins