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Aldershot Town 2-1 Kingstonian

Kingstonian travelled to Aldershot's Recreation Ground with the home side safe in the knowledge that three points would see them back on top of the Ryman Premier League. K's on the other hand were looking to record what would have been just their second league win on their travels this season.

In front of a crowd just a shade under two thousand, the home side started by showing their visitors exactly how tough this match would be. A mistake at the back allowed Roscoe D'Sane to play in Paul Buckle on the left. Lance Key started to move towards the ball, changed his mind and thus what out of position when the ball was played back to D'Sane. Thankfully for K's the striker completely mis-directed his shot, sending the ball wide of the unguarded net. And so the first minute ended.

Steve Sedgley's side came back strongly though, with a Scott Steele free-kick causing confusion in the Shots' ranks. Tim Sills had a header and a follow-up shot blocked and Nikki Bull did well to turn a James Pinnock shot around the post for a corner. Sills almost had an open goal of his own on the twenty minute mark, but when Phil Wingfield flicked on a Dave Clarke cross the ball went marginally behind the striker when a better directed pass would have handed him the opening goal.

Yet that prize fell to the league-leaders-in-waiting. Richard Gell shot from the edge of the box, but Matt Flitter's knee got in the way. The ball looped over the Kingstonian defence and dropped towards Lee Charles on the left-hand side of the area. Once more Key was tempted off of his line, and with the outside of his right foot Charles executed the perfect lob over the goalkeeper to give his side the lead.

The boys in blue were certainly not being outclassed though, and they went close to an immediate riposte. Bashiru Alimi played in Wingfield on the left, his cross was met by Sills but his headed effort struck Dwane Lee. The deflection dropped to Scott Steele who sent his shot mere centimetres wide of Bull's post.

A couple of corners caused problems for the Shots' defence as they twice allowed Peter Barnsby room to meet the ball, but both times his effort went just wide. Yet the best chance of the half arrived just a minute before the break. Sills was played in on the right, he tried to set up Pinnock but Jason Cousins got a touch first. The ball arrived at Wingfield's feet on the left, and when he looked up he saw Alimi free on the edge of the box. The pass was perfect, but the shot was not as Bull turned the ball away.

K's started the second period in the same vein as they had finished the first - on top. Barnsby headed another corner wide and Sills saw a good header saved once more before a change in the home personnel was enforced. Goalkeeper Nikki Bull had picked up an injury towards the end of the first half and he finally decided that he had had enough. And who was the replacement Aldershot goalkeeper? None other than ex-K's favourite player Richard Hurst.

The first threat on the substitute's goal came when a foul on Clarke saw Steele send in a free-kick from the right. Tim Sills rose above the non-existent defence and headed into a gap kindly left by Hurst to score what was a more than deserved equaliser. And things almost became better yet.

A backpass to Hurst was sliced horribly to the goalkeeper's right and Sills was on it in a flash. He picked out Clarke some twelve yards out, but by the time the shot came the goalkeeper had managed to get back into position to pull off a fantastic save.

With time getting on it looked as though Aldershot were to be denied the three points that they required, whilst K's looked to have managed yet another away draw. Yet the late pressure was coming from Aldershot. A run by Buckle on the right made inroads into the K's defence, and he pulled the ball back to Gell. The shot looked goalbound, but Barnsby managed to get his head in the way to deflect the ball over.

D'Sane sent the ball in from the left, one of a gaggle of players at the near post flicked the ball on and Dominic Sterling headed home from all of three yards. There was still time for a glorious chance to be crafted at the other end, but when Wingfield met Pinnock's cross he couldn't keep his header on target as the ball sailed over Hurst's crossbar.

And so Aldershot returned to the top of the league. Yet this was a match that proved that this Kingstonian side can most certainly live with the best that this league has to offer. For large portions of the match K's were in command, and Aldershot can count themselves lucky to have come away with maximum points.

Tue 26th Nov 2002
Recreation Ground
Isthmian League Premier
Aldershot Town2
1Lance Key
2Julian Sills
3Bashiru Alimi15
4Craig Rocastle
5Matt Flitter
6Peter BarnsbyCautioned
7James Pinnock
8Dave Clarke
9Tim Sills
10Scott Steele12
11Phil Wingfield
12Mark Jones10
13Adrian Jones
14Max Hustwick
15Neil Lampton3
16Craig Lewington
Man of the Match
James Pinnock
James Pinnock
Match Report By
Gary Ekins