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Kingstonian 3-1 Aveley

Conquerors of league cup holders Northwood, Aveley - also of division one north - made their first trip to Kingsmeadow. The two sides' paths crossed over a six season spell in the first division in the early eighties. The interesting trend to come out of that was the away side never won. Given current playing records, most fans clearly thought it a foregone conclusion and hence didn't turn up. Either that or the fact that not many supporters decide to turn up across the whole Isthmian league cup.

The team selection reflected Kim Harris' policy of taking the two smaller cups seriously. Unfortunately it was the players' who at one stage seemed to be taking things for granted, and a slow start along the lines of games against Slough Town and Erith & Belvedere was the result.

The thirteenth minute proved unlucky for Key & Co when Aveley's Jimmy Stevens was in the heart of the action as a whipped left wing cross was drilled at the target. Key got a touch but was unable to prevent the ball from going in to provide the visitors with an early lead.

Danny Curran tried to double the Millers' advantage with a looping shot, but the ball sailed just over Key's goal and Kingstonian were able to move up the other end with Phil Wingfield and Ronnie Green testing Darren Smith in the opposing goal.

On the half hour mark, Curran threatened again, and this time his close range shot required the intervention of a diving Key to prevent it from entering the net. Seizing the initiative, it was Curran again who troubled K's again and Mark Jones in particular. Having hauled his lively opponent down, Jones was somewhat that the referee considered a yellow card sufficient punishment when Curran had looked to have a clear run on goal in front of him.

An unexpected equaliser was soon to follow, as Phil Wingfield got ahead of marker Steve Dickinson to connect with a Liam Collins to knock the ball past Smith for the latest of his goals this season. Headers have been his speciality this season, left-footed goals of all kinds throughout his career - so a right-footed half-volley was a treat for the gathered few.

Both 'keepers were called into action to avert danger one further time before the interval and the sides trotted off to the dressing rooms level. Kingstonian, whether under the guidance of Steve Sedgley or Kim Harris, have been excellent second half performers and this was one game where a move up in gear was most certainly required.

Ronnie Green and Tim Sills combined for the latter to send a snapshot over straight after the break before Liam Collins slipped Green in on the inside edge of the box via a deflection off an Aveley leg. With the angle, goalkeeper and a couple of defenders against him, the tricky striker did very well to slot the ball in to the back of the net to give his side the lead.

Having been set through by defence-splitting pass from Sills, Green was unable to control the ball and a golden opportunity had gone.

Aaron Wright had an equally good chance at the other end when a long ball somehow sailed right past the last line of home resistance to set the striker in. With the prospect of getting an equaliser in front of him, Wright's composure failed him as he blasted the ball over the goal.

Tim Sills, seeking to boost his position in the Ryman League's top few goalscorers, had an effort saved by Smith. The goalkeeper did well to hold on to the shot with Phil Wingfield lurking in the hope of a rebound, and maybe deserved some luck when Sills was unable to retrieve his sliced clearance to get a clear shot on target.

With the game nearing its end, the ball broke to Phil Wingfield from Liam Collins, and the K's veteran almost doubled his goal tally with a curling effort from outside the edge of the box. Goalkeeper beaten, it was the crossbar that denied what would have been a splendid goal.

Determined to have a final say in the game, Wingfield received the ball in a left midfield position and picked out the run of Tim Sills with a long angled pass. The striker rose above his man and headed back across towards the top corner of the net to seal the victory with a decisive breakaway attack.

The game proved tricky at times, though the side got stronger and looked more dangerous as the game went on. Goals are now almost expected every time they take the field - and it has been goals more than overall performance that have now taken K's to the quarter finals of this competition.

Tue 4th Feb 2003
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Isthmian League Cup 4th round
Wingfield, Green, Sills
1Lance Key
2Liam CollinsCautioned
3Mark JonesCautioned15
4Craig LewingtonCautioned12
5Peter Barnsby
6Max Hustwick
7Craig Rocastle
8Bashiru Alimi
9Tim Sills
10Ronnie Green14
11Phil Wingfield
12James Pinnock4
13Adrian Jones
14Scott Steele10
15Liam Garman3
Man of the Match
Phil Wingfield
Phil Wingfield
Match Report By
Ali Kazemi