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Boreham Wood 2-0 Kingstonian

Kingstonian exited this season's FA Cup competition with barely a whimper against a Boreham Wood side which they were expected to beat. If ever further evidence was required of the lack of strength in depth within the current K's squad, it was provided for the watching 650 at Broughinge Road, as the Wood claimed the £10,000 of prize money on offer in this third qualifying round tie.

With Tim Sills failing a fitness test, Ronnie Green was allowed the chance to re-create his two-goal haul on this ground last season alongside James Pinnock. Mark Jones was again left on the bench as the now familiar looking midfield quartet looked to take K's into the final qualifying round.

A cross

Boreham Wood, cheered on by far more vocal support than any visiting K's fan could remember, began the game the brighter of the two sides, and had several early chances. Brian Jones picked up a weak header from Matt Flitter and shot from the edge of the area into Lance Key's arms, and shortly afterwards Jones crossed from the right - following a mistake from Craig Lewington - to ex-K Dwight Marshall. From just six yards out the striker somehow managed to lift his volleyed shot over the bar when he really should have scored.

The pressure continued to be piled onto Lance Key's goal, and Boreham Wood missed another fine opportunity - Scott Honeyball heading into a gaggle of players on the line from a Jones corner - before the Kingstonian defence was forcibly re-shuffled. Matt Flitter had taken a knock on about the fifteen minute mark, and despite his protestations he was replaced by Peter Barnsby five minutes later.

A header

As the half wore on K's came into the game slightly, but a weak Ronnie Green shot from the right and a Green cross which was missed by Pinnock was the closest that they came until the last five minutes of the half, when Barnsby came close to handing his side the lead on two occasions.

A foul on Pinnock resulted in a free-kick on the left-hand diagonal of the penalty area, and when the felled striker crossed, Barnsby flicked a header just over Noel Imber's crossbar. Yet he came even closer just a minute later. A foul on Dave Clarke allowed the midfielder to send a quick free-kick out to Liam Collins on the right-hand side. He crossed to the edge of the area where Barnsby connected superbly, sending his header crashing into Imber's right-hand post with the goalkeeper rooted to the spot. Had that gone in this match might have turned out very differently.

Yet the promise with which the first-half ended had evaporated within five minutes of the restart. An aimless long ball up the Boreham Wood left dropped onto the head of Julian Sills, who headed back to Lance Key. Yet the combination of a slip from Key and a slightly wider-than-intended header meant that the ball trickled past the goalkeeper and nestled into the far corner of the net for the most bizarre of opening goals.

A chance

Mark Jones replaced Craig Lewington as soon as referee Mr E B Miller had spoken to the ginger-haired midfielder, and shortly afterwards NJ Lampton replaced Collins, with Pinnock moving out to the right. Quite how the team was expected to produce the required equaliser with Green and Lampton up front puzzled some, but presumably not those on the bench.

A short spell of pressure was produced by the visitors though, and they might even had been awarded a penalty had any of the three officials not been looking the other way. Pinnock was felled out on the right, and as he sent over the resulting free-kick, Sean Thurgood fell to the ground clutching his head. The referee trotted over to first one, then the second linesman, but it was clear that none of the three had seen anything untoward, so the free-kick was retaken.

Green came close to connecting with a cross from Clarke and Jones shot softly when played in by the same player, but the second goal fell to the home side. Mark Jones, in defensive role, felled an opponent in the corner of the pitch, remonstrated with the referee and picked up a yellow card. Further retribution followed when Brian Jones crossed and Scott Honeyball headed home at the far post to signal the end of this particular contest.

A better chance

The game was all but over, with K's attacks by now almost non-existent. The lead almost became three when Jeran Meah headed against the post from another Jones cross, with Honeyball slamming the rebound into Julian Sills on the line.

And so the whistle went to signal the end of another cup run. K's were, quite simply, never at the races in this match. If it were to be repeated in a few days' time then the outcome might well be different, but there was ample evidence throughout these ninety minutes to suggest that if this squad is to challenge for promotion at all, then the number available for selection is in desperate need of an increase.

Sat 12th Oct 2002
Broughinge Road
FA Cup 3rd qualifying round
Boreham Wood2
1Lance Key
2Max Hustwick
3Sean Thurgood
4Craig Lewington12
5Matt Flitter15
6Julian SillsCautioned
7Liam Collins14
8Dave Clarke
9Ronnie Green
10James Pinnock
11Bashiru Alimi
12Mark JonesCautioned4
13Adrian Jones
14Neil Lampton7
15Peter Barnsby5
16Jamie Leacock
Man of the Match
Dave Clarke
Dave Clarke
Match Report By
Gary Ekins