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East Thurrock United 1-3 Kingstonian

A club with great recent success in this competition met another featuring in it for the first time. The form of the respective sides was equally contrasting coming into the match, with K's riding high in the Ryman Premier and East Thurrock struggling in the lower reaches of Ryman One North.

Rookery Hill

Peter Barnsby returned from injury alongside Matt Flitter to reform their centre-back partnership and for the first time at Kingstonian, with Max Hustwick and Sean Thurgood taking the full back roles in a 442 formation. Dave Clarke, suffering from a knock to his shin, was unable to start the game and with Craig Lewington ruled out due to suspension, it was left to Julian Sills and Bashiru Alimi to fill central midfield.

With the game still settling down, the first significant move of the game saw Phil Wingfield pick up a Julian Sills ball down the left before sending in an inviting cross for Graeme Tomlinson. All the more inviting given the space the K's striker was afforded. Tomlinson duly headed back across the goal to net his first goal for the club.

Tomlinson, offering a good target up front, saw an overhead effort from an NJ Lampton cross go wide and some stout defending prevent any more clean headers on goal. Otherwise in what became an increasingly uneventful first half, Steve Sedgley's side seemed to have gained control of matters. Yet, as the end of the half approached, East Thurrock started to threaten Lance Key's goal, starting when Tony Kinnear got a break on the bounce of the ball and shot just wide of the target. Striker Luke Bauckham worked an opening and shot across goal, with it returning only for Mark Barry to fail to connect with his strike properly.

Goalmouth action

The home side started the second half as they ended the first, and with almost immediate reward. Danny Dafter ran down the left wing and sent in a cross that an unmarked Scott Mallon struck in at the far post for the equaliser. With the conditions, and pitch, rapidly deteriorating, K's were almost punished for attempting to overplay the ball in the middle, though Flitter and Barnsby were alert to just about keep the danger at bay.

Dave Clarke's introduction relatively early in the half spurred K's on and his give-and-go almost paid off as his strike from the return ball was gathered by home 'keeper Jon O'Brien. At the other end, Lance Key came sliding out to the left of his area near the goal-line to take the ball. The 'keeper's momentum took him out of the area and, with hands touching ball, was punished with a caution.

Bauckham was proving to be a constant threat to the K's rearguard, and the defence and 'keeper were both called upon to foil the strong forward in quick succession after the ball had been surrendered in the boggy centre of the field.

With the game entering the final twenty minutes, substitute Mark Jones sent in a cross from a left-sided position which initially seemed harmless, only to sail past the stranded home 'keeper to nestle into his goal.

With that goal, the game swung back into the hands of the K's, and Phil Wingfield, still on the field, came through for a late surge of activity. The veteran creator and scorer of goals almost tucked a corner into the top of the net, but O'Brien was just able to repel the danger as he tipped the ball away. Wingfield followed with another cross for Tomlinson, who saw his shot taken low by O'Brien.

A break came in the K's attack when Mallon sent a shot not far wide of Key's upright, but back up the other end it was now Tomlinson's turn to return the favour to Wingfield, with the former crossing for the latter to head in yet another headed goal this season despite the best efforts of the man on the line.

With only a few minutes remaining, K's now seemed in full goalscoring mood, and after O'Brien parried away an initial shot, a Phil Wingfield cross saw Dave Clarke's close range strike hit the post and roll away to safety. And so K's ended the game looking like comfortable winners, but the result looked in soem doubt during a sticky spell in the middle, yet what matters most is the scoreline and K's move into the next round.

Sat 2nd Nov 2002
Rookery Hill
FA Trophy 1st round
East Thurrock U1
Tomlinson, Jones, Wingfield
1Lance KeyCautioned
2Max Hustwick
3Sean Thurgood
4Bashiru Alimi
5Matt Flitter
6Peter Barnsby
7Neil Lampton14
8Julian Sills16
9James Pinnock12
10Graeme Tomlinson
11Phil Wingfield
12Mark Jones9
13Matt Sargeant
14Liam Collins7
15Jamie Leacock
16Dave Clarke8
Man of the Match
Graeme Tomlinson
Graeme Tomlinson
Match Report By
Ali Kazemi