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Kingstonian 5-1 Erith & Belvedere

With FA Cup upsets fresh in people's minds following the first round of that competition, it was with some trepidation that Kingstonian ran out to face Erith and Belvedere in the second round of the FA Trophy. Clear favourites they might have been, but things looked gloomy almost straight away.

Adrian Jones had been given the chance to start only his third match of the season, yet within thirty seconds of the match starting it looked as though Lance Key would be required after all. Darren Adams headed through for Jason Davy who knocked the ball past the goalkeeper only to be unceremoniously dumped to the ground.

The referee awarded the penalty, and following some treatment on Jones' forehead called the youngster over to him. By this time Key was getting ready to enter the fray should a red card be waved, but referee Mr Tim Ingram strangely decided to keep everything in his pockets. Richard Vercesi stepped up and fired the penalty straight in to give Erith a third minute lead.

#...where have all the people gone...#

Still, no matter. A goal from Phil Wingfield restored confidence levels to somewhere near normal within two minutes. A foul on James Pinnock saw Scott Steele send in a free-kick from the left wing, allowing an unmarked Wingfield to stoop and head home from six yards out. Yet this wasn't the end of the worries for K's.

Steve White had a glorious chance to restore the Dere's lead almost immediately when he was played in after a fine run by Davy. His cross to the far post saw White in multiple yards of space, but his shot was a weak one, striking Peter Barnsby before being hacked clear.

But after this the level 6 team (that's K's) really did manage to take control of the game. James Pinnock thought he'd given his side the lead when he cut in from the right and fired a shot goalbound from the edge of the area. The merest deflection off of Darren Gowler lifted the ball over the crossbar for a corner, but the desired goal followed with the inevitability of night following day. Steele sent in the corner from the right to the near post, Barnsby flicked on and Wingfield shot home from four yards to give K's a two-one lead.

Possibly the second goal

The break was reached with the scoreline the same, but that not for want of trying. Craig Rocastle should have scored his first goal of the season when played in by Tim Sills, but his shot from the edge of the area went some yards wide of John Odlum's goal. Sean Thurgood and Pinnock both had chances one after each other, but Erith's defending, although at times disorganised, proved effective.

An early change in the second half saw the introduction of a bit of steel (in terms of Craig Lewington) in place of Steele (the Scott version). And within a minute the lead had increased. Pinnock sent in a corner which was headed out to the edge of the area, Thurgood turned his marker and sent a fine left-footed shot towards goal. Two deflections presumably didn't help the goalkeeper, who saw the ball pass him on the way into the net.

By this time K's were in total control of the match. Wingfield was set free down the left and up in support was Dave Clarke. The cross was cut out by James Vercesi but his header reached only Pinnock some twenty yards from goal. He chested the ball down and fired in his first goal for, ooh, ages, via yet another slight deflection.

A goal - hooray

Tim Sills, who had of course scored in the previous four games, was by this time itching to extend his run to five, but for a time this looked unlikely. He'd already missed a couple of half chances, and now it started getting silly. Mark Jones - sent on in place of Wingfield - crossed from the left only for Odlum to spill the ball. Sills thus received the ball ten yards out under no pressure, but his shot went straight at the head of Richard Vercesi who didn't move as the ball struck him to be cleared.

Liam Collins saw his effort well tipped over by Odlum on 71 minutes before the goalkeeper denied Sills too. Another Mark Jones cross was met by the forehead of Sills who forced the goalkeeper to dive to his right to pull off a fantastic save. Yet the pressure continued, and still Sills couldn't find the net. With fifteen minutes remaining yet another cross from Jones was missed by Odlum, seemingly handing Sills his goal on a plate. But the striker's shot from ten yards flicked against the top of the bar and bounced away.

His deserved goal finally came a couple of minutes later. Collins set off on a run down the middle of the pitch, found Pinnock on the right and his low cross was finally turned in by Tim to Sill (ha ha) the victory.

After taking the early lead, the Dere's might have been disappointed to then concede five, but the only disappointment from Kingstonian's point of view is that it was only five. The home side were by far and away the better eleven on display, and they once more showed that, at home, they are almost invincible.

Sat 30th Nov 2002
Kingsmeadow Stadium
FA Trophy 2nd round
Wingfield (2), Thurgood, Pinnock, Sills
Erith & Belvedere1
1Adrian Jones
2Max Hustwick
3Sean Thurgood
4Craig Rocastle
5Peter Barnsby
6Scott Steele15
7Liam Collins
8Dave Clarke
9Tim Sills
10James Pinnock
11Phil Wingfield16
12Neil Lampton
13Lance Key
14Bashiru Alimi
15Craig Lewington6
16Mark Jones11
Man of the Match
James Pinnock
James Pinnock
Match Report By
Gary Ekins