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Ford United 2-2 Kingstonian

Yet another Kingstonian match started - this time at the Oakside Stadium - with most of those present, at least those cheering for the hoops, more interested in off the field activities than those on show in front of them. The news of the possible purchase of Kingsmeadow by AFC Wimbledon was slowly becoming public knowledge, with several conversations going on long after the referee had blown to start the match.

K's started without custodian Lance Key between the sticks. Still suffering from the strain to his back picked up at Purfleet, Adrian Jones stepped in once more. Mark Jones was once more only on the bench, with all three of Grant Payne, Tim Sills and Scott Edgar starting together again.

The opening fifteen minutes saw several chances fall to the visitors - Sills' shot and Barnsby's header both flew wide - before Grant Payne scored the first goal of his K's career that wasn't scored with an eyebrow. Barnsby missed his header from a corner, Sills' shot from the edge of the box was deflected by Alan McLeod, goalkeeper Phil Wilson saved and Payne tapped in from three yards out.

This proved to wake mid-table Ford from their slumbers, and they duly equalised some ten minutes later. Before that Chris Whelan was called upon to clear a shot from Glen Poole off of the line, but he could do nothing to stop Marvin Abraham's equaliser. A fine run down the right saw him cut in and shoot from a tight angle, there may have been a slight deflection from a defender, but whatever, the ball nestled in the net as the scores were levelled.

Barnsby missed his second sitter of the night from another James Pinnock corner before the lead went to Ford. David Collis sent a free-kick square to Poole, who sent a fine shot into Jones' top right-hand corner for a very fine goal.

Skipper Barnsby in part made up for his offensive lapse(s) with an intervention as Ford looked to score a third. A long ball up field was chased by John Buffong and himself, Jones came out, nobody made a good connection and Buffong headed goalwards. With Jones stranded, Barnsby sprinted back and prevented the ball from trickling over the line.

The second half began with Jones again in trouble - this time thanks to a terrible backpass from Barnsby. He sliced his kick straight to Poole, but the striker shot over leaving K's relieved.

The most amusing incident - for the visiting support at least - came with ten minutes of the half gone. With Ford attacking on the right, they were awarded a throw in which Buffong ran over to take. As he stood ready to throw, the linesman - all of three yards away from him - started flagging vigorously and called the referee over. After a moment of discussion, the red card was shown to Buffong as Ford were relegated to ten men. The accused made his way down the tunnel - albeit reluctantly - only to return some time later to stand behind the aforementioned linesman to berate him for the remainder of the game.

The home side had even more reason to be upset with the man with the flag when, just minutes after the expulsion, Chris Perkins rose highest to head home a corner from the left, only for the linesman to flag for a foul.

The reduction to ten seemed, if anything, to spur Ford on. A fine move between McLeod and Jeff Woolsey saw the latter play in Poole, only for his shot to rebound against the bar.

Tim Sills came close to levelling the scores when he produced a fine save from Wilson. Craig Lewington crossed from the left to the far post, Sills flicked on to Edgar, but defender Alex Fiddes got a touch. The ball dropped back to Sills who headed goalwards only for Wilson to fling himself to his left to turn the ball away with a quite brilliant save.

But the pressure was beginning to grow, and with fifteen minutes left on the clock it finally told. A superb run from Lewington saw the midfielder gain some fifty yards for his team with a run from right to left. He was brought down on the corner of the box, and James Pinnock sent a quite superb free-kick into the top right-hand corner for the equaliser. The scorer deserved the plaudits, but Lewington is finally starting to show that he isn't just a defensive midfielder.

The final chance of the match fell to Sills, but Wilson denied him once more. Liam Collins played the ball up the right, where Sills headed past the full-back and into the area. His first time shot looked destined for the top corner, but once again Wilson produced a save from his top drawer to keep the scores level. The resulting corner fell to Barnsby, but his effort was blocked, and not long after the whistle sounded.

A draw wasn't exactly the best result against a team who were pre-season relegation tips, but K's once again showed the fight and spirit that has become so obvious over recent weeks. The sending off strangely seemed to upset the eleven men rather more than the ten, but even so a point apiece was probably a fair reflection.

Tue 18th Mar 2003
Oakside Stadium
Isthmian League Premier
Ford United2
Payne, Pinnock
1Adrian Jones
2Max Hustwick
3Bashiru Alimi
4Craig Lewington
5Chris Whelan
6Peter Barnsby
7James PinnockCautioned
8Grant Payne14
9Tim Sills
10Scott Edgar
11Phil Wingfield15
12Matt Flitter
13Matt Bradford
14Liam Collins8
15Mark Jones11
16Matt Elverson
Man of the Match
James Pinnock
James Pinnock
Match Report By
Gary Ekins