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Hayes 2-2 Kingstonian

Almost two years after the sides last met in Middlesex, K's returned as visitors to the familiar surroundings of Church Road. Little else was there to remind the travelling fans - or Mark Jones - of that eventful February night.

Kim Harris fielded an almost unchanged line-up from an 'almost' game midweek at Aylesbury in the FA Trophy. Tim Sills made a welcome return following suspension to lead the attack, with Scott Steele unavailable to take part through injury.

K's started the game brightly, attacking the Hayes goal in the opening minutes, though the efforts of Tim Sills and Phil Wingfield missed the target as they fired wide and then over.

Moving the ball around well, something then started to creak as first Mark Molesey and then Peter Holsgrave moved swiftly through the wild challenges to test Lance Key early.

Key's counterpart, Bertrand Bossu saw the ball soon after, though was unable to do much with it as Paul Holsgrove defied the claims of his goalkeeper to take the ball from within his clutches. Safety was eventually found, though the early signs of trouble in the Hayes penalty area had been sounded. Bossu was involved in a mess again when he rose with Tim Sills to punch clear a Craig Rocastle cross. The ball travelled all of ten yards and it was left to Matt Gray to clear.

More was to come, but on the half hour mark John Hastings found a gap on the edge of the K's area and then skipped a challenge or two before neatly slotting the ball past Key for the opening goal of the game. It was deserved too, as Hayes were looking the sharper side.

Back to Bossu's end, and Kingstonian's best chance of getting a goal of their own. It wasn't long before another goalmouth scramble came and sourced from a ball lofted into the box. Bossu rose with the K's frontmen and spilled the ball, though centre-back Yiodon Yeboah was on hand to clear.

What a clown

As the half drew to a close, a snapshot from Tim Sills was blocked by Paul Holsgrove just as it had seemed destined to cause Bossu problems. Lance Key had his own problems to deal with when a shot on his goal took a close-range deflection, though the K's custodian was able to save well.

The second half started badly for the K's with the home side doubling their advantage, though Dean Clark's thirty-five yard strike was well worthy of all the credit it received from both sets of supporters.

The goal did seem to set K's rolling, and a combination of Yeboah and Holsgrave managed to prevent an immediate response by clearing from a scramble that had ensued after a James Pinnock by-line cross. Pinnock then tried his own luck with a long-range effort, though Bossu was able to gather comfortably.

With about twenty minutes gone in the second period, Craig Rocastle was brought down on the edge of the area. Expecting a Pinnock or Wingfield curler, it was Tim Sills who struck the free kick and with so much venom that it almost took Bertrand Bossu's hands off. At least, that's what the French goalkeeper would have said, though he might want to practice his ball-repelling techniques as it shouldn't have really entered the net past him right in the middle as it did.

It's coming straight at you...

John Hastings had a chance to double his goal tally though wasted a good opening by sending the ball well over. And it was back to the other end for Bossu & Co to be troubled yet again. Tim Sills was picked out by a Rocastle cross and chose the slightly (in his case) harder option of scissor-kicking the ball into the back of the net. It nearly worked, though Matt Gray got just enough on it to repel it away from the target.

With ten minutes left remaining on the clock, K's moved into overdrive. A whipped corner had Bossu in trouble on his line as the 'keeper cleared with his fists from under his bar. The ball landed to Phil Wingfield who turned sharply to drive in a low shot across goal that just eluded the outstretched leg of Julian Sills as it flew just past the upright.

Having trouble with Sills and Wingfield in the middle was Hayes centre-back Yeboah, and the referee eventually wised up to his aggressive tactics. The free kicks were close, but not close enough as K's chased the elusive equaliser.

More deep defending

Eventually, with the game entering it's final minute, substitute Bashiru Almi sent in a deep cross from the left to Tim Sills. The striker's shot was superbly blocked by Bossu's, throwing himself at the ball. Picking up the rebound on the edge of the box was Craig Rocastle, who braced himself a couple of times before finally sending in a shot. It was on target yet never seemingly goal-bound, that is, until it came across Phil Wingfield's leg on the way. Intentional or not, it was the perfect finish, as all around could just watch as the ball rolled slowly into the bottom corner of the net.

So, a dramatic equaliser. All things relative, however. For that cold February night an injury-time unorthodox Gary Patterson free-kick earned relegation threatened (eight man) K's a point. Fortunately, the on-field circumstances surrounding this late equaliser are different, and despite an ever-growing games drawn column, this K's team doesn't give away defeats cheaply.

Sat 18th Jan 2003
Church Road
Isthmian League Premier
Sills, Wingfield
1Lance Key
2Max Hustwick
3Mark Jones12
4Matt Flitter
5Peter Barnsby
6Matt Elverson15
7James PinnockCautioned
8Julian SillsCautioned16
9Tim Sills
10Craig RocastleCautioned
11Phil Wingfield
12Bashiru Alimi3
13Adrian Jones
14David Ocquaye
15Liam Collins6
16Sean Thurgood8
Man of the Match
Mark Jones
Mark Jones
Match Report By
Ali Kazemi