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Heybridge Swifts 2-4 Kingstonian

In his second match in charge, Kim Harris kept faith with the eleven players who had served him so well seven days previously. The team which held Canvey started the match at Scraley Road, Heybridge, and started in the best way possible.

Not two minutes were on the clock when Phil Wingfield headed marginally wide, and not two more had passed when the same man opened the scoring. Dave Clarke played a fine ball out to Tim Sills on the right, and when he crossed towards the far post Wingfield headed the ball back in the direction from which it had come to beat stand-in goalkeeper Darren Placid.

Scraley Road

Paul Abrahams was allowed the chance to equalise almost immediately, when he received a cross from the left only to shoot well wide from the edge of the box. Nonplussed, K's went almost straight down the other end and doubled their advantage. Mark Jones went in between two Heybridge defenders, crossed low and Sills turned the ball in at the near post.

The team played as well as they have this season during the first forty-five minutes of this match, and by half-time the advantage had increased. On thirty-five minutes a long (fairly aimless) ball from Max Hustwick bounced in front of Danny Wornham who left it, Placid was still stood in his six yard box, so Wingfield darted in, chested the ball around the keeper and rolled in his second with an agonisingly slow right-footed shot.

The home side were though allowed back into the game almost immediately. A fine run through the middle by Lewis Baillie ended with a pass out to Akpo Sodje on the right. He fired in a low shot across Lance Key and the advantage was back at two.

However there really was no stopping K's. The fourth goal was just a whisker away five minutes before the break when Craig Rocastle hit a left-footed screamer goalbound following a fine run. Placid managed to get a finger to the ball as he lifted it over, via the crossbar. But the deserved fourth did arrive before the break. Clarke crossed from the right, Sills' shot was blocked by David Culverhouse, but Scott Steele was on it in a flash as he scored with a left-footed rocket from eighteen yards.

Well done Mr Placid

The game was effectively over at half-time, and in truth there was very little incident in the second forty-five minutes. There were huge appeals for a Swifts' penalty with five minutes on the clock when Key kicked into Peter Barnsby, but the referee forcibly waved those away.

Barnsby then picked up a yellow card for a foul on Baillie, as the Heybridge player headed down the tunnel on a stretcher and in some distress. Those closer to the incident than the K's fans behind the goal suggested that the skipper was perhaps fortunate the pick up only a caution.

Lance Key was called upon to make his customary brilliant stop, when Sodje played in Abrahams only for the striker to be foiled by Key's acrobatic dive to his left.


The most amusing incident of the game came with some fifteen minutes remaining. A backpass from Culverhouse fell short, and as Sills ran in so Placid ran out. They met just outside the area, with the striker touching the ball past the goalkeeper milliseconds before being felled. A free-kick was awarded, and just a yellow card to Placid.

As the wall was being lined up, Steele toe-punted the ball in, but the referee shook his head in a "don't be silly" gesture. The ball was re-spotted and this time it was Dave Clarke who shot. Placid dived to his left, parried the ball out to the edge of the six-yard box where Julian Sills delightfully stabbed the ball home. The linesman's raised flag removed his grin, and thus wiped out K's second "goal" in a minute.

Four-one became four-two with eight minutes remaining when Abrahams scored from the spot. Mark Jones had been punished for a foul on Neil Cousins, but the final scoreline perhaps flattered Heybridge. For a side that had up until this point won just one away match in the league this season, Kingstonian really did perform superbly and Kim Harris will have done himself no harm in the race to succeed Mr Sedgley.

Sat 14th Dec 2002
Scraley Road
Isthmian League Premier
Heybridge Swifts2
Wingfield (2), Sills, Steele
1Lance Key
2Max Hustwick
3Mark Jones
4Julian Sills
5Peter BarnsbyCautioned
6Craig Rocastle15
7James Pinnock
8Dave Clarke
9Tim Sills
10Scott Steele16
11Phil Wingfield
12Matt Flitter
13Adrian Jones
14Bashiru Alimi
15Craig Lewington6
16Neil Lampton10
Man of the Match
Phil Wingfield
Phil Wingfield
Match Report By
Gary Ekins