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Kingstonian 4-0 Heybridge Swifts

Coming into the game after a handful of defeats against high-flying sides, Kingsmeadow would not have been the destination of choice for Heybridge and is unlikely to be high on their favourites list for a while after this trip.

The K's side that performed so well against Billericay was barely changed, with Mark Jones' inclusion giving Julian Sills a rest and Shaun Thurgood moving inwards at the back.

Almost unexpectedly it was the visitors who carved the first opening of the game just minutes in as Chris Payne picked out an unmarked teammate in the box with his cross, only for the ball to hit him and roll away. Liam Collins had by now started probing down the right and managed to slot a neat diagonal ball through to James Pinnock, breaking from the rest of the pack in the middle. Fortunately for the Swifts, goalkeeper Aaron King was quickly off his line to block the danger.

A spell of midfield battle followed before Tim Sills signalled his intentions with a delicate flick on the turn before releasing his shot just wide of the far post. Liam Collins, not to be outshone, did his utmost to pull off his own special move as he moved through the defenders on the edge of the box before releasing a looping effort almost good enough to replicate the gem he had scored at St Albans a couple of months earlier.

With the half-hour mark approaching, and the danger steadily building for Heybridge, a James Pinnock corner tempted King off his line, but the 'keeper was beaten to the ball by a rising Sills who headed from almost within his clutches to give K's the lead.

The next attacking move for the home side followed soon after, when a whipped Dave Clarke cross eluded Sills only to fall to Alimi, at his now a customary far post position. The midfield man got a goal-bound touch, but was foiled as the visitors' rearguard threw themselves to block the effort wide. Liam Collins once again marauding down the right supplied a similarly dangerous cross, one that Sill managed to connect with, though only to head straight into King's thankful arms. Not satisfied with this effort, Sills' next effort, although over, was a spectacular mid-air volley.

There was more action yet before the midway interval, as the Kingstonian defence cleared a Payne cross and saw another ball elude the big centre back David Culverhouse who had found himself in a dangerous offensive position. Almost immediately followed similar good work at the other end as the last man managed to block Collins' cross from reaching at unmarked Alimi at the far post.

The second half soon brought about much of the same, with a Liam Collins cross touched by Tim Sills before reaching Bashiru Alimi at the back post. Alimi was afforded a clean strike at the ball but was unable to direct the ball into the back of the net.

The Collins supply continued and with almost ten minutes gone in the second period, his latest effort was met by James Pinnock at the near post to flick his header across King's desperate dive and into the bottom corner of the net to double the lead.

Mark Jones changed the balance as he scurried forwards along the left flank and fired in his own telling cross, which saw Sills direct just wide of the target. Sills, working tirelessly, exchanged strong challenges with Andrew Tomlinson before Heybridge captain John Pollard managed to put him out of the game with a wild lunge.

Ronnie Green, on for Sills in the final quarter of an hour, seemed full of fire and his runs taking him down the left and right produced good crosses, though without Sills the obvious target was no longer there.

'Keep those crosses coming in'

With the game effectively over as a contest, Lewis Baillie dwelt too long on the ball on the edge of his are and was disposed by Pinnock who fed the ball across to green in the middle and the striker knocked home for his first goal of the season. Fellow substitute NJ Lampton joined the fun as his goal-bound header was aided into the back of the net by Heybridge substitute James Window to compound the misery for the visitors.

There wasn't long to wait for the K's players to celebrate their win and move tothe top of the form guide. Slightly longer it must have felt for the Swifts players, who commenced their very own brand of warm-down procedure.

Tue 8th Oct 2002
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Isthmian League Premier
Sills, Pinnock, Green, Lampton
Heybridge Swifts0
1Lance Key
2Max Hustwick14
3Sean Thurgood
4Craig Lewington
5Matt Flitter
6Bashiru Alimi
7Liam Collins
8Dave Clarke12
9Tim Sills15
10James Pinnock
11Mark Jones
12Neil Lampton8
13Adrian Jones
14Jamie Leacock2
15Ronnie Green9
16Liam Garman
Man of the Match
James Pinnock
James Pinnock
Match Report By
Ali Kazemi