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Kingstonian 0-0 Aylesbury United

There's an old adage in Isthmian League folklore that if there is an R in the month you never beat Aylesbury at home. So it was no surprise to me last night when the young Ducks keeper Kevin Davies dwarfed Gordon Banks' Brazilian save and stopped Craig Lewington's certain goal three minutes into additional time. I have been through the move a 1000 times, with seconds left and time seemingly frozen, Billy Mead sent in a high searching, inch-perfect cross, the unmarked Stafford Browne delicately and unhurriedly headed the ball to a rampant Lewington who belted home from close range only for Davies to make himself huge on the line.

Yet Aylesbury, desperate to kick-start their season, could have won the game. They had the lion's share of the first half and were still dangerous on the counter in the second, when the K's dominated. Kim Harris fortunately changed the dour first half performance with an inspired double substitution of Craig Lewington and in-form Bashiru Alimi whose cool incisive game saw him walk off with the man of the match award. Later on new striker Sofiane Mehdi came on for an accomplished cameo up-front - expect him to start at Hitchin, he certainly makes defenders nervous.

The first half will not linger long in the collective K's memory as Ducks striker Adam Campion set the tone on 2 minutes by taking off on a long penetrating run and letting loose from 25 yards. On 11 minutes the K's first move of the match saw a low cross from Browne down the right, the ball was only half-cleared to Liam Collins whose blast through a crowded goalmouth meant nothing as the assistant ref spotted an offside. Matt Elverson did well to block a run by Dean Canoville deep in the K's box. Then on 28 minutes a powerful drive from Daniel Mead saw keeper Lance Key sprint across his line to see the ball out.

A cross from Mead was only half-cleared to Rory Hunter and his first time effort was only just wide. On the half-hour skipper Mark Beard sent in a free-kick that Elverson headed over. Then a second free-kick from Beard bounced about in the Ducks' goalmouth until another offside became apparent. On 37 minutes a cross from Campion was punched clear by Key but only led to a chance for winger Roni Joe and Key did well to turn it round a post. With a minute to tea-time Ducks skipper Greg Williams had a go from 30 yards and then the Ducks had their best chance so far when Chris Bangura set up Canoville close in, but he fortunately blasted towards Bentalls.

The Ducks almost started the second half with a goal. A deflected drive from Dean Powles outside the box fell to Canoville close in but Key made a tremendous block. The K's then started to build up a goodly head of steam. On 58 minutes Alimi's crossfield pass found Browne out on the right flank. He pushed the ball to Collins whose cross found Alimi on the near post. Davies made a great save and then did it again by stopping a Grant Payne volley. The infuential Collins again sent in another cross from the right but this time Davies, growing in stature, punched the ball clear.

Another Beard free-kick found Lewington on the edge of the Ducks' box but he blasted skywards. On 68 minutes Mehdi found fellow sub Alimi out on the left and he chanced a cheeky chip over Davies but unfortunately wide of the far post. The Ducks were still potent on the break. A Campion free-kick found Williams close in, he beat Key but Max Hustwick drove the ball to safety. Then a long ball from Joe was meant for sub Warren Williams but an alert Key was out to collect.

A Mehdi run down the middle of the park was blocked and then Lewington did everything but score. He let loose a fierce drive from the edge of the Aylesbury box which took a deflection off Greg Williams, beat Davies and bounced off the top of the bar. Then an Alimi drive in the Ducks' box was blocked for a corner. From the Beard set-piece Alimi was stopped again and then Collins' shot was lifted over the bar by defender Dean Coppard.

With 8 minutes to go it looked like the breakthrough when Browne took off on a solo run from the halfway line. Davies though read it so well, took his time and bravely blocked the K's striker. 90 minutes came and went as a Bangura header saw the Aylesbury directors mid-air in premature bliss, but it went wide. Then a piece of goalkeeping magic. A Mead high ball from the right promised, an unselfish cushioned header from Browne promised even more, Lewington's swipe was clean but young Davies was equal to it all.

Tue 16th Sep 2003
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Isthmian League Premier
Aylesbury United0
1Lance Key
2Stephen Broad
3Anthony SavageCautioned15
4Matt Elverson14
5Max Hustwick
6Billy Mead
7Liam Collins
8Mark Beard
9Grant Payne12
10Stafford Browne
11Mark Jones
12Sofiane Mehdi9
13Trevor Jones
14Craig LewingtonCautioned4
15Bashiru Alimi3
16Chris Nurse
Match Report By
Old Dubbin