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Kingstonian 0-2 Bishop's Stortford

Lifted by a good month of cup results, K's were seeking to avoid their earliest exit from the FA Trophy since their defeat at Crawley in 1997 against a tricky Bishop's Stortford side.

A couple of changes from the side that won midweek saw Dave Timothy and Stafford Browne moving into the starting line-up, with Liam Collins and Josh Francois taking their places on the bench. Arriving on time for this game, Stortford named the almost infamous Roy Essandoh - scorer of the equalising goal in the previous encounter - on the bench for the game.

Bashiru Alimi and Scott Smith combined on the left to send in a dangerous early cross, cleared by Aaron Barnett. Smith's following ball sent from distance was well plucked out of the air by 'keeper Micky Desborough just as Stafford Browne was about to pounce.

The bright start was soon challenged by the visitors, who pressured through Victor Renner before injury and Anthony Allman.

It was Allman's cross form the left on the half hour mark that produced the opening goal of the game, with Richard Howell beating the attentions of his marker to head past Lance Key - whose touch was not enough to keep the ball out.

A minute later and an unfortunate recurring theme of the season struck. Before anyone could notice, K's were two goals down. The ball broke to Alex Martin inside the left edge of the area and his drive across Key had given the visitors a safety margin.

Stortford were safe enough for the rest of the half, as were the Kingstonian defence. Thankfully.

Key's mis-kick almost gifted the visitors with an early strike early in the second half, but Glen Southam squandered the opportunity and shot wide of the gaping target.

Liam Collins and Chris Bangura had been introduced at the break as the K's sought to fight back, and the pair were certainly lively. Collins' running and Bangura's presence in the area worked the visitors, as did Mark Beard's looping shot.

Southam was blocked at the other end in the area as he broke through from midfield. Meanwhile, Roy Essandoh found an opening in the left channel to send in a strike that hit the woodwork on its way out.

At the other end, Grant Cooper denied Grant Payne with a fine last-ditch challenge just as the striker was about to release his shot. Payne was in action again when his flicked header from an Alimi cross flew just wide of the far post.

Essandoh, exerting some influence since his early introduction off the bench, troubled Key again, whilst K's threatened Desborough's goal with a couple of free kicks. There were to be no further goals and it would be Bishop's Stortford, and not Kingstonian, who would progress to the third round of the FA Trophy.

A disappointing result and performance compounded by the losses suffered in failing to make a home encounter with Aldershot in the next round. The two FA competitions - and their reward funds - aside for another season, K's must now continue in their two other remaining cup competitions for the other thing that matters so much - pride.

Sat 29th Nov 2003
Kingsmeadow Stadium
FA Trophy 2nd round
Bishop's Stortford2
1Lance Key
2Stephen Broad
3Scott Smith16
4Matt ElversonCautioned
5Max Hustwick
6Dave Timothy15
7Craig LewingtonCautioned
8Mark Beard
9Grant Payne
10Stafford Browne12
11Bashiru Alimi
12Chris Bangura10
14Scott Steele
15Liam Collins6
16Josh Francois3
17Adrian Jones
Match Report By
Ali Kazemi