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Braintree Town 0-1 Kingstonian

K's ground out another impressive away victory this afternoon in the August sunshine at Cressing Road. Unofficially the hardest ground to find in the Ryman League, it was the Braintree defence who were looking lost early on, as well they might. Nine goals conceded in their opening two league games, including five at home to Grays on Tuesday evening.

Stafford Browne looked to maintain his record of a goal a game this season early on, after neat work from Bashiru Alimi and Grant Payne, but the striker fired his left foot shot just over the bar.

Craig Lewington, starting for the third game running in a central midfield berth, was unlucky to see his drive flash over the cross bar but Braintree weren't without their moments in the first half.

Lance Key was called into action when a static penalty area watched a bouncing ball sail toward the corner of the net, a diving save keeping the scores on an even keel. Slack marking in the K's box almost allowed Damien Franklin to open the score, another save from Key preventing him from doing so.

Cressing Road

K's were starting to dominate the midfield - Lewington and the impressive Beard pulling the strings in the centre of the park - but they couldn't quite make that dominance pay further up the field.

Grant Payne saw a volley well saved, and moments later lost his footing in the box when through on goal and with Browne shouting for a cut back that would have given him a tap in from six yards.

The second half started in much the same vein - K's pushed forward looking to break the deadlock which they almost did through a Stephen Broad drive which flashed over, and then Alimi attempted a lob from a tight angle which dropped onto the roof of the net.

Just after the hour mark Alimi was again involved, working well down the left flank before sending over a good deep cross which an unmarked Liam Collins was on hand to head back across goal into the corner of the net and K's led.

Ex-Tottenham don't you know?

The goal seemed to spark Braintree into life and Ben Cramfield was twice unlucky sending a swerving drive wide of Key's left hand post, before crashing a half volley against the post on the other side.

But as Braintree edged forward they left gaps which were being exposed by K's two wide men, Collins and Mark Jones, on for Lewington.

Alimi moved into the centre of the park to accommodate Jones, and proceeded to shore things up, breaking up Braintree's play and always looking to instigate attacks with probing passes. A contender for man of the match this afternoon, surely.

No more goals followed, Braintree limited to half chances and long range shooting and K's had earned their second away victory of the week. They hadn't played quite as well as five days previously but ground out the result to set the stage for Monday and the visit of Sutton to Kingsmeadow.

Sat 23rd Aug 2003
Cressing Road
Isthmian League Premier
Braintree Town0
1Lance Key
2Stephen Broad
3Scott Smith
4Matt Elverson
5Max Hustwick15
6Mark Beard
7Craig Lewington14
8Liam Collins
9Grant Payne12
10Stafford Browne
11Bashiru Alimi
12Scott Edgar9
13Trevor Jones
14Mark Jones7
15Billy Mead5
16Greg Ball
Match Report By
Simon Murray