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Kingstonian 2-2 Braintree Town

Following a disappointing post-Boxing Day result, K's were seeking a positive result against a Braintree side who stormed to victory at Kingsmeadow last season. The omens were not good, for a victory over Maidenhead was the preceding result at the Meadow last season...

The visitors were however much changed from that encounter, notably without the services of the departed Paul Cobb. Points were a priority too for the Iron, with joint managers David Culverhouse and Dean Parratt looking to some creativity from Adam Parker in midfield to take something away from the game,

Mark Beard and Stephen Broad returned to the Kingstonian line-up, whilst Kim Harris rotated his strikeforce, with Stafford Browne adopting a deeper role behind youngsters Josh Francois and Dave Ocquaye.

Continuing the trend of recent games, K's started brightly and visiting goalkeeper Paul Rutherford was lucky not to be punished after spilling a Liam Collins cross with Josh Francois lurking nearby.

Opposite number Lance Key was fortunate himself after a poor clearance was not best utilised when picked up by Dean Parratt.

Francois showed good feet down the left to create space for a cross-come-shot which was just about dealt with by Rutherford.

Francois was involved again when touching a cross on to Matt Elverson, whose strike was charged down, breaking to Scott Smith. Iron's captain Bradley Quinton managed to block the New Zealander's seemingly goalbound effort.

More pressure on the Braintree goal arrived when David Ocquaye squeezed a ball to Francois on the right side of the penalty area, with the teenager firing his shot into the side netting.

Ocquaye, however, was to make a costly mistake when, pressure by opponents and retreating, the striker passed straight to Adam Parker in the centre circle. Parker quickly dispatched the ball to Ross Wareham down the right channel, and his shot took a wicked deflected to wrong foot Key and nestle in the back of the net.

Ocquaye had a chance to even the scores when turning well onto a Scott Smith throughball, muscling past the attentions of the defence to meet Rutherford one-on-one. The shot was blasted at the 'keeper, who must take some credit for the save too, and so matters remained unchanged.

Wareham could have taken his second goal of the game just before half time but Key was able to make the save to keep the margin at a single goal going in to the break.

Things started badly for K's in the second half as Parker broke clear to strike past Key, with a hint of a touch on the way, to double Braintree's advantage.

As K's set about getting something out of the game, Liam Collins emerged as the outlet. Having just caused danger with a cross cleared by James Ayres, the winger was afforded time to set his next ball into the box. Whipped across the near post, just eluding the head of Matt Elverson, the ball landed for David Ocquaye in a curious pocket of space less than 10 yards out from goal. Setting himself and then blasting the ball at goal, Rutherford managed to get a touch on the strike as he came flying out, but not enough to prevent Ocquaye's first senior goal for the club.

Parratt almost restored Braintree's cushion straight after with a strike that sailed just past the target. And so there was to end the Braintree threat, and in similar fashion to the game at Northwood K's were to throw their all at the opponents' goal.

Liam Collins at an increasing rate sent in telling crosses, one of which was almost turned into his own net by the big Ayres on his Braintree debut.

Then, just as against Northwood K's were awarded a penalty. Substitutes Chris Bangura and Grant Payne combined, with the latter felled in the box by Rutherford. Again, just as against Northwood a caution was produced and after further delay it was Stafford Browne stepping up again. Rutherford guessed correctly, but Browne's kick was powerful and well placed in the bottom corner of the net. Scores level, with just over ten minutes remaining.

Collins continued to create down the right side, and along with Stephen Broad, delivered a few more crosses. Bangura failed to make a connection and Browne sent just over across goal, with the final touch this time looking like eluding the K's as the minutes ticked away.

Indeed the score remained level at the final whistle and so the points were shared, arguably the least the K's deserved. The bright start and sloppy goals conceded could have been scripted, but the encouraging difference, sparked to some extent by a flying Liam Collins, was the comeback - something that has too rarely been seen this season.

Thu 1st Jan 2004
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Isthmian League Premier
Ocquaye, Browne (pen)
Braintree Town2
1Lance Key
2Stephen Broad
3Scott Smith
4Matt Elverson
5Max Hustwick
6Liam Collins
7Mark Beard14
8Stafford Browne
9David Ocquaye17
10Josh Francois12
11Bashiru Alimi
12Grant Payne10
14Anthony Savage7
15Jermaine Hinds
16Chris Nurse
17Chris Bangura9
Match Report By
Ali Kazemi