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Kingstonian 0-1 Carshalton Athletic

Carshalton returned to Kingsmeadow some five seasons since their last visit, and currently enjoying a fine season near the top of the Ryman Premier League under the stewardship of former Kingstonian manager Billy Smith.

Recent signing and former K's midfielder Danny Bolt started the game for the Robins, whilst another, veteran striker Conrad Kane, was named on the bench.

Kim Harris continued his recent policy of rotating the strikers, though with Stafford Browne reverting to the frontline and playing alongside Grant Payne, the frontline returned to that which has appeared most this season.

With just over ten minutes gone on the clock, the visitors almost struck the opening blow of the game when full back Peter Wood's delivery fell for Nic McDonnell, whose close-range shot was superbly turned past the post by Lance Key's outstretched palm.

Liam Collins signed on just where he signed off in his last outing at Kingsmeadow, with a blistering run down the right wing in the nineteenth minute that left Danny Bolt and then the supporting full back in his trail. Collins' cross flew along the six-yard line, leaving goalkeeper Stuart Searle stranded and Stafford Browne with a gaping target. Such are things in front of goal for the K's at the moment, Browne failed to much sufficient contact with the ball and his header skimmed wide of the target.

Another chance arose minutes later when Grant Payne received a Liam Garman corner on the near post and with back to goal slotted the ball across to Matt Elverson, whose strike was well blocked by an outrushing Searle.

Searle was soon exposed again, this time when challenged in the air by Browne. The ball fell for Liam Collins on the edge of the box, though his lob over the 'keeper carried over the crossbar too.

The flurry of action was soon ended when the visitors broke down the right wing in the twenty-eighth minute with Ali Russell delivering a low ball across the box that carried through for McDonnell to smash past the helpless Key.

K's should have bounced back soon after when a casual backpass by Robins' skipper Romauld Bouadji fell short of Searle on the edge of the box and Browne pounced. Searle managed not to bring the striker down, but Browne's strike across goal crept just past the far post and so another opportunity had gone.

A moment of panic followed at the other end when Key came for a corner and missed it, leaving McDonnell the chance to double his tally for the night. His header against the bar was cleared to safety and so a single goal separated the sides at the break.

Scott Smith, recovering from injury, came on for Liam Garman, himself just recovered from one, at half time. It was the visitors' substitute, Mark McGibbon, who produced the first piece of action of the half when his speculative dipping effort required Key to tip over.

Liam Collins had a similar effort at the other end, whilst substitutes Josh Francois and David Ocquaye combined well for the latter to keep Searle occupied.

The home defence were in trouble following with just over ten minutes remaining when a Danny Bolt free kick broke for Bouadji to knock home in a crowded penalty area. The goal was disallowed and the result remained undecided.

Chances were, however, by now at a premium. Francois made contact with an Ocquaye cross at the near post, but his strike went flying past the frame of the goal, whilst Carshalton could have netted a second just before the end when pacy substitute Kunle Olusesi broke at down the left and played Dale Marvell in - though the only heroic actions at this late stage were produced by Lance Key, parrying his fierce strike to safety.

Carshalton got the win to keep them in second place with a good demonstration of fast counter-attacking play, and although the margin could have been greater, K's had a chance to take something out of a game which produced a few opening at both ends.

Tue 6th Jan 2004
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Isthmian League Premier
Carshalton Athletic1
1Lance Key
2Stephen Broad
3Liam Garman16
4Matt Elverson
5Max Hustwick
6Liam Collins
7Chris NurseCautioned
8Stafford Browne
9Grant Payne17
10Mark Beard14
11Bashiru Alimi
12Jermaine Hinds
14David Ocquaye10
15Chris Bangura
16Scott SmithCautioned3
17Josh Francois9
Match Report By
Ali Kazemi