[personalise the site]   [search the site]

Welcome to K's Web - home of the Kingstonian archives
The official club website can be found at


Kingstonian 3-0 Crystal Palace

The opening round of this season's Surrey Senior Cup produced an interesting match-up with Kingstonian and Crystal Palace meeting for the first time in a number of years.

The Kingstonian line-up saw Scott Smith and Mark Beard return to the side, whilst 18 year-old Josh Francois was handed his first start for the club. Palace - winners of the cup in two of the previous three years - fielded a young side, composed mainly of their academy players. In charge of both academy and reserve team affairs, it was former K's coach Paul Holden sitting in the dugout for the Eagles.

With twelve minutes played, Grant Payne received a quick Mark Beard free kick and released a fierce strike on the turn that was saved by visiting 'keeper Lance Cronin. Breaking loose to Bashiru Alimi on the left, his whipped ball back into the danger came off Francois and rolled safely into the hands of Cronin.

The game continued at a high tempo and it was just past the midway point in the half when the opening goal arrived. A left-sided corner by Beard saw Francois get ahead of his marker to flick his header across goal and past the helpless Cronin for his first goal in the senior ranks of Kingstonian.

The visitors had a chance to strike a quick equaliser from a free kick on the by-line, but Gavin Heeroo's goal-bound header was cleared off the line and away to safety in the ensuing scramble.

Another chance followed, this time for Vierim Bashkal. However, having been found in the box, he failed to turn into an opening that would have given a clear strike on goal.

Palace were soon punished for failing to make the most of their chances, and it was another Mark Beard corner that caused the damage. The delivery found Matt Elverson, whereas the defenders didn't, and the K's man was able to celebrate a rare goal - his second in some one hundred games or so.

Karim El Salahi almost compounded matters when he nearly converted a Kingstonian cross into his own net. And so two goals the difference remained come half time.

The deficit should have been reduced after the break when a Palace player inadvertently blocked a header destined for goal.

Grant Payne received a long ball by substitute Dave Timothy and set his sights on Cronin's goal, only to be denied by a last ditch challenge by El Salahi that sent the ball wide for a corner. The corner, continuing the trend of the game, proved a real threat - this time Cronin was left flapping at the back post. The ball landed to Timothy on the edge of the box, though he was unable to find the target with his drive.

The result was looking under little threat in an increasingly one-sided game, but a third goal to seal the win came with eighteen minutes remaining. Liam Collins chased a ball down the right flank and managed to cut back a cross to Payne to turn and coolly roll past Cronin for his fourth goal in six games.

Heeroo's comfortable free kick and Tariq Wabil's wayward strike proved to be the extent to which the other Lance would be troubled in the other goal.

Timothy and Francois combined to create a chance for sub Scott Steele. The strike beat Cronin but was blocked just in time by Jay Conroy to prevent another goal. Liam Collins tried his own luck on the stroke of full time with a dipping 30-yard shot, though Cronin was this time able to respond and tip over.

And so a game against another of so-called Surrey 'big four' proved to be a positive affair. A good performance highlighted by attacking play which produced the first time K's have scored more than two goals in nearly three months. The opposition may have been very young, but a lot of talent is produced by the full time academies and a moral lifting win it certainly was.

Tue 25th Nov 2003
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Surrey Senior Cup 2nd round
Francois, Elverson, Payne
Crystal Palace0
1Lance Key
2Stephen Broad
3Scott Smith14
4Matt Elverson
5Max Hustwick
6Liam Collins
7Craig Lewington
8Mark Beard16
9Grant Payne12
10Josh Francois
11Bashiru Alimi
12Scott Steele9
14Dave Timothy3
15Aaron Gilbert
16Stafford Browne8
17Adrian Jones
Match Report By
Ali Kazemi