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Kingstonian 3-1 Grays Athletic

Grays Athletic - now appearing as the full time club in the Ryman League - made the trip to a Kingsmeadow featuring an almost perfect playing surface given extra zip by a kick off downpour.

Making a welcome return to the starting lineup after a year out with injury was Greg Ball, whilst Stephen Broad and Craig Lewington were also back in the side after sitting out of the midweek fixture.

Grays player-manager Mark Stimson named himself on the bench whilst his assistant, Scott Barrett - a former K's goalkeeper on loan from Leyton Orient - was preferred in goal to Mel Capleton.

The game started slowly and with the absence of any goalmouth action in the first half hour, the most notable occurrence was the booking of visiting full back Joe Bruce for an offence on Bashiru Alimi.

On the half hour, Barrett saved at Stafford Browne's feet before a Greg Ball cross was fired over by Alimi.

Barrett's counterpart Lance Key was called into action towards the end of the half to save an Adi Olayinka header. The following move saw a sterner test for Key when Freddie Eastwood beat Matt Elverson to bear down on goal, only for Key to save well with his legs.

The second half started much brighter, and with contrasting results for the two sides as K's took the game to the visitors. Stafford Browne saw his low header superbly tipped round the post by Barrett before following up with an improvised goal from the resultant corner, setting himself up to volley home with the sole of his boot from close range.

Grays' problems were compounded almost immediately after the goal when Bruce got himself sent off after committing a second bookable offence, sending Greg Ball over to the ground having just escaped with what seemed like an offence on Mark Beard.

A Liam Collins strike midway through the half found it's way into the Grays net after taking quick-fire deflections off substitute Josh Francois and Stafford Browne at close range, only for the linesman to rule the effort out for the inevitable offside.

Josh Francois

Bruce's dismissal opened up plenty of space for K's down the left wing, and although this was increasingly exploited, Liam Collins was enjoying some success down the other side. Successive crosses picking out Browne in the middle were wasted by the striker, firstly managing little more than an air-kick at his first attempt and then heading over with the target beckoning.

The punishment was swift in the 78th minute when Martin Carthy's shot was well parried by Lance Key before the Blues captain struck home with his second effort for what became a disputed equaliser. With the scorer of the goal disputed in the press box - Carthy and Freddie Eastwood the contenders - Lance Key and defence were adamant that the latter had touched the ball home on the line with his hand.

The lead was soon restored when Stafford Browne converted Mark Beard's free kick after Josh Francois had been felled.

This time the result would be left in no doubt, as K's third goal followed in the final minute. Seeking his hat-trick, Browne beat his marker before taking shot at Scott Barrett's goal. The 'keeper managed a block on the ball but it broke loose underneath him for Bashiru Alimi to win the race for goal.


A game in the first half destined to be more boring than the cumulative of both previous scoreless draws was transformed by some slick play in the second half, led by the improvisation of Stafford Browne and further opened up by some reckless play, to provide 45 minutes of entertainment - not to mention a full quota of points.

Sat 6th Sep 2003
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Isthmian League Premier
Browne (2), Alimi
Grays Athletic1
1Lance Key
2Stephen Broad
3Scott Smith
4Matt Elverson
5Max HustwickCautioned
6Liam Collins12
7Craig Lewington14
8Mark Beard
9Greg Ball15
10Stafford Browne
11Bashiru AlimiCautioned
12Scott Steele6
13Trevor Jones
14Billy Mead7
15Josh Francois9
16Mark Jones
Match Report By
Ali Kazemi