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Harrow Borough 0-0 Kingstonian

Kingstonian entered the Ryman League playoffs with a trip to Harrow's Earlsmead ground. The match, despite its significance, failed to attract any more than the 174 who turned up for the league encounter between the sides back in November.

The K's line-up showed an attacking intent similar to that at Carshalton for the final league game of the season, with the added boost of the returning Dave Timothy on the left. Despite picking up a hip injury at the weekend, Lance Key was called into duty with no understudy available for the game.

The previously mentioned attacking intent did not materialise as Harrow took control of the game from the start, with Abdulai Yoki a particular threat. Having been denied an end to a couple of dangerous crosses, Yoki tried his own luck with a strike that was gathered by Key.

Brian Haule, having picked the ball up from Daniel Dyer, had an effort that fizzed over Key's bar as the home side continued to press against a Kingstonian defence that was sitting deep to protect the injured goalkeeper.

The two combined again when Dyer's cross was glanced wide of the target by a powerful Haule header.

Having survived the first half hour, K's started to move forward themselves. A right-sided Martyn Williams cross found its way to Scott Steele who, following a deft touch, turned and released a low drive that was well turned past the post by Keita Karamoko.

Harrow skipper Kevin McKenna had the opening chance of the second half when sending a shot from the edge of the box just over.

Haule tried his luck from distance with little reward, whilst at the other end a Scott Steele corner caused momentary confusion in the Harrow box before being cleared.

Steele linked up with substitute Aaron Gilbert down the channel before setting up Craig Lewington for a strike that sailed wide of goal.

With five minutes remaining on the clock, the game suddenly came alive when Karamoko made a mess of a clearance, hitting defender Dean Marney on the back as he moved out of the area. Marney, a proven own goal specialist from the last two Harrow v Kingstonian matches, was relieved to see the ball drop short of goal. Just as Karamoko would have been relieved to see Browne swing wildly at the ball and miss the glorious close-range goalscoring opportunity.

Almost lifted by the miss, Harrow drove on in the final minutes, attacking from both flanks. A flurry of late chances saw Key called into action, seemingly aggravating his injury in the process.

However, the final chance was to come when Dave Timothy stole the ball from Harrow substitute Ross Fitzsimon before playing Browne through. The striker, under pressure from the defenders, was however unable to stay on his feet.

Fabio Valenti, surprisingly not a starter for Borough, came on and almost caused immediate damage in the opening minutes of extra time with a driven shot. Fitzsimon also tried his luck, but it was otherwise a quiet fifteen minutes of play.

The second period of extra time was opened with some good defensive cover by Richard Goddard, allowing goalkeeper Karamoko to collect as Gilbert raced through.

Stuart Booth was called upon to make an important block challenge as Harrow tried one last time to break through in the K's box.

The last effort of the game saw Mark Beard's twenty-yard strike parried and collected by Karamoko as the almost inevitable penalty shoot out materialised.

Craig Lewington opened the shoot-out with a strike into the top of the net before Perry Norman's effort was saved by Lance Key. Mark Beard converted his kick with a low strike before Fabio Valenti put Harrow on the board despite Key getting his fingertips to the shot. Stafford Browne scored the next penalty before Key made an excellent save from Steve Dogbe's penalty. Grant Payne sent Keita Karamoko the wrong was with his effort but was denied by the crossbar before Robert Charles scored his penalty despite a very good effort by Key who got hands to the ball as it nestled into the top corner. The final penalty, as it turned out, was coolly struck home by Scott Steele as K's wrapped up a 4-2 win in the penalty shoot out.

Wed 5th May 2004
Isthmian League Play-off
Harrow Borough0
aet - Kingstonian win 4-2 on penalties
1Lance Key
2Stuart BoothCautioned
3Scott Smith
4Jermaine HindsCautioned
5Max Hustwick
6Liam CollinsCautioned16
7Dave TimothyCautioned15
8Craig Lewington
9Stafford Browne
10Scott Steele
11Martyn Williams17
12Anthony Savage
14Matt Elverson
15Mark Beard7
16Grant Payne6
17Aaron Gilbert11
Match Report By
Ali Kazemi