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Kingstonian 1-1 Harrow Borough

Following the visit of second placed Carshalton in midweek, Kingstonian hosted second-bottom placed club Harrow in the Ryman Premier League.

Changes in the line-up saw Jermaine Hinds given his first home start at right back and Scott Smith returned on the other side of the defence. Up front, Dave Ocquaye was selected to face his former club, whilst Greg Ball made a long awaited comeback following a three-month loan spell at Walton Casuals.

With headlines surrounding the upcoming African Cup of Nations, Harrow were not this time put into the situation of two years ago when losing goalkeeper Keita Karamoko to Mali's campaign. At the heart of the defence in front of the flamboyant goalkeeper would be Dean Marney, though the highly rated youngster has proven to be a Kingstonian ally over the past couple of seasons with a couple of goals scored against his own goalkeeper.

The game started slowly, with the visitors' Fabio Valenti the brightest spark down the left wing. Harrow captain Kevin McKenna thought he had secured an unexpected breakthrough on the twenty-minute mark when his header looped in, only for his effort to be ruled out by a flag for offside.

Kingstonian mounted their first attack with a fine cross by Scott Smith headed towards the near post by Stafford Browne. Karamoko was however not troubled by the effort.

Things were markedly tougher for the goalkeeper when he collided with Browne, as both men lunged at a long ball from Jermaine Hinds ball. An uncomfortable Karamoko required treatment but was able to continue.

Rub him down

As the half approached its end Harrow saw a couple of opportunities to take the lead. The first effort saw a looping header from Abdulai Yoki clear Lance Key's bar, whilst the second, deep into injury time, was a blazing twenty-five yard strike from Ross Fitzsimon which also ended up in the terracing behind the goal.

Stephen Broad and Josh Francois emerged as half time substitutes for Hinds and Ball, and it was a cross by Broad that was almost spilt into his own goal by Karamoko early on in the second period.

It was another early K's substitute, Martyn Williams, who opened the scoring on fifty-five minutes, latching on to a ball over the top by Bashiru Alimi before lifting it over the outrushing Karamoko.

The game tightened for a period before a flurry of chances for both sides in the final twenty minutes. Fabio Valenti broke clean through and was only denied by what seemed to be Lance Key's knee as he came racing out of his goal.

At the other end, a couple of Scott Smith corners posed threat to the visitors' goal. The first delivery flicked off the top of defender Richard Weale's head before landing for Broad to strike, only to be denied by the foot of Yoki at the post. The subsequent delivery saw Stafford Browne's header just about cleared off the line by the head of Valenti, with the ball breaking out to the edge of the six-yard box. As Williams rose to head in, Karamoko did well to spread himself and get the touch that was required to deny the young QPR striker's second goal for the club.

Another ten minutes passed before the action returned, this time at the other end. Kevin McKenna was involved in a furious goalmouth scramble that the Kingstonian defence eventually managed to clear.

And, with just six minutes remaining on the clock, Harrow substitute Naoki Mouri sprinted down the left wing and delivered a low ball for Ross Fitzsimon to convert for the equaliser.

Robert Charles almost struck another for the visitors a couple of minutes later, but Key was able to get down to make the save.

A disappointing result against a Harrow side who despite their continuing struggles, have provided tough opposition over the past couple of seasons. On balance, a result was maybe the fair result, but at one-nil up a bit of luck and K's would have secured a two-goal advantage - something they have not enjoyed in the league since September. As it was, the single goal cushion proved not to be enough in the end and so the quest goes on.

Sat 10th Jan 2004
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Isthmian League Premier
Harrow Borough1
1Lance Key
2Jermaine Hinds14
3Scott SmithCautioned
4Matt Elverson
5Max Hustwick
6Liam Collins
7Chris Nurse17
8Stafford BrowneCautioned
9David Ocquaye
10Greg Ball16
11Bashiru Alimi
12Grant Payne
14Stephen Broad2
15Liam Garman
16Josh Francois10
17Martyn Williams7
Match Report By
Ali Kazemi