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Hayes 1-0 Kingstonian

Visits to Hayes' Church Road ground have never really been fun. The last two visits both saw last minute equalisers crawl back a point after an all-action game. This season's visit had all of that just without the late drama.

With Matt Elverson out injured, it was a re-jigged eleven who took the field, and this was re-jigged even more when Mark Beard departed injured after just twelve minutes. K's adopted a back three of Stephen Broad, Max Hustwick and Scott Smith - with Liam Collins and Mark Jones operating in wing-back roles.

Hayes - fresh from a four-nil defeat at the hands of Bognor - had already gone close. A cross from the right was flicked on to John Hastings at the far post, but his shot was smartly dealt with by Lance Key.

Grant Payne - restored to the starting line-up - almost connected with a Collins cross but didn't, and then set up the winger for this own effort at goal. Defender Adam Everitt managed to clear, before swinging and missing at Chris Nurse. The K's midfielder had already been shown a yellow card for an earlier foul, and Everitt followed him into the book for a horrible foul on Collins not a minute later.

On 31 minutes another foul by Nurse gave Hayes a chance of a shot on target from the resulting free-kick. Kevin Warner took it but sent his shot straight into the wall. Unfortunately for those in blue the ball was deflected straight into the opposite corner of the net giving Key no chance, and Hayes the lead.

K's responded, with a fine run by Collins seeing his cross just elude Payne and Stafford Browne, but Hayes were still causing problems at the other end. Another huge throw-in from Yiadom Yeboah caused confusion at the back allowing Jamie Richards to head home. The goal was wiped out - presumably for offside - and K's were still in the game.

Yet just five minutes of the second half had gone before things became more difficult. With the ball bouncing around the centre circle, Chris Nurse went in for a tackle on Mark Molesley. The challenge was off the ground and two-footed, and there really shouldn't have been any complaints when the youngster saw yellow for the second time.

The referee had though now lost control of the match. Just five minutes after Nurse's expulsion, another followed. Liam Collins set off on a run down the right and flicked the ball over Everitt. The ball did strike the defender's hand, but there can be no doubt that it was accidental. The referee disagreed, produced another yellow card for Everitt and so he followed Nurse down the tunnel.

The home side had another goal wiped out on the hour when John Hastings crossed for Jon Case. Key made contact with the ball before the striker, but was still fortunate to see a foul given as the ball crossed the line.

Jake Cole in the Hayes goal was finally forced into action with seventeen minutes remaining. A cross from the right was headed goalwards by Max Hustwick, but Cole had little difficulty tipping it over.

The introduction of Algerian Sofiane Mehdi provided some more problems for the Hayes defence, and within just a few minutes of coming on he could well have earned his side a penalty. He ran into the Hayes area and wrestled with Case. Both players had their arms up, and both fell over. The cries for a penalty were met with a shake of the referee's head.

Lewington was cautioned, Browne blasted over and Billy Mead also picked up a yellow card for a ridiculous dive before K's best chance of the evening came and went. Once again it was crafted by Collins, and once again it was make-shift centre-forward Hustwick who couldn't finish - his shot from twelve yards out deflecting just wide.

There was still time for lots of pushing and shoving in the K's penalty area as things threatened to turn ugly, but in the end the match petered out with Hayes deserving their win.

The home side had two goals ruled out and also struck the bar. K's on the other hand didn't manage a shot on target until the latter stages. Not good enough? Not by a long way.

Tue 9th Sep 2003
Church Road
Isthmian League Premier
1Lance Key
2Mark Beard15
3Mark Jones
4Stephen Broad
5Max Hustwick
6Scott SmithCautioned
7Craig LewingtonCautioned
8Chris NurseCautioned and Sent Off
9Grant Payne16
10Stafford Browne
11Bashiru Alimi14
12Greg Ball
13Trevor Jones
14Billy MeadCautioned11
15Liam Collins2
16Safiane Mehdi9
Match Report By
Gary Ekins