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Kingstonian 1-0 Hayes

Hayes were the visitors at a frosty Kingsmeadow for a midweek Ryman Premier League encounter that only three seasons earlier would have featured in the Nationwide Conference.

The first side to reach double figures in the games drawn column as often seems the case, Kingstonian came into the game determined to make more out of improved recent performances. An increasingly steady K's line-up saw a sole change in the inclusion of Craig Lewington, at the expense of Chris Bangura, as manager Kim Harris strengthened his midfield.

Leading the line for Hayes would be former Yeovil and Woking striker Warren Patmore - adversary of K's and almost every other club faced. Whilst debuting in goal was Tony Tucker, another to have played for Woking, on loan from Walton & Hersham.

Matt Pattison, fresh from his goal at the weekend, was not slow in finding his shooting boots, striking an early effort to test the sharpness of Tucker.

Hayes made early inrodes down the wings through Jon Case and Kevin Warner, the latter seeing teammate Josh Scott denied a chance at his flashed cross.

Scott was to have the limelight all to himself on the quarter-hour mark when chasing a long ball by Adam Everitt. Goalkeeper Lance Key, drawn just out of his box, missed his attempted clearance as the ball bounced awkwardly, and Scott raced through ahead of Max Hustwick to take his choice of finish at the open goal. Somehow inexplicably he failed to score when his blasted shot came back off the bar and into the welcoming arms of Key.

Liam Collins set up Pattison for another strike at goal, his shot this time deflecting wide for a corner. Scott Steele's resulting delivery flashed across the face of the goal before being cleared.

Almost finding success from a corner at the other end, Kevin Warner's delivery was planted into the back of the net by Patmore, only for young referee Alison Chapman to disallow the effort for an infringement.

Case was again proving a threat with his runs down the flanks, this time getting the better of Hustwick to fire in an angled shot that was pushed past the post by Key. The following corner was quickly cleared to Steele on the halfway line, holding the ball up for breaking Craig Lewington, who then passed out to the open right for Liam Collins. The Hayes defence did well to recover and were able to block as Collins prepared set his strike.

With just three minutes left until the break, a long ball was met by Tucker on the edge of his area. With Stafford Browne bearing down on him, the 'keeper mis-kicked and his attempted clearance fell to Collins some forty yards from goal. Before anyone else could respond, the winger clipped an effort with the outside of the boot that landed neatly inside the goal frame for his third goal of the season.

The second half opened with a string of chances that missed the target. Warren Patmore went closest with a powerful header over the bar, and Richard Clarke was guilty of a guilt-edged miss from close following a goalmouth scramble.

Scott Steele picked up a Bashiru Alimi cross and tried his luck with a looping strike that just cleared the bar, whilst Rob Bixby did well to clear from almost under his bar following a cross from Collins.

A half-cleared Hayes corner was met by Paul Holsgrove whose strike across goal was well held in the air by Key.

With only a few minutes remaining, Matt Pattison showed neat skill to run on to the ball and then turn to play through to substitute Chris Bangura. Met quickly by Tucker, the striker did not get a hold of his shot and sent it well wide of the target, yet agonisingly past the supporting Browne.

Hayes should have capitalised on the miss to grab a last gasp equaliser when substitute Mark Molesey found some space in the box and slotted the ball low past Key, only to be denied by the post. Rebounding back out, Max Hustwick was able to hack away to safety to seal differing fortunes for the sides on the night.

Games against Hayes prove tough, spiced up with some special entertainment over the past few seasons. Both sides have not been getting results recently, but it was a decent game of football, and one which saw an edge in the way the K's side worked. Admittedly helped by some of the luck that has so often deserted, the result is just the boost that has been needed to now build upon.

Tue 27th Jan 2004
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Isthmian League Premier
1Lance Key
2Stephen Broad
3Scott Smith
4Matt ElversonCautioned
5Max Hustwick
6Liam Collins
7Craig LewingtonCautioned
8Matt Pattison
9Stafford Browne
10Scott Steele16
11Bashiru AlimiCautioned
12Grant Payne
14Jermaine Hinds
15Anthony Savage
16Chris Bangura10
17Martyn Williams
Match Report By
Ali Kazemi