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Kingstonian 1-1 Heybridge Swifts

Following a much-needed win in the Surrey Cup during the week, Kingstonian returned to action in the Ryman Premier League with renewed optimism.

Newly arrived loan signing Matt Pattison was named in the centre of midfield next to Bashiru Alimi, with Craig Lewington dropping down to the bench. Assistant manager Scott Steele was able to start consecutive matches for only the second time this season.

Bright starts are something that K's have been doing well of late, but even by recent standards the opening to this fixture had an extra bit of tempo to it right from the off.

A corner won by Alimi in the fourth minute was sharply delivered by Steele, only for Stafford Browne's effort to be hacked off the line by Russell Williamson.

Spot the ball...

Williamson was again involved, this time at the other end, when wastefully heading a Neil Cousins cross wide after having stolen a couple of yards off the defence.

The action returned almost straight away to the surroundings of the Heybridge goal, where much of the following quarter of an hour would be played.

Matt Pattison's short cross to Chris Bangura called visiting goalkeeper Darren Placid in to action to push the ball the crossbar. Liam Collins met the following corner, though his header was another chance for Placid to exhibit his early alertness.

Scott Steele struck from just outside the area to further test Placid. The goalkeeper did well to get down and parry the strike but was unable to prevent the ball from breaking to Chris Bangura down the right. The striker, faced with returning bodies, attempted a cross that sailed harmlessly over the target.

Scott Smith was called upon to make a crucial interception at the back, before playing the ball neatly to down the left through to Stafford Browne. Having run at goal with intent, Browne was met by stubborn resistance and having released the ball centrally, the move faded from its initial promise.

Midway through the half Heybridge broke with intent following Cousins' threaded ball through the middle to James Robinson. With Lance Key coming rushing out of his goal, Matt Elverson was able to get a foot to the ball, denying Robinson control of it before sweeping clear from the gaping goal.

Heybridge were, however, soon to breach the Kingstonian rearguard when Chris Colby's right-sided corner was comfortably headed in by Cousins.

Cousins was at the heart of the action again when he twice combined to provide chances for Kevin Budge. The striker was unable to take advantage following a wayward header and a Matt Elverson interception.

Central to the drive for a Kingstonian goal before the break was Scott Steele. Bashiru Alimi was unlucky to see his goal bound shot strike the legs of Elverson following a cross from the wily Scot.

On the end of a cross this time - from Collins out on the right - Steele saw his own drive rise just over the bar before one final effort before the break. Lining up a free kick on the stroke of half time, Steele's effort was saved by Placid (below).

Placid indeed

With five minutes gone in the second half, Kingstonian finally reaped their rewards for their attacking efforts. A high ball broke off Bangura just inside the penalty area to land for the fast advancing Matt Pattison. The youngster did not hesitate in drilling the ball low past Placid to mark his debut with a goal.

Pattison was almost in dreamland a further five minutes in when a low cross from on the left came to him via a touch by Bangura again. This time, a little further out, just as he released the trigger, Darryl Bourgeous flung himself at the ball to block.

A period of relative lull followed, with a couple of off target Chris Bangura efforts the only action of any note.

With a quarter of an hour left, Heybridge were presented with a clear chance following a long free kick floated in to the box by Lee Kersey. Amidst a melee in the box, a combination of Lance Key and Max Hustwick managed to scramble an effort past the post and to relative safety.

With the end fast approaching, both sides were to have a final opening. First came the final chance for K's when a deep cross from Collins was touched back in the direction of Chris Bangura by substitute Anthony Savage. Initially behind him, Bangura did well to turn and burst almost clean through into the area. Fortunately for the visitors, the backtracking defenders were able to get a touch on to the ball to take it from the striker's path just as he was about to shoot.

In the last minute of the game came the chance for Heybridge. With the lively Cousins dispossessing Savage, he broke through in to the area only to be denied by an excellent last-ditch challenge by Hustwick.

There's gold in them there flats...

The pattern of this game was so similar to many of those that have gone before it, particularly at Kingsmeadow. A bright start by K's failed to yield a return in terms of goals, yet the opponents were more able with their conversions despite having less of the play. What did make this game different to some extent, however, was the eventual netting of an equaliser. Not quite the three points so badly needed, but maybe there are a few more positives coming out of each game.

Sat 24th Jan 2004
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Isthmian League Premier
Heybridge Swifts1
1Lance Key
2Stephen Broad
3Scott Smith
4Matt ElversonCautioned
5Max Hustwick
6Liam Collins
7Scott Steele15
8Matt Pattison
9Chris Bangura
10Stafford Browne16
11Bashiru Alimi
12Craig Lewington
14Liam Garman
15Anthony SavageCautioned7
16Josh Francois10
17Didier Moundi
Match Report By
Ali Kazemi