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Kingstonian 3-1 Maidenhead United

With the Christmas period approaching, Kingstonian entertained Maidenhead in the Ryman League knowing that an improvement in recent results was essential.

Craig Lewington was missing from the K's line-up following his midweek injury, though K's were boosted by the return of skipper Mark Beard. Young QPR striker Martyn Williams given his first start at the club, whilst Chris Bangura continued on the left side of midfield.

Maidenhead manager John Dreyer named himself at the heart of his defence and former K's man Mark Boyce returned from suspension in midfield. Injuries and suspensions combined, however, forced both regular goalkeepers to sit out and so coach Gary Phillips, at the age of 42 returned to action between the sticks.

The first action of the game saw Williams threaten to break through, only to be denied by the outstretched leg of Dreyer. Continuing to exert pressure inside the Maidenhead area, the K's attackers hounded Phillips every time the goalkeeper had ball at feet and were unlucky to reap dividends following a couple of loose clearances.

Jamie Brooks, on loan from Oxford United, was able to sneak in on the quarter hour mark inside the right side of the Kingstonian area but was unable to control a shot that went flying over the target.

Back at the other end Phillips was tested when Liam Collins played through to Stafford Browne, whose shot was parried out by the former Barnet and Aylesbury 'keeper. Dreyer was on hand to complete the clearance.

Collins again posed a threat when surging down the wing to the by-line before whipping in a dangerous cross that was headed away by Brian Connor from almost underneath his crossbar.

From then on, the final twenty minutes of the half saw increasing Maidenhead possession and control as K's struggled against the wind. Without any clear-cut chances of note, the sides went into the break level though the visitors may have felt the more optimistic.

Kim Harris made a couple of half time changes to his Kingstonian team, introducing Anthony Savage and Didier Moundi into the game. Savage almost made an immediate impact as his deep cross was met by Stafford Browne. The striker's header may have sailed over, but the tone was set for the half.

Martyn Williams' deft flick found Browne in space around the penalty spot, but having fought to control the ball, Browne's shot was well smothered by Phillips as the 'keeper came rushing off his line.

Opposite number Lance Key was called into action too as Maidenhead looked set to capitalise on a counter attack. Racing out of his six-yard box, Key threw himself at the ball just as it seemed set to fly past him.

The action now end-to-end, Browne found Grant Payne with a pass and the substitute fired a low drive across Phillips' goal and just past the post.

The ball was launched upfield and a touch later Lawrence Yaku had tapped into a gaping goal for seemingly the opening score of the game, only for the linesman's flag to deny the marksman.

Midway through the half and the sides continued to exchange chances at increasing pace. A ball over the top saw Magpies' captain Brian Conner fended off by Payne, only for the strike to lack the power to trouble Phillips.

Key was somewhat more extended when Jamie Brooks broke free form the attentions of Didier Moundi. Yet still the game remained scoreless.

Payne, a constant threat since his introduction, turned on the edge of the box and saw his shot tipped around the post by the ever-versatile Phillips.

For all his good work, the veteran 'keeper made a mess of Anthony Savage's following corner, touching it into his own net in a crowd of players. No infringement was spotted and the goal was to spark another frantic surge of action.

With just eight minutes remaining on the clock, Mark Boyce sent in an elusive deep cross from the right that was met by Craig Farley's sweet strike that flew into the back of the net.

Before the implications of the equaliser could be considered, Chris Bangura latched on to a clearance by Moundi. The striker chased down on goal, holding off the attentions of the recovering defender, before committing Phillips and calmly slotting the ball past him to re-take the lead for his side.

Just two minutes later and it was another corner by Savage that caused problems for the visitors. The delivery, having sailed over the head of Browne in the middle, was met by Matt Elverson's strike into the ground. The ball got stuck in a group of players a couple of yards out before Payne connected to add a third.

The mood and confidence amongst the Kingstonian players was clear to see and they all wanted a piece of the action in the few minutes that remained. Liam Collins saw his shot from the edge of the box tipped over by Phillips and the goalkeeper was called into action again to save with his legs from Payne.

Games against Maidenhead have tended to be exciting affairs and after a slow opening, the second half proved to be no exception and an open game was just what this attack-shy K's team needed. Praise to Gary Phillips for his performance and he didn't deserve to concede the opener the way he did, but it was enough to set things on their way. The side showed great resilience to come back after having conceded the equaliser, and the hope is that the attacking surge that followed can be transferred into upcoming games.

Sat 20th Dec 2003
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Isthmian League Premier
OG, Bangura, Payne
Maidenhead United1
1Lance Key
2Stephen Broad15
3Bashiru AlimiCautioned
4Matt Elverson
5Max Hustwick
6Liam CollinsCautioned
7Chris Nurse
8Mark BeardCautioned14
9Martyn Williams12
10Stafford Browne
11Chris Bangura
12Grant Payne9
14Anthony Savage8
15Didier Moundi2
16Dave Timothy
17Adrian Jones
Match Report By
Ali Kazemi