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Kingstonian 1-3 Sutton United

The contrast between these two fierce local rivals was evident, so much so that the fierceness of the situation was quickly quashed as a Sutton side who rarely had to click out of second or third gear easily brushed aside the plucky attentions of the home side Ks and sailed into the Surrey Senior Cup Final and a juicy-looking meeting with Woking on May 4th.

Sutton were boasting the usual plethora of former Ks players, and, as is normal in these circumstances, both Eddie Akuamoah and Chris Nurse had positive influences on the game.

Kingstonian were missing Liam Collins, whose knee injury at the end of the St Albans match saw to it that the on-form winger would be missing his first match of the season. He was much missed. Also missing were Jason O'Connor and Vidal Graham, who had not played enough Ks matches to be eligible for a county semi-final. Stuart Booth was also cup tied, having played for Molesey in an earlier round. Dave Timothy was making his first start of the calendar year, whilst making his first ever start was Aaron Gilbert.

The visiting U's had the better of the opening stanza - before the goal finally came in the 18th minute, Sutton had exerted much pressure on the Kingstonian goal. In the fourteenth minute, Jon Nurse received the ball on the corner of the penalty area. Defenders backed off him as he went off on a lateral run across the edge of the area, but his shot went just wide of the right hand post with Lance Key carefully watching the ball dribble wide.

A super run two minutes later by the industrious Scott Steele saw him burst into the penalty area and cross well, but Tobi Jinadu's excellent block tackle denied Aaron Gilbert before he could shoot.

Sutton's opening goal was sublime and absolute top quality. The U's worked the ball to the edge of the area, and just as it seemed the move may have been going nowhere, Jon Nurse backheeled the ball through to Akuamoah. This pass took out a couple of Ks defenders, and left Akuamoah clear on goal. He was not to be denied as he powered a low shot across goal and past the blameless Key for a magnificent opening goal.

Nine minutes later and the contest was over. Sutton won a free-kick on the left just outside the penalty area. Jon Nurse and Paul Honey set up a training ground move by moving the ball aside for the hugely impressive Nick Bailey, and his shot from 20 yards flashed past the unfortunate Kingstonian goalkeeper and rippled the net at great speed. Sutton were now two goals up and cruising to the final.

This second goal killed the game as a spectacle, as Kingstonian did their best to breach the almost watertight Sutton defence. Whenever they did manage to get past them, they found Andy Iga to be on top form, his best save denying Scott Steele a goal from a free kick in the 40th minute.

Excitement first hit the second half in the 74th minute, when a sudden flurry of activity saw two goals and much goalmouth action.

Sutton's full back Matt Gray went on a brilliant run down the right hand side, left two defenders for dead, and his cross shot beat Lance Key, but fortunately for the Ks, also beat the far post.

Within a minute, the 529 crowd were possibly witnessing a contest and a potential close finish as the home side scored. Dave Timothy received the ball on the half way line and went on a run. Sutton defenders backed off the Ks full back, and he did a one-two with Scott Steele and then fed substitute Martyn Williams. The young Ks forward then found Stafford Browne with back to goal, but Browne was able to turn and slam the ball through Iga's legs.

Suitably chastened and annoyed by letting in their first goal in the Surrey Senior Cup this season, the holders went straight down the other end and killed the game, and any lingering Kingstonian hopes, with their third goal. A through ball from Bailey on the left found Jon Nurse with far too much room inside the penalty area, and his shot nutmegged Lance Key and went into the net.

There was only time in the 81st minute for Andy Iga to brilliantly deny Browne after a defensive slip allowed the Ks forward to be clear on goal outside the penalty area. Thankfully, referee Eamonn Smith did not allow much stoppage time at the end of the second half, and Kingstonian's involvement in cup football was now at an end having lost to an excellent Sutton United outfit. There was a popular comment after the game of it being men against boys on the night, and unfortunately for Kingstonian, it is next to impossible to dispute it.

Tue 30th Mar 2004
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Surrey Senior Cup Semi final
Sutton United3
1Lance Key
2Dave Timothy
3Scott SmithCautioned
4Matt Elverson
5Max Hustwick
6Craig Lewington
7Mark Beard
8Bashiru Alimi
9Stafford Browne
10Scott Steele14
11Aaron Gilbert15
12Grant Payne
14Anthony Savage10
15Martyn Williams11
Match Report By
Robert Wooldridge