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AFC Wimbledon 2-1 Kingstonian

At last Ks really can concentrate on league survival. Departure from the FA Cup at the first attempt (1st qualifying round), the FA Trophy at the first attempt (1st round) and the Isthmian League Cup at the first attempt (3rd round), has finally been capped by departure from the Surrey Senior Cup at the second attempt (third round).

The latest tie ironically provided the most lucrative return from the least prestigious of the four competitions, despite reduced admission charges and a crowd of 'only' 1,239.

Those protesting K's supporters who paraded their banners into and around the ground to join them for the second half of this first competitive fixture between erstwhile and new landlords missed the best of the contest and all the goals as they saw the current landlords hold out to meet Chipstead or Crystal Palace in the fourth round.

K's endeavors at Dover last Saturday were bound to take their toll and the Wombles' strike force was just too handy for the K's backline, especially in the first 45 minutes. But K's manager Scott Steele will be pleased that his youngsters controlled the game for long periods, especially in the second half when Dons' keeper Paul Smith had to make two excellent saves to stop Ks extending the proceedings into extra time.

It took only eight minutes for the Dons to score. A cross from the right was not cleared and AFC skipper Gareth Graham knocked the ball home via a helpful deflection. The 'visitors' hit back four minutes later as Cherry Red Records' K's Man of the Match, Martyn Lee, floated in a high free-kick deep into a crowded Dons' box and the ball was knocked down for Rob Paris to prod home.

Ryan Gray's fiercely struck inswinging corners were a danger all night and on 15 minutes Nick Hart did well to push one away from his goal line. He then chased Graham out who turned and fired into the keeper's welcoming arms. On 17 minutes James Rose was unmarked close in, but headed wide. Ks pushed forward after their goal but could make little impression on the Dons' backline, although a high Giles Coke cross was well taken by Smith. But it was the Dons who grabbed what proved to be a 23rd minute winning goal. An inspired backheel from Richard Butler set Michael Woolner free in the K's box. Paris made a good solid tackle but the ball still span free for the Wombles' winger to shoot past a full-stretch Hart.

On 37 minutes a set-piece saw Ks threaten when a Lee free-kick was headed on by the powerful Paris to Richard Taylor close in, but he hooked the ball over the bar. After that the Dons pushed forward. Jon-Barrie Bates was surrounded out on the right flank, but still managed to whip in a cross which Hart took on the near post. Then Butler outstripped Taylor down the right, but a corner was his only reward. Another Gray corner whizzed in but Hart did well to punch it clear. Ks responded three minutes before the break with a promising run from Lee down the left. His low cross was well defended as Dover hero Kenny Ojukwa swung a hopeful leg at the ball.

The Dons continued the pressure straight after the break with Taylor called upon to make two superb tackles in his own box, one from danger man Graham. Bashiru Alimi then took off on a long snaky run into the Dons' box, but his progress was hindered by a good tackle from Jay Conroy. Then two Lee free kicks threatened danger. The first from the left, took a deflection and struck Ojukwa's knee but flew over the bar. The second had real possibilities as an unmarked Paris got to the ball in the Dons' goalmouth, but his header was straight at Smith. After Coke had upended Graham and was booked, Gray whipped in a free kick right across the K's goalmouth which led to appeals as a couple of Wombles tumbled at the far post. Then Graham split the K's backline setting Robert Ursell free down the left, he sent in the ball into the path of an unmarked Butler who sliced his drive wide from close range.

Scott Steele then made a double substitution of striker Phil Ruggles and Mazin Ahmad and it almost paid off. Ahmad attacked down the right and his fierce drive took a deflection into the Dons' goalmouth, where Woolner coolly cleared with Phil Ruggles on hand. Then on 71 minutes a perfect through ball from Taylor set up Ojukwa on the edge of the Dons' box. He struck it well and first time, but Smith matched it with a great full-stretch save. Seven minutes later Ruggles on the edge of the Dons' box had his first shot blocked, but still got in a follow-up that was first blocked and then gathered by Smith. With five minutes to go it looked as if Ks would take the game into extra time. Lee let loose a fierce 25-yarder which Smith did well to push away, Ojukwa whipped in the follow-up from an acute angle but the ball bounced off the top of the bar and the final chance was gone.

Tue 18th Jan 2005
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Surrey Senior Cup 3rd round
AFC Wimbledon2
1Nick Hart
2Lewis Hamilton
3Bashiru Alimi
4Richard TaylorCautioned
5Robert ParisCautioned
6Giles CokeCautioned
7Luke Muldowney14
8Jamie Palmer
9Kenny Ojukwa15
10Martyn Lee
11James Rose16
12Steven Sanders
14Mazin Ahmad7
15Dave Timothy9
16Phil Ruggles11
17Scott Steele
Match Report By
Sean Cotter