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Braintree Town 5-1 Kingstonian
"No Kingstonian Press Tonight"

A frosty welcome at Braintree's Cressing Road ground awaited Kingstonian and their followers for this Ryman League premier division fixture.

Seeking to follow on from their fine win at high-fliers Cheshunt, Kingstonian named an almost unchanged side to that which took the field at the weekend, with the only change being Matt Pattison's return to the starting line-up in place of the unavailable Giles Coke.

The opening minute saw player/manager Scott Steele cross from the left to a charging Matt Pattison in the middle of the box. The young midfielder failed to make the necessary contact with his header as the ball looped up in the air, allowing home goalkeeper Danny Gay the opportunity to come off his line and gather before Pattison could have a second bite at the cherry.

With just seven minutes gone, K's goalkeeper Mark Zawadski, making only his second appearance for the club, collided with Ellis Remy just outside the box. The decision went against the young goalkeeper, as did lady luck, for the injury was to cause him further trouble during the game. The free kick was laid off short to Louis Riddle, but the shot failed to work the goalkeeper as it flew wide of the target.

Just after the quarter hour mark, Martyn Lee, fresh from goals in his previous two outings, almost put K's in front. A neat ball from Steele released Pattison down the left by-line, whose drilled cross across the box was met by a crisp strike by Lee that had goalkeeper Danny Gay beaten but not the post, rebounding back across the face of the goal to safety.

The attacking team up until that point, K's hen had to sit back and withstand a concerted effort by the home side to take a hold of the game.

Dean Bradshaw knocked a ball down into the path of Alex Revell, and the striker's low strike required an excellent save by Zawadski low at his near post before Frazer Muscat hacked the loose ball away off the line.

Bradshaw was once again involved when squaring to Gavin McGowan, who, having beaten the onrushing Zawadski to the ball, fired his first time effort wide of the goal.

The opening goal soon followed in the 34th minute, again involving Zawadski being called to race off his line. This time, despite getting to the ball first in a block challenge, the ball was not cleared and picked up by the supporting Revell to roll the ball into the unguarded net.

Despite the building ascendancy of the home side, K's battled their way through the rest of the half and started asking questions of the home defence once more. From there, both sides managed to hold firm until the interval.

With substitute James Rose making up an additional striker alongside the hard-working Phil Ruggles, K's had an increased target to aim for, and Mazin Ahmed found Rose with a cross only for the striker's shot to be deflected wide. Ruggles too saw an effort go wide minutes later, following a long delivery from Ahmet Rifat.

With ten minutes gone in the second half, a sloppy free kick on the deep on the Kingstonian left was intercepted and knocked on by a Braintree player, much to the anger of the K's players who claimed handball. Louis Riddle had by then already buried a memorable long-range strike to make it two-nil.

The reaction from Scott Steele's was encouraging, and culminated eight minutes later with a splendid goal from Phil Ruggles. Latching on to a Matt Pattison pass on the left edge of the area, the frontman turned away from the attentions of his marker and fired an unstoppable rising drive that flew into the top corner at Gay's near post.

The deficit was almost entirely wiped out by Ruggles just five minutes later when a long Richard Taylor cross fell for the striker in the middle of the box, only for the drive shot to be deflected just wide of the post.

However, a nine minute flurry for the home side followed in the latter stages of the match to wrap up the win with a comfortable scoreline.

Revell drove down the right wing before whipping a low cross across the face of goal for Ellis Remy to sweep in at the back post with just under twenty minutes remaining.

Remy turned provider when Zadwadski could only parry his next effort in to the path of Andy Porter to convert from close.

Zadwadski was troubled again almost immediately when a deep free kick saw Bradley Quinton rise to beat the goalkeeper to the ball to complete the scoring. And although some ten minutes remained, at that the match effectively ended.

After the big win at Cheshunt followed a big defeat. There were however, as in recent weeks, points of encouragement to take from the game. The initial response after conceding the first couple of goals was good, especially after the hotly-disputed second goal. Phil Ruggles once again performed well up front on his own, albeit critically without the surge of support from the midfield as seen recently. As with all striker, he will no doubt to be pleased to have got himself off the mark too - with a fine goal too. The injured Zadwadski seemed to struggle, though the extent of the injury remains unknown.

Tue 2nd Nov 2004
Cressing Road
Isthmian League Premier
Braintree Town5
1Mark Zawadski
2Frazer Muscat
3Steven Sanders
4Richard TaylorCautioned
5Ahmet RifatCautioned
6Matt Pattison
7Daniel Collyer
8Mazin Ahmad14
9Phil Ruggles
10Martyn Lee
11Scott Steele12
12James RoseCautioned11
14Ahmed Tchankou8
15Bernard Asante
17Alan Hughes
Match Report By
Ali Kazemi