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Kingstonian 0-3 Eastleigh

Quality of finishing was the difference between the two sides at Kingsmeadow as Kingstonian missed numerous first half chances before Eastleigh scored three goals in nine minutes either side of the break to take all three points, boosting their Ryman Premier promotion hopes.

With Richard Taylor and Bash Alimi suspended K's were forced to revert to a back three and wing-backs, while new signing Dale Marvell debuted up front. Marvell took just four minutes to announce his arrival, forcing Eastleigh keeper Lee Webber to save a free kick.

Webber faced more problems two minutes later but this time they were all of his own making. His poor goal kick went straight to Phil Ruggles on the right and Webber did well to atone for his error by plucking the cross out of the air. Ruggles was involved again on nine minutes as he led a counter-attack and laid the ball off for Marvell. Marvell delayed his cross too long though and when he eventually picked out Dean Lodge, the defence had recovered and forced the youngster to fire over from fifteen yards.

Eastleigh have scored 69 goals this term, the most in the league, and that is primarily down to their exceptional strikeforce of Andy Forbes and more recently Craig McAllister too. It did not take them long to become involved and after they combined on eleven minutes Rob Paris had to clear a Forbes lob off the line.

Eastleigh came close again when a poor backpass by Steven Sanders saw Andy Iga only just beat Forbes to the ball. Forbes blocked his clearance and K's were lucky that it ricocheted wide of the goal rather than into it.

K's began to take control of the game but with luck not on their side they could not find a breakthrough. Webber did well to tip a Ruggles twenty-yard volley over and then made an even better save when a Giles Coke shot from the same distance bounced awkwardly in front of him - but he managed to tip it round the post.

From the resulting corner Coke rose highest and Webber could no nothing about his ferocious header. Luckily for the Hampshire outfit, it slammed into the angle of post and crossbar. Webber was saved by the woodwork again on twenty-eight minutes when a Dave Timothy cross caught a deflection, flew over his head and hit the bottom of the post. Two minutes later Marvell turned Martin Thomas to get a free sight of goal, but his volley was straight at Webber who parried away.

The K's pressure dried up at this point and Eastleigh began to show why they are fourth in the league. Tyronne Bowers set up Forbes but Iga saved well and then a minute later Bowers himself tested the goalkeeper from distance.

On forty minutes Eastleigh broke through. After persistent work on the right by Bowers, K's were unable to get the ball off him and eventually he crossed low into the box where Forbes poked the ball home. Before K's had even taken stock of the fact they had had the better of the game but were now losing, they conceded again. Forbes threaded the ball through the defence for McAllister who took the ball round Iga and fired into the empty net.

Any hope of a K's recovery was quashed four minutes after the break when McAllister squared a ball for substitute Shaun Dyke who teed up Forbes for another easy finish. The game was killed as a contest and the remaining forty minutes saw little action as Eastleigh dominated possession. A nice run by Lodge set up Marvell who fired wide for K's, while for the visitors Danny Smith had a header cleared off the line and Ryan Ashford hit the post.

The momentum picked up by K's after the departure of unpopular Chairman Rajesh Khosla has been somewhat stunted now by two defeats against high-flying teams. On the plus side though, of K's remaining nine games only one is against a top eight side (Hampton and Richmond Borough) and there are still enough points available to avoid the drop.

Sat 5th Mar 2005
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Isthmian League Premier
1Andy Iga
2Steven Sanders
3Dave Timothy14
4James Mann
5Robert Paris
6Giles Coke
7Dean Lodge
8Ian Dickens16
9Phil Ruggles
10Martyn Lee
11Dale MarvellCautioned17
12Jonathan Coke
14Mazin Ahmad3
15Bernard Asante
16Kenny Ojukwa8
17James Rose11
Match Report By
Simon Grier