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Kingstonian 1-0 Harrow Borough
Winning Ways

Kingstonian triumphed over Harrow Borough in a bruising encounter at Kingsmeadow to register their first win of the season thanks to Elliot Onochie's first half strike.

The K's line-up was much changed from that which had registered encouraging draws against Tonbridge and Dover. Injuries saw Matt Bradford, Dean Lodge and Greg Ball replaced by Jon Coke, Mark Scotchford and manager Scott Steele, while Liam Collins was dropped to the bench in favour of Bernard Asante.

Asante's pace provided a useful option for K's down the right, and from early in the game he was proving a handful for Harrow left-back Rob Sterry. In just the fourth minute Asante set up Steele in a useful position in the box, but the player-boss miscontrolled.

For Harrow, Brian Haule provided the predominant early threat. In the fifth minute the big striker forced an early save from Lance Key firing a shot across his goal. A minute later a surging run forward culminated in a twenty-yard effort forcing Key into another save.

In the eleventh minute he used his strength to chest the ball down for Roy Jones, but he was unable to keep his long range shot down.

K's looked very unsettled early in the game. Too many passes went astray, and Harrow captain Dean Marney bossed the defence denying the home side any clear chances.

On 18 minutes Richard Taylor brought down Haule. Clinton Lamb's free kick hit the wall only for the rebound to fall to Jones. Fortunately for Kingstonian, his follow-up went well wide of Key's goal.

The home side caused Harrow problems on 21 minutes as Marney brought down Frazer Muscat wide of the penalty area. Steve Dogbe could only head Dean Souyana's free kick up in the air as panic gripped the visitors' penalty box. Only after a goalmouth scramble were things safe.

However on 24 minutes Muscat sloppily conceded possession to Jones. He teed up Danny Dyer, but his shot went well wide of goal.

Marney remained a problem for K's. On 25 minutes Steele appeared to break through the Harrow defence, only for the Harrow captain to muscle him off the ball. A minute later he was at the other end and came close to scoring when he headed Lamb's corner wide.

Borough's defence went to sleep though on 29 minutes and K's punished them with a goal. A long ball from Muscat picked out Steele, unmarked in the corner of the penalty area. His headed pass found Elliot Onochie unmarked 12 yards out. He blasted the ball over onrushing goalkeeper Keita Karamoko into the roof of the net to give K's the lead.

This seemed to boost K's confidence and they took a firm grip on the game. On 33 minutes a Richard Taylor long ball sat up in the wind. Marney and Onochie both missed it and Asante snuck in behind the defence. From an acute angle though he was unable to control his volleyed cross and it went over the bar.

On 36 minutes Steele removed himself from the action in favour of Collins. Collins seemed to relish being given a free role playing off of Onochie and was rampant for the remainder of the half being at the heart of a sustained period of pressure on Karamoko's goal.

In the 39th minute a Giles Coke cross was flicked on by Onochie but trickled out of play just before Asante could get there. A minute later a flowing move involving Collins, Asante and Matt Pattision found Onochie. His shot was blocked, but Collins picked up the ball, surged into the box and fired in a low powerful shot which came close to nutmegging Karamoko.

On 42 minutes another darting run by Collins, this time cutting into the penalty area from the left flank, again set up Onochie though under pressure from the Harrow defence he fired wide.

Just before half-time another run by Collins took him past Sterry, but his shot was blocked by Wayne Walters to ensure that K's would only go into the break one goal up.

At half-time Bashiru Alimi returned from an injury lay-off to replace Souyana, while for Harrow Dogbe was replaced by Kennedy Kikulwe.

Kingstonian were determined that this match would not see a repeat of their two previous games, where excellent first halves were followed up by lacklustre efforts after half-time. Three minutes after the break Pattison found Collins in the centre of the box. Surrounded by defenders he wisely sent the ball wide to Mark Scotchford, unmarked on the left hand side of the box. A cross was expected, but instead Scotchford fired powerfully at the near post of the surprised Karamoko who did well to block for a corner.

The corner was weakly cleared, but fell to Collins who lobbed Karamoko only for Sterry to bravely clear under pressure from Onochie.

On 52 minutes Jesper Nielsen was robbed by Onochie who sent Collins through on goal. However, from a tight angle he could only fire wide across Karamoko's goal. A minute later some nice skill from Giles Coke set up Muscat, but his shot from outside the box went comfortably wide.

K's were in control of the game, but Harrow still looked dangerous on occasions, such as the 53rd minute when Key did well to catch a tricky cross-shot from Dyer.

On 57 minutes Scotchford was replaced by Mazin Ahmad. This meant that Steele had used all three substitutions which proved critical five minutes later when Pattison limped off injured after going for a fifty-fifty ball. After the game he had to be carried from the bench to the dressing room by his team-mates, a worrying sign for the influential midfielder on loan from Farnborough. Three minutes later Paul Hamer replaced Jones for the visitors.

In the 67th minute, Marney again got a chance to head at goal, this time from a free kick. However, it was straight at Key and the home side were soon back on the offensive. For the second time in the match Nielsen lost possession in a dangerous position, this time to Ahmad. He found Onochie, and Karamoko did well to tip his long-range effort over for a corner.

Collins took the corner, and the Harrow 'keeper rose above everyone else to claim it, only to somehow lose the ball. After some dramatic juggling it fell behind him, but unfortunately for Kingstonian landed at a defender's feet and the ball was cleared.

Two minutes later, Ahmad created himself a half-chance 20 yards out. His low shot skidded across the ground and beat Karamoko only to rebound off the inside of the post denying the blue-booted midfielder his first goal for the club.

Harrow's chances were becoming exclusively limited to set plays, but they could not make the most of them. On 72 minutes Nielsen rose highest from a corner, but his header was poor and went yards wide.

A minute later Ahmad threatened again, sending a tricky free kick into the box which Karamoko only just got to before Giles Coke to punch clear. On 76 minutes Onochie almost got through on goal after an Asante long-ball, but a poor first touch let him down and the ball over-ran to the grateful Harrow 'keeper.

In the 84th minute, Carl Hunt was brought on for Sterry as Harrow tried to find an equaliser. Two minutes later they won a corner, but it was overhit and K's got the chance to counter-attack. With Karamoko inexplicably stood 30 yards out of his goal, Liam Collins showed great vision to shoot from the half-way line. However, the ball caught the strong crosswind and went wide, denying Collins a memorable goal in the mould of that he scored against Hayes last season.

K's held on well in the last few minutes, and Harrow's only late attempts came from long shots. However, Haule fired well over and Marney's effort dribbled tamely along the floor to Key and K's secured an important win to move off the bottom of the table.

Despite missing a number of regulars, it was an impressive performance from Kingstonian. Collins was superb in an unfamiliar role and Taylor a rock at the back while demonstrating useful ability on the ball as well. Onochie's size, strength and ability to hold up the ball up front was vital, and is not something any K's striker has consistently provided since Tim Sills left the club in 2003. Asante looked continually dangerous on the right, and Ahmad looked far better than in any of his previous games.

The only negative Kingstonian will take from the game must be the injury to Pattison. As an important creative force in the middle Kingstonian will undoubtedly miss him if his injury is as severe as it looks.

Sat 11th Sep 2004
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Isthmian League Premier
Harrow Borough0
1Lance Key
2Frazer Muscat
3Dean Souyana14
4Richard Taylor
5Jonathan Coke
6Giles Coke
7Bernard Asante
8Matt Pattison
9Elliot Onochie
10Scott Steele17
11Mark Scotchford12
12Mazin Ahmad11
14Bashiru Alimi3
15Mark Rhodes
16Reggie Savage
17Liam Collins10
Match Report By
Simon Grier