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Kingstonian 1-2 Leyton
Drama Leyt-on

Two late goals saw Leyton come away from Kingsmeadow with three points after a very scrappy Ryman Premier League game.

Kingstonian were without Giles Coke and Steven Sanders who were both suspended. With only two recognised defenders in the match day squad Dave Timothy and Danny Collyer took on the full-back roles, while Bashiru Alimi added some muscle to central midfield. Nick Hart became the fifth man to wear the luminous Kingstonian goalkeeping shirt this season, having signed from Maidenhead on a dual-registration.

K's started brightly and did in fact have the better of the first hour of the game. On eight minutes Ben Wood misjudged the bounce of a long ball allowing Phil Ruggles to get in behind him. Ruggles hit a powerful left foot volley which beat goalkeeper James Hasell but hit the crossbar on its way over the target.

A minute later the East London side had a superb opportunity when Scott Honeyball was unmarked following a George Gregorion corner, but he headed well wide. Three minutes later Hart did well to come off his line and get to the ball before Gregorion after a cushioned header by Simon Peddie.

On twenty-two minutes the first hint was given as to how scrappy the game would later become. Dave Timothy went in with two feet on Des Thomas, and although he did get the ball it was a dangerous tackle which saw Timothy booked and soon forced Thomas to be substituted.

Honeyball did well to deflect a Mazin Ahmad twenty-yarder wide, but then on twenty-six minutes K's took the lead with an inspired goal. Jon Coke's inch perfect long ball found Ruggles, who did extremely well to chest the ball down under pressure. At a tricky angle from goal the K's hitman spotted Hasell off his line and scored with a delicate chip.

Before half-time Alimi, Collyer and Leli Bajada all picked up yellow cards and Scott Steele brought himself off for Rose but there was little more in the way of goalmouth action.

The visitors came out strong after the interval. On forty-eight minutes Gregorion headed straight at Hart, but a minute later it was only the woodwork which denied the away team. Collyer threw himself at Gregorion's low free kick and his diving header cannoned off his own crossbar. K's immediately went on the counter-attack though and after a nice run Ahmad pick out Ruggles. His powerful shot beat Hasell but went narrowly over the bar.

Leyton might have had a chance three minutes later but Peddie fell over after James Hawes had played him in on goal. The turning point in the game came just before the hour mark though. James Rose caught Wood with an elbow as the two contested a header and the referee was left with little choice but to send him off and reduce K's to ten men.

This made things very difficult for the home side. Leyton had the majority of the possession thereafter as K's were left with just the one striker and tended to keep their other nine men behind the ball. They did still remain a threat on the counter-attack though. After robbing Vas Soteriou, Ahmad beat three men before teeing up Kenny Ojukwa on the left who was brought down by Wood.

From the resulting free kick Richard Taylor just missed Ahmad's cross, but Paul Golby's weak header went straight to Ruggles who headed at goal. The ball looped over Hasell but bounced on the top of the crossbar and went out of play. The game was becoming increasingly scrappy as the referee struggled to control some of the tempers on both sides and Jon Coke and Scott Curley joined the lengthy list of names in the referee's notebook.

Shortly afterwards Bajada broke through the K's back line but Coke did well to get across and block his shot for a corner. Ojukwa was replaced as K's lone striker by Dave Ocquaye, but Leyton were still dominating possession and looking increasingly like scoring. Gregorian picked up the second ball from a corner and K's were lucky that his fierce drive did not find its way through the forest of legs in the penalty box.

An Ocquaye clearance from another corner went straight to Roy Parkyn who fired over as the visitors increased the pressure. The deadlock was eventually broken in rather fortuitous circumstances, when Michael Deane's eighty-eighth minute free kick caught a deflection off Ruggles in the wall and ran through to Bajada who powered the ball home from close range.

Both sides looked to grab a winner during the extensive period of injury time. Deane pulled a shot wide for Leyton, and then an Ahmad cross almost caught Hasell out. It was the visitors who secured the win though - Parkyn's cross found Ian Bass unmarked and his powerful low header beat Hart to condemn K's to another defeat.

Phil Ruggles was deservedly Triumph Trophies Man of the Match after another excellent performance. As soon as Rose was sent off though K's were set on the back foot, defending deep and having little of the ball. Leyton's equaliser was understandable in the circumstances and indeed a touch lucky, but what was frustrating for K's fans was that the team then contrived to lose the match.

Too many times this season the players' heads have dropped after conceding a goal and this has triggered a collapse - one such occasion was at Leyton on the first day of the season although such has been the lack of stability in K's squad since, only three of todays team were involved in that game. K's will be hoping for improved form over the festive season, but with a tough derby against Hampton and trips to in-form Wealdstone and high-flying Yeading performances will need to be improved if this is to happen.

Sat 11th Dec 2004
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Isthmian League Premier
1Nick Hart
2Jonathan CokeCautioned
3Bashiru AlimiCautioned
4Richard Taylor
5Daniel CollyerCautioned
6Dave TimothyCautioned
7Kenny Ojukwa14
8Mazin Ahmad
9Phil Ruggles
10Martyn Lee
11Scott Steele12
12James RoseSent Off11
14David Ocquaye7
15Ahmed Tchankou
16Martyn Williams
17Alan Hughes
Match Report By
Simon Grier