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Northwood 0-1 Kingstonian

A Kingstonian side battling to stay in the Ryman Premier League took to the field at Northwood buoyed by the news that Jimmy Cochrane had finally put an end to the Khosla reign at the club.

Young debutant Liam Parrington made his debut at the back alongside commanding new captain Rob Paris, Dean Lodge was given a starting role on the right wing, whilst James Rose and Jean-Serge Musungu were paired together up front.

Northwood, coming into the game in indifferent form, were without their departed top scorer Dean Clark but certainly not without the vigour shown in previous encounters.

The gusty wind and sodden playing surface did not lend to flowing football, but Kingstonian started pretty brightly nonetheless.

Rose headed down to strike partner Musungu for the first chance of the game, though the resulting shot was a tame one across goal.

A whipped Bashiru Alimi cross from the left caused problems for the Northwood back line when goalkeeper Rob Bullivant, having called for Luke Evans to leave the ball, proceeded to then spill it following an awkward bounce. Fortunately for him, however, the loose ball was hacked clear before any further danger arose from the situation.

At the other end, Mark Torcaso was called into action when a back-header fell short of his area, though the goalkeeper did well to sweep up with danger looming.

Torcaso's other moment of action in the opening half followed almost immediately when James Bent wriggled his way into an opening before releasing a strike that the goalkeeper did well to parry into the air before gathering at the second attempt.

The best chance of the half came in the twentieth minute after some excellent play on the right by Dean Lodge saw James Jose receive the ball behind the defenders around the penalty spot. Having taken time to set himself, Rose's shot was unable to beat Bullivant, who did really well in saving low to his left.

The hosts were struggling with the exploits of Lodge and Alimi in wide positions, though it was Giles Coke who nearly on a number of occasions bore right through the middle.

Despite being pretty much in control of affairs, the K's defence were grateful to midfielder Ian Dickens' intervention with a last ditch challenge to deny the hosts a clean strike on goal just on the stroke of half time.

Bashiru Alimi nearly created the opener just after the break when driving in a low cross from the left that was met by the boot of Luke Evans. The clearance just evaded Giles Coke as he charged down the middle of the box.

Alimi's next cross found Martyn Lee in the middle, whose goalbound effort was deflected wide by the body of Evans.

It took until the final quarter of an hour before Northwood made any serious inrodes of their own. First Wayne Carter sent a chance flying over the bar before Mark Dennison saw his low shot across goal well gathered by Torcaso.

Torcaso soon excelled himself with a superb flying save to prevent an Alistair Heselton free kick from finding the top corner of the goal.

With time fast running out, substitute Kenny Ojukwa went agonisingly close to converting a Mazin Ahmad cross before seeing a goalbound effort blocked by Rory Smith in the final minute.

With the game seemingly destined to finish scoreless, a ball from Martyn Lee found Alimi who despatched a cross-come-shot that sailed over the despairing Bullivant and into the back of the net to send K's fans and players alike into euphoria.

Whatever happens from now to the end of the season, this was certainly a result to savour. For all the hard work and neat play from K's, it took until the depths of stoppage time before they finally broke down their stubborn opponents. Another dramatic late moment to add to the last-ditch takeover success achieved less than 24 hours previous. Finally, football can hopefully come to the fore once more.

Sat 12th Feb 2005
Northwood Park
Isthmian League Premier
1Mark Torcaso
2Steven Sanders
3Bashiru Alimi
4Liam Parrington
5Robert Paris
6Giles CokeCautioned
7Dean Lodge17
8Ian Dickens
9James Rose15
10Martyn LeeCautioned
11Jean-Serge Musungu16
12Bernard Asante
14Richard Taylor
15Kenny Ojukwa9
16Phil Ruggles11
17Mazin Ahmad7
Match Report By
Ali Kazemi