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Kingstonian 0-2 Ramsgate
Rammed Home

Some 1,319 days since their last FA Cup game at Kingsmeadow - a tight fourth round proper replay against Bristol City - Kingstonian found themselves playing in the first qualifying round for the first time in a decade, playing hosts to Kent League side Ramsgate.

The first significant move of the game saw Liam Collins make a surging run down the right, skipping through a couple of challenges before being denied by the legs of visiting goalkeeper Lee Pilcher.

His opposite number, Shane Suter sought to make his own impact with a couple of early long-range efforts to test K's debutant goalkeeper Barry Marchena. Ollie Schulz fired in an effort of his own too, but the K's youngster was able to smother the danger.

Suter's most productive moment came when whipping a dangerous low cross across the face of goal, the ball just evading his captain Mo Takalobighashi as he sought to pounce.

At the other end Reggie Savage was played in by Collins, only to be denied by the onrushing Pilcher. The ball broke back to Savage who then saw his follow-up blocked by a crowd of players before eventually fizzing wide of the goal.

The lively Savage was again to be denied when sighted with goal, this time by a goalmouth block from Edd Vahid following a Richard Taylor long throw.

With the half coming to an end a Ben Laslett corner was met by Warren Schulz, whose incisive header across goal was enough to open the score for the visitors, leaving the K's players scratching their heads.

The second half started with a bit more urgency for the Ryman Premier side, with Reggie Savage breaking down the left channel and beating the advancing Pilcher before releasing a shot that was cleared away from goal by Edd Vahid.

Elliot Onochie posed problems for Vahid minutes later when threatening to break clean through the middle, but the Rams defender was able to prevent Onochie from getting a clean strike at the ball.

Before a period of sustained K's pressure, the visitors were presented with a glaring opportunity. Suter's left-sided cross ran all the way across to Graham Taylor, whose return ball slipped under Matt Bradford's foot allowing Takalobighashi a clear sight on goal. The strike was not the knockout-type blow associated with his esteemed boxing brother Takaloo, and Marchena saved low down the middle.

Perhaps the defining miss of the game came with twenty minutes to go when Dean Souyana curled an inviting cross into the box for Fraser Muscat - having stolen the march on his marker - to head goal-bound from a few yards out. The ball, however, made more contact with his upper back than his head and went agonisingly over.

Onochie found Savage with a square ball across the box, though the diminutive striker, possibly unaware of the time he had, rather snatched at his shot and sent it wide of the upright.

The introduction of Scott Steele seemed to add the edge that was missing from Kingstonian's play, with the player-manager involved in almost every move in the final quarter of an hour.

Matt Bradford met a Steele delivery with a header that seemed destined to replicate the goalscoring effort seen in the first half, only to be denied by the face of the goalframe. Onochie's overhead follow-up cleared the bar.

The Ramsgate rearguard was holding solid with a number of big powerful players, but it was again Vahid who proved his worth, this time deflecting a Scott Steele cut-back wide of his goal.

The unlucky Bradford was again denied by the woodwork, this time the outside of the post when striking a low Steele corner at the far post.

Steele saw a long range effort curl just wide of the goal and was thwarted by a desperate interception in the final minutes as Frazer Muscat sought to pick him out form the by-line.

The dying moments saw controversy as Ramsgate broke on the counter attack. Substitute Liam Morris headed on to Stuart Vahid who managed to beat Marchena to the ball to loop home what may or then may not have been the second goal of the game. Linesman Andy Hodge signalled offside, but referee Steve Phipps eventually decided to allow the goal. The game barely kicked off again, with the decision ultimately making little impact upon the final outcome.

And so an early early FA Cup exit for K's. To think that this club had come into the turn of the Century with a fine pedigree in the big one. The goalscoring curse of last season continues, and whilst it does so, achieving good results will continue to be so much tougher than otherwise needs be.

Sat 18th Sep 2004
Kingsmeadow Stadium
FA Cup 1st qualifying round
1Barry Marchena
2Bernard Asante12
3Dean Souyana15
4Richard Taylor
5Jonathan Coke
6Giles Coke
7Liam Collins
8Frazer Muscat
9Elliot OnochieCautioned
10Reggie Savage
11Dean Lodge14
12Matt Bradford2
14Scott Steele11
15Greg Ball3
16Mark Scotchford
17Josh Francois
Match Report By
Ali Kazemi