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Kingstonian 0-4 Salisbury City

The large travelling contingent from Salisbury went home happy from Kingsmeadow after a seemingly very enjoyable day out. Not only did they enjoy a sunny trip to the Royal Borough with a chance to see some of Kingston's finer sights before the game but their lower-mid-table team cruised to an easy four-nil win which condemned their hapless hosts to now almost certain relegation.

Ian McDonald debuted as K's third manager of the season in charge of a side that made eleven changes from that which lost the away fixture with City back in August. He also retained the wing-back formation recently favoured by predecessor Scott Steele and made just two changes from the side beaten at Heybridge last week.

In the fifth minute an Ian Dickens header after Dale Marvel's cross was comfortably saved. Three minutes later The Whites had their first attack as Matthew Tubbs pulled a shot wide. The few chances that K's created all seemed to fall to Marvell but he fired wide on twelve minutes and his eighteenth minute free kick deflected over off the wall.

As has so often happened this season K's made a moderately encouraging start but perhaps due to a lack of fitness they began to fade around the half-hour mark and looked very frail defensively. Andy Ida did well to save a Tubbs header and Stuart Reeks cleared a Craig Davis shot off the line but K's could not continue to hold Salisbury off.

On thirty-three minutes City got a corner and Whites captain Aaron Cook was unchallenged at the far post. He was able to neatly place his header to loop over Iga and into the far corner. The advantage was doubled nine minutes later when Shaun Hale's fizzing low drive from outside the area found its way through a forest of legs and into the bottom corner of Iga's goal.

The lack of confidence in Kingstonian was clearly evident and never more so than just before half-time. K's had the ball around the Salisbury box but nobody was brave enough to shoot and when the ball eventually got through to Bashiru Alimi on the penalty spot he was closed down by the defence and his effort went weakly to goalkeeper Kevin Sawyer.

Just after the break a Richard Taylor error allowed Davis a clear run at goal. Iga got down well to push his placed shot away but K's were fortunate that Tubbs was offside and the open goal he scored on the rebound did not stand.

Seven minutes later Salisbury did score a third to put the game beyond all doubt. Robert Matthews' long range drive landed awkwardly in front of Iga who spilled it straight to Tubbs. This time he was onside and rounded the stricken goalkeeper to tap the ball home.

On the hour mark it became a rout when Reeks decided to clear Hale's deep cross with his forearm. Davis stepped up and casually sent Iga the wrong way, rolling his spotkick home.

Kingstonian's problems were multiplied yet further when influential captain Rob Paris limped off with an apparent thigh injury. Dave Timothy replaced him and was soon joined by Jean-Serge Musungu and Bernie Asante in preference to Marvell and James Rose but K's never looked like getting back into the game.

Iga did well to keep the score down to four by clawing a Wayne Turk volley away and Alimi had another effort saved after Lee led a counter-attack. The last half-hour primarily saw both sides going through the motions though and eventually the game came to an end leaving K's to lick their wounds after another home defeat.

Sat 26th Mar 2005
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Isthmian League Premier
Salisbury City4
1Andy Iga
2Ian Dickens
3Martyn Lee
4Richard Taylor
5Robert Paris12
6Scott Smith
7Stuart Reeks
8Bashiru Alimi
9Phil Ruggles
10James Rose16
11Dale Marvell14
12Dave Timothy5
14Bernard Asante11
15Mazin Ahmad
16Jean-Serge Musungu10
17Jonathan Coke
Match Report By
Simon Grier