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Kingstonian 1-1 Worthing

Kingstonian's former Worthing striker Phil Ruggles took centre stage as the two sides played out a tight and often scrappy 1-1 draw in the Ryman League Premier Division.

Kingstonian planned to let backup goalkeeper Alan Hughes gain some match experience with another club - but with Nick Hart unexpectedly unavailable, Hughes had to dash to Kingsmeadow. Unfortunately for the K's he was unable to make it in time for kick-off which meant that Ruggles, who has a little goalkeeping experience from his youth, was forced to start with the gloves.

K's knew the best way to protect their stand-in stopper was to attack, and James Rose came close with two early headers. After a quarter of an hour though Worthing began to assert their authority on the game with former K's captain Liam Collins causing his old club major problems.

First he lobbed narrowly wide after a neat exchange with Ronnie Green, also a former K's man, and then a minute later delivered a teasing cross that Rob Paris did well to clear. On twenty minutes the Rebels found the breakthrough when a deep corner was headed back into the K's goalmouth, the defence failed to clear their lines and Nko Ekoku drove the ball past Ruggles.

K's sought an equaliser and Marc Pullan comically provided a chance on 23 minutes when, thinking he had heard the referee's whistle, he caught the ball on the edge of his own box. Martyn Lee's free kick was met by Rose at the far post and Worthing goalkeeper Mark Ormerod was forced to tip his header over the bar.

Richard Taylor came close with a twenty-yard hook shot after a Mazin Ahmad corner was tamely cleared and then Ruggles did well to claw an Ekoku cross-shot away from danger. The arrival of Hughes just before half-time (in place of Rose) meant that Ruggles would have no more opportunities to show off his goalkeeping prowess, but freed to play up front he immediately made an impact at the other end.

His first touch as an outfielder was to head an Ahmad free kick goalwards. Ormerod could only parry it into the air and Ruggles was the quickest to react, heading the follow-up home to level the scores.

Worthing substitute Sam Francis had a great chance straight after the interval but Hughes dashed off his line to deny him in a one-on-one situation. Eight minutes later a high foot from Paris gave Chris Dicker the opportunity to score what was probably one of the best free kicks the Ryman League has ever seen - unfortunately for the Rebels though, it was an indirect free kick and the goal did not stand.

On the hour mark a poor clearance from Hughes allowed Francis to set Ekoku up, but the goalkeeper redeemed himself with a good save. Thereafter K's had most of the possession, but the Worthing defence was well-organised and K's struggled to create many chances other than long shots.

David Timothy's fizzing low drive tested Ormerod but he got down well to tip it wide. From the resulting corner Paris had a free header, but was unable to direct it goalwards. Ahmad fired a free kick over the crossbar and then on 83 minutes Ruggles almost played substitute Scott Steele in on goal but Ormerod dashed off his line to deny him a shooting chance.

His resulting goal kick went right down the field splitting the K's defence apart but Francis could only fire his shot wide onto the stanchion. The last chance of the game fell to K's when Ekoku's headed clearance only went as far as Lee, but Ormerod parried his volley clear and the points were shared.

Sat 22nd Jan 2005
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Isthmian League Premier
1Phil Ruggles
2Lewis Hamilton15
3Dave Timothy
4Richard Taylor
5Robert Paris
6Giles Coke
7Mazin Ahmad
8Jamie Palmer
9James Rose17
10Martyn Lee
11Kenny Ojukwa16
12Bashiru Alimi
14Daniel Collyer
15Steven Sanders2
16Scott Steele11
17Alan Hughes9
Match Report By
Simon Grier