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Kingstonian 2-4 Ashford Town
Ashford Thoro-lee-good

This writing game is not so bad. Reach for the cliches - a bad defeat; their keeper played a blinder; our defence was like the parting of the Red Sea. Thus it is with a heavy heart, but a heavier glass, that I report back from Kingsmeadow, scene of a damaging loss.

How different it seemed only a few hours earlier. The K's Web email - desperate, almost too desperate - would I, could I write the match report? I could? Expressions of great joy! Some cynical laughter! Then a few guidelines - be even handed, 700 words, please no references to Gary Neville-style celebrations, no references to formers Ks players, and absolutely no irreverent cartoons.

We seem to be running slightly out of steam, and not just in terms of the number of reporters for this site. Recent Ks performances have lacked the grandiose sweep which characterised that winning run, there is a slight element of huff and puff creeping in, and the management need to stand guard and be wary. If we had won tonight, we would have gone fifth, that magical Holy Grail - fifth! - but as it is a defeat and we are stuck in the neutral no-man's land of ninth place, down a place on goal difference. This was a big chance for the Ks, but a chance which went begging.

Why? Ashford Town scored more goals than us. It might be worth asking the question why. They took their chances. They had not many, but they scored two-thirds of them. The gallic sounding John Paul Collier, cunningly not named in the programme line-up but formerly of the romantically named Erith & Belvedere, was too quick for us, cutting our defence to shreds for their third and fourth goals, the killer goals, coming straight after our first and second. The fourth was a curious carbon copy of the third, the Ks giving the ball away all too cheaply, John Paul-Collier racing away from our ersatz midfielders, our static defenders, weaving his way like some footballing Pied Piper diagonally across the pitch before beating Jonty Ventor at the near post.

What of their goal-mouth? It was protected by a colossus called Dave Wietecha who was magnificent. To the left he dived to keep out Kenny's drive - the near post you see. To the right he leapt to keep out Maz's second half drive - it seemed a certain goal. To the left he flew to tip out Sills' header - a fantastic save. And so he went on.

We managed to beat him twice, Rose (or was it Ojukwa? It is so hard to tell when you are leaping up and down and trying to write at the same time) managed to scuffle in the first - Weitecha fooled by a deflection surely after Maz weaved into the box - and then Mazin Ahmad, the Great Ahmad with what can only be described as a fantastic free-kick in the second half. It really was one of the best I have ever seen, swerving around the wall and then out again evading even Dave's salmon like efforts. Rocket-like but like Martyn Lee's outstanding effort earlier in the season - to no avail.

Ultimately the goals proved to be a mirage, our foe John Paul slotting untroubled home with apparent ease almost as soon as we had scored. Obviously it was no help that another Ashford chap, going under the name of Joby Thorogood had scored twice already, the first a tap-in after Ventor had made a brave save, the other rolling in under him as once more our defence parted in somewhat alarming fashion.

It would be pointless to blame any one player for a defeat. It is disappointing to see a run of 13 league games unbeaten since 7 November end in such a way, but well down to Ashford, they deserved it.

If you look down the table you can see the reason for being only ninth. Woeful defeats at home by the likes of Newport Isle of Wight and Dulwich Hamlet and (it has to be said, bogey team aside) being doubled by Ashford Town. Vital points - binned! On the plus side, that unbeaten run means we have hauled ourselves back into contention for the play-offs. There are still 16 games to go, 48 points - if we can get 32 of them, surely we will be there rather than thereabouts?

Mon 6th Feb 2006
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Isthmian League Division One
Rose, Ahmad
Ashford Town4
1Jonty Venter
2Paul Wetherall12
3Steve Symes
4Scott Corbett
5Julian Sills
6Richard Taylor
7Mazin Ahmad
8Bashiru Alimi
9James Rose
10Kenny Ojukwa
11Stuart BoothCautioned
12Tony Reid2
14Michael Brady
15Jon Coke
16Steve Potterill
17Paul Brady
Match Report By
Jonathan Burt