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Aveley 0-1 Kingstonian

Kingstonian FC have won the FA trophy twice in recent times, but things are not as they were in those heady days of success. Instead, this year's Trophy campaign got off to a rather shaky start, with a midweek replay causing yet another rescheduling of that elusive visit to Imber Court.

So it was then that K's fans set off to Essex. Despite the mid-week fixture and the ongoing showers of rain, the visitors made up the larger contingent of the crowd. The only changes to Sunday's line-up for K's was on the bench, with the departed Rhodes and Ashwood replaced by Stuart McIntyre and Paul Brady. However, the back four may have kept the same numbers, but they lined up differently, with Reeks and Sills as full backs, and Taylor and Coke starting in the middle.

The match started as it meant to go on, and provided little of excitement to get the crowd going. Any early threat came from Aveley, with tricky number 7, Steve Jones, causing K's a few problems. He put in a couple of quick crosses, but they were safely picked up by Martini. Approaching the ten minute mark the first real chance came when Jones beat Sills to run down the edge of the box. His cross was a little high, and the Aveley player at the far post couldn't quite get his head on it properly and it glanced out for a goal kick.

Another couple of Steve Jones crosses were picked off by Martini, but for most of the first half hour, the ball was knocked about in the middle of the park, with neither side keen to push an advantage. Then in the 29th minute, as if from nowhere, Kenny Ojukwa found himself with the ball at his feet out of the box. With two defenders closing down and no-one looking for a pass, Ojukwa looked up and belted the ball goalward. The looping shot left Aveley keeper Marc Palmer helpless and gave Ojukwa his fifth of the season so far.

All of Aveley's promise in the first half had come from the runs and crosses of Jones. Needless to say, then, that after he was subbed off injured in the 37th minute, the Southern League side looked the worse for it. They still pulled out one last chance in the first half though when John Purves broke through the defence to put himself one on one with Martini. The shot was full of power, but Martini spread himself well and blocked it for a corner, leaving K's in the unusual position of holding a one goal lead into half-time.

The second half started as the first had, with neither team trying to threaten for a good twenty minutes. A corner at each end produced very little, and there were no chances on goal for a half hour. Richard Taylor was beaten in the 77th minute to allow handy forward Simon Thomas a chance, but his effort was no problem for Martini, as it flew over the bar.

Tommy Cass replaced the goalscorer with five minutes remaining, and came close to adding one himself in the dying minutes. Mazin Ahmad flicked a lovely ball across the face of goal, but neither a stretching Cass or a diving Tony Reid could connect.

There were a couple of hairy moments for Kingstonian fans in stoppage time, when Aveley had chances to delay the journey home by half an hour. Thomas broke through again and was charging down the goal, but Martini came out well and threw himself over the ball. The K's keeper was called into action once more to pick off a final cross, but his clean sheet ensured that the hoops will get to travel down to Fleet two Saturdays running.

There are many philosophies in football. One which most K's fans probably looked to last night was the old classic, 'a result is a result'. And it is. Kingstonian are through to the next round, but they'll have to work harder to keep progressing. Looking to the positives though, there were no cheap goals conceded and stoppage time pressure in both halves was contained. But Palmer didn't make a single save all match, as the goal was the only strike on target. If it hadn't been for Kenny's special effort, things could have been a lot different.

Wed 19th Oct 2005
Mill Field
FA Trophy 1st qualifying round replay
1Chuck Martini
2Jonathan Coke
3Richard Taylor
4Scott Corbett
5Julian Sills
6Stuart Reeks
7Mazin Ahmad
8Bashiru Alimi
9Kenny Ojukwa14
10Tony Reid
11Martyn Lee
12Christian Gonzalez
14Tommy Cass9
15Ian Dickens
16Stuart McIntyre
17Paul Brady
Match Report By
Kevin O'Connor