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Kingstonian 3-2 Burgess Hill

Kingstonian got back to winning ways with this highly competitive victory over Burgess Hill Town. Despite finding themselves a goal behind twice, the K's were able to reply immediately on both occasions, before going on to secure a winner eight minutes from time.

Attacking the Athletics ground end, the K's made the brighter start to the game. First Mazin Ahmad crossed from the right wing, only for the ball to drift out of play, then Martyn Lee crossed from the left, a defender slicing the clearance out for a corner. Ahmad's corner was too deep and went out for a goal kick.

As Burgess Hill pushed the ball into Kingstonian's half, the referee saw a cutting ball into the box handled by a defender and duly awarded a penalty. Luke Gedling stepped up to sidefoot the ball into the net as Richard Martin went the opposite way. Goal. Kingstonian 0 - 1 Burgess Hill Town.

Kingstonian got the game restarted, pushing the ball out wide on the right. The cross came in, and after goalkeeper Gannon failed to make a convincing punch, eventually dropped for Tommy Moorhouse to thump the ball into the back of the net from six yards, for the immediate equaliser. Goal. Kingstonian 1 - 1 Burgess Hill Town.

The mysterious missing head

Moorhouse practicing for world's strongest man competition

After play had restarted Kingstonian nearly took the lead, as Ahmad, out on the right wing, nicked inside his marker before releasing the ball to Bashiru Alimi. Alimi skipped past his defender and found himself in a one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but with the angle narrowing his shot stuck to the keepers legs. As Burgess Hill moved the ball rapidly downfield, a long range effort nearly stranded Martin before landing on the crossbar.

Kingstonian continued pushing forwards. Paul Wetherall sent over a searching cross from the right wing, and with the ball curling away from him, Pat Gannon came and slapped the ball across the face of goal, but no K's shirts could reach it before a defender was able to clear. Ahmad then took a free-kick on the left of the box. Gannon went down to collect but fumbled the ball and had to pounce on it before Tony Reid was able to snatch at it.

After Martyn Lee picked up an injury and was replaced by Steve Potterill, the midfield found themselves having to work extra hard. Ahmad, running towards goal, beat two defenders before having his heels clipped just outside the box. The challenge went unheeded by the referee and play continued with the ball at Burgess feet. A similar challenge on Symes, just lining up a shooting position, won a free-kick. Ahmad struck the free-kick powerfully, but the wall held firm and cleared the ball.

As play returned to Kingstonian's half, a cutting through ball from midfield carved open the K's defence. Ashley Jarvis found himself with space inside the box, and neatly tucked the ball past Martin to give Burgess Hill the lead for the second time. Kingstonian 1 - 2 Burgess Hill Town.

Yet again, Kingstonian's character shined through, as Wetherall found himself on the edge of the box with two markers blocking his path. A clever flick between the markers found James Rose in space, and Rose turned inside his marker and struck a low shot past Gannon, before running to the crowd to celebrate his equaliser on the stroke of half-time. Kingstonian 2 - 2 Burgess Hill Town.

Well outside the box

After the break, the game did not let up in its excitement. Wetherall found Rose in the box with a deep cross, Rose chested the ball down and looked poised to shoot, before a defender stole the ball from him with a last gasp effort. K's won another free-kick after a poor challenge on Reid on the right of the box. Ahmad sent in a deep ball that Taylor headed across the face of goal before Burgess Hill were able to clear.

Julian Sills thought he had given Kingstonian the lead for the first time in the game, when his low drive skidded across the face of goal, but an outstretched foot managed to stop the ball in its tracks, before the Hillians were able to clear the danger. Then Tony Reid, holding off Kieran Curry, prodded the ball forward with his head and struck a powerful shot at the near post, producing a fine save from Gannon.

Kingstonian really thought they had taken the lead when Gannon then came out to meet a backpass, but completely mistimed his clearance, the ball running straight past him. James Rose found himself through on goal, but as the angle narrowed Rose shot straight over the empty net.

After 69 minutes Mazin Ahmad was replaced by Stuart Booth, but it was the previous substitute, Steve Potterill who crucially dealt with a searching long ball by calmly placing his header straight into the arms of Martin, despite being put under pressure by two attackers.

5 minutes later, the gaffer used up his final substitution, replacing Tony Reid with Kenny Ojukwa. As the substitutions began to take their toll, Kingstonian began to look a little disorganised, but they were still capable of producing good scoring opportunities. Ojukwa flicked a cross into the path of Rose, who swung a missed, as did the defender, before another K's shirt was able to connect. However, the shot took a deflection and went out for a corner.

As Kingstonian kept up the pressure, a long throw from the right found the head of James Rose. Rose flicked the ball up, which looped over the hands of Gannon and into the empty net. With eight minutes of the game remaining Kingstonian had taken the lead for the first time. Kingstonian 3 - 2 Burgess Hill Town.

The fist returns

As the clocked ticked down, the final minutes of the game were nervy times for Kingstonian. Burgess Hill won a corner, but as the referee was tending to an injured player in the opposite corner of the pitch, the tension rose as we waited for play to restart. When the corner was taken, Martin came confidently off his line, punching the ball just over the head of an unmarked Burgess Hill attacker, who would surely have been left with a free shot on goal.

Burgess Hill began to throw everything forward. Awarded a free-kick by the referee near the corner flag, despite the linesman flagging for a goal kick, Burgess Hill had one last chance to equalise. The free-kick was taken, curling away from goal, and a Burgess Hill head rose highest, but the ball went narrowly wide of the post.

As the referee blew the final whistle, the relief of players and fans alike was evident from the celebrations. This was an extremely hard fought game, and certainly belied Burgess Hill's lowly league position. Kingstonian's character, often called into question early in the season, looks to have taken real shape and meaning. The players responded extremely well, despite twice going behind. With more spirited performances like this, a play-off position would seem like an attainable target.

Sat 21st Jan 2006
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Isthmian League Division One
Moorhouse, Rose (2)
Burgess Hill2
1Richard Martin
2Paul Wetherall
3Steve SymesCautioned
4Tommy MoorhouseCautioned
5Julian Sills
6Richard Taylor
7Mazin Ahmad12
8Bashiru Alimi
9Tony Reid15
10James Rose
11Martyn Lee16
12Stuart Booth7
14Scott Corbett
15Kenny Ojukwa9
16Steve Potterill11
17Paul Brady
Match Report By
Darren Bell