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Kingstonian 2-2 Corinthian Casuals

If Kingstonian are to miss out on a spot in the Ryman League playoffs, then they will not have to look hard for the reason why. Eight matches against the bottom four clubs this year have yielded just two victories and of the six failures, none will be more galling than this one.

Two-nil up with half an hour to spare against the goal-shy strugglers, Kingstonian should have had three points safely theirs. A complacent attitude allowed Casuals to fight their way back into the game though, much to their credit, and two quick goals ensured that the points would be shared.

James Rose and Julian Sills replaced Mick Brady and Tony Reid in a side otherwise unchanged from that which won a place in the Surrey Cup final midweek. K's made their now customary lethargic home start, a pair of weak headers from Rose and Kenny Ojukwa being the only early threat to visiting 'keeper Gareth Williams.

Casuals gave Jonty Venter a tenth minute scare when a long ball sat up nicely for Chris Malik but his well-hit volley narrowly cleared the crossbar. Another long ball caught K's napping ten minutes later and Billy Jackson took the ball past Venter only to be tripped. Venter was lucky that the referee elected only to show a yellow card and the resulting free kick was buried into the wall.

Five minutes from the interval though, K's took the lead with an impressive move. Kenny Ojukwa controlled a long ball with some keepy-uppy on the right and set the ball back for Martyn Lee. The midfielder crossed from deep on his left foot, judging the ball to perfection. Williams came out but Rose beat him to it, heading the ball over the committed goalkeeper (below) to give K's a lead they did not exactly deserve on the basis of forty minutes of inaction.

Rose head home
Photo: Rob Blevin

He's the man

In injury time though, Lee clipped the bar with a rocket free kick and after the break K's enjoyed their best spell of the game. The half could almost have started disastrously however - Venter did well to race out and deny Jackson after Richard Taylor had underhit a backpass. Thereafter however, Casuals increasingly came under pressure as the home side had a number of chances that eventually culminated in them doubling their advantage.

Venter denies Frimpong
Photo: Rob Blevin

Reid (off the bench after Rose had been injured at the end of the first half) headed a Stuart Booth cross over and then a clever ball from Lee teed up Bashiru Alimi to hit the outside of the post from fifteen yards. Booth retrieved the ball and played it backwards to Julian Sills. With a number of options open to him, the centre-half considered a chip to the far post before instead electing to fire the ball straight into the top corner from twenty yards. It was certainly not the sort of strike one associates with central defenders.

Sills' strike hits the back of the net

The two goal lead was short lived though. Kingstonian fell asleep at the back and an angled strike from Danny Stassinos crept inside Venter's near post. Five minutes later the scores were level, when a long ball into the box created a goalmouth scramble. Like for Bashley's winner last week, K's did not clear the danger when they had the chance and Chris Horwood popped to slam the ball into the net.

A deflated K's did not ever look like recapturing the lead. Sills had a header easily saved, substitute Geoff Pitcher hit the stanchion when offside anyway and two minutes from time Charley Side was sent through on goal but went down in a tangle with Williams. The final chance also fell to Side but the Casuals 'keeper made a smart near post save and the points were shared.

Ojukwa rises to challenge
Photo: Neil Harvey

Sat 8th Apr 2006
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Isthmian League Division One
Rose, Sills
Corinthian Casuals2
1Jonty VenterCautioned
2Steve Potterill
3Steve Symes
4Stuart Booth
5Julian Sills
6Richard Taylor
7Paul Wetherall12
8Bashiru Alimi
9James Rose15
10Kenny Ojukwa14
11Martyn Lee
12Geoff Pitcher7
14Charley Side10
15Tony Reid9
16Scott Corbett
17Alan Hughes
Match Report By
Simon Grier