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Cray Wanderers 1-3 Kingstonian

Kingstonian travelled to Hayes Lane for the third time this season for their fourth encounter against Cray Wanderers. So far the mini-series had produced for K's, a defeat, a draw and a win; in that order. K's fans were hoping it would be the most recent encounter that was replicated, but few would have predicted just how closely it was replicated. In as almost exact replica of last month's FA Trophy replay, Kingstonian went into the break 1-0 down but finished the match 3-1 up. Goals from Sills, Taylor and Rose secured the much needed three points.

There were a number of changes from the team that lost to Canvey on Saturday. Richard Martin replaced Torcaso in goal, with Wayne Noad starting over Jon Coke at right back. Kenny Ojukwa was unavailable for selection, so James Rose paired up alongside Tony Reid up front. Tommy Moorhouse started at the back, but was moved forward to replace the injured Scott Corbett after 20 minutes, with Taylor coming on at the back.

The first half saw a number of chances at both ends, after a low paced start. Efforts from Tommy Moorhouse and Rose failed to really test Northwood, and a free kick at the other end provided little difficulty for Martin. The first real chance came a half an hour in when a mazy Mazin Ahmad run produced a strike from the edge of the box which shaved the outside of the post, and left the keeper standing.

Five minutes later, despite early pressure, Kingstonian were behind. Jon Main put in a cross which Jon Kempster headed past Martin. Kingstonian had chances to get back in the first half, but little was produced and at the half time whistle Cray Wanderers held the advantage.

Frustration was already affecting the Kingstonian ranks, and as the players headed to the tunnel Tommy Moorhouse threw the ball at the ground in the direction of the referee and picked up a caution.

Just as when the two teams clashed at Kingsmeadow, Kingstonian came out a different side after the break, and immediately pushed forward. K's picked up a number of corners and throws deep in territory. Five minutes into the second half, Taylor came close from an Ahmad corner but headed just over the bar.

A quick break from Leigh Bremner saw a powerful low shot which called on Martin to keep K's in the game. His diving save tipped the ball for a corner, and prevented a goal which could have quite easily put Kingston out of the game.

Ahmad provided Cray with great problems on both wings, and Kingstonian continued to create chances but it was not until the 66th minute that Julian Sills levelled the scores. An Ahmad free kick from the left wing curled out to the edge of the box. Sills rose well and his looping header landed neatly on the left hand side of the goal, easily beating Northwood.

Cray looked to regain the lead immediately and Martin was again called on, this time to keep Kingstonian level. Again Leigh Bremner provided the power toward goal, but Martin parried the ball to keep the scores level.

Kingstonian had seen that they could score and as so often is the case, this provided a new sense of self belief and for the rest of the match, it was the K's who were the dominant side. On the 72nd minute Kingstonian took the lead with Richard Taylor's second ever goal for Kingstonian. A cleared corner went only as far as Bashiru Alimi who quickly crossed the ball back in. Sills, scorer of the first goal, got himself an assist as he climbed up and selfishly headed the ball down to Taylor, who placed the ball into the back of the net well out of Northwood's reach.

Taylor's goal effectively sealed the match, and Cray didn't really challenge from then on. A number of Kingstonian chances went begging, but in the last minute Leigh Bremner had another effort on goal, but instead of providing the equaliser, a counter-attack was released. The ball was cleared to Ahmad, who played a quick ball round the line to Reid. Reid's pace took him to the edge of the box, where he looked up and saw Rose running down the opposite wing and crossed the ball to provied Rose with his sixth in five games.

Kingstonian's second half recovery showed real strength of caracter, but also the real level of quality football the side can produce. Good saves from Martin undoubtably kept Kingstonian in the game at times. Noad and Symes performed well as full backs, with Taylor and Sills not only keeping things tight at the back, but also showing their worth going forward. Reid continues to demonstrate his quality as support striker, linking up excellently with Rose, who still seems to always be in the right place at the right time. A strong midfield continues to support well. If Kingstonian can keep that sort of second half performance up, and maybe even try to produce in the first as well, then they would definitely be expected to finish the season higher in the league than currently placed.

Tue 20th Dec 2005
Hayes Lane (Bromley FC)
Isthmian League Division One
Cray Wanderers1
Sills, Taylor, Rose
1Richard Martin
2Wayne Noad
3Steve Symes
4Tommy MoorhouseCautioned
5Julian Sills
6Scott Corbett16
7Mazin Ahmad
8Bashiru Alimi
9Tony Reid
10James Rose
11Paul Wetherall
12Ryan Adams
14Michael Brady
15Jonathan Coke
16Richard Taylor6
17Paul Brady
Match Report By
Kevin O'Connor