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Cray Wanderers 1-1 Kingstonian

For the second time in an FA competition this season, Kingstonian had drawn Cray Wanders away. Last time there were seven red cards and five goals, including two penalties. This time round it was a comparatively quiet affair, with only two yellow cards produced all game, and a mere two goals.

Tommy Cass made his first start for Kingstonian since returning from injury. He replaced the cup-tied James Rose, as the only change to the side from the midweek 6 goal thriller at Ramsgate. Of the six players to see red at the clubs' last clash, not one made either starting line-up.

The game began with a somewhat lacklustre start with neither side pressing any early advantage. The first real chance of the match came ten minutes in when Abbott headed wide from a Cray corner. Kingstonian began to push forward and half way through the first half a good forward ball reached Tony Reid, who tried to flick the ball on for himself. He headed over Cray's defender Danny Bower and tried to turn him to get back on the ball. The two players clashed and Reid went to ground. The ref ruled obstruction and pointed to the spot. Martyn Lee stepped up and shot cleanly and confidently past Northwood to give the K's the lead.

Lee converts

K's began to push initially for a second, and a couple of good chances were carved out. A couple of Lee free kicks caused trouble for Cray, but goalkeeper Northwood protected his net well. A good chance fell for K's when Tommy Cass headed a cross down into the path of Wetherall, but the shot was wide.

K's record in first half stoppage time has not been great this season, and there was almost an equaliser before the break. Mark Torcaso came out to pick out a corner, but his punch didn't fully connect, and the ball dropped back for a full on goal mouth scramble, which Wayne Noad came out winner, managing to head the ball off the line. The ball was cleared and K's went into the changing rooms a goal up.

Five minutes into the second half Kenny Ojukwa replaced Cass, but it was Cray who had the best of the opening exchanges. A quarter of an hour in, Cray's winger Michael Power created a couple of solid opportunities. The first of which came from a break down the left, which was whipped across the face of goal at high speed. Contact from a Cray player would surely have levelled the match, but the cross went all the way through with no-one able to connect. Minutes later, Power broke again, but this time turned inside to go alone and shot low, forcing Torcaso to pull out the save of the match, dropping down to his left.

Cray continued to apply pressure as Kingstonian seemed content to try to hold out their one goal advantage. A combination of good keeping from Torcaso, and solid defending from Sills and Taylor continued to keep the Kingston net safe. Half way into the second half, Mazin Ahmad replaced Wetherall and immediately began to provide problems for Cray down the right hand side. Indeed a cynical block by Dean Morris produced Cray's second yellow of the match.

Torcaso was unlucky not to keep a clean sheet, with Cray's goal being of dubious merit. A rather weak free kick decision went against Kingston on the edge of the box. Cray substitute Dean Watkins blasted aimlessly towards goal, and Torcaso had it covered until a deflection off Noad sent the ball into the opposite corner of the goal, securing the replay.

There were shouts for a second penalty for the K's when a shot from Ahmad deflected into the path of Tony Reid, who appeared to be tripped as he charged into the box, but the referee wasn't interested. Torcaso still had work to do, and was called on again when Cray striker Jon Main broke through K's defence and struck the ball straight at the keepers face with full power. Torcaso reacted quick and managed to punch the ball over the bar.

Kingstonian will now play host to Cray Wanderers in the replay. Torcaso seems to have gelled well with his defence, and Sills was superb in keeping the defence calm and confident. Ahmad and Ojukwa both gave good performances as subs. If Kingstonian can keep up this defensive performance, and maybe produce a little more at the front end, they should stand a good chance of progressing through to the first round proper.

Sat 26th Nov 2005
Hayes Lane
FA Trophy 3rd qualifying round
Cray Wanderers1
Lee (pen)
1Mark Torcaso
2Jonathan Coke
3Richard TaylorCautioned
4Wayne Noad
5Julian Sills
6Paul Wetherall16
7Steve Symes
8Bashiru Alimi
9Tony Reid
10Tommy Cass12
11Martyn Lee
12Kenny Ojukwa10
14Ryan Adams
15Michael Brady
16Mazin Ahmad6
17Paul Brady
Match Report By
Kevin O'Connor