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Leatherhead 1-1 Kingstonian (AET, 3-4 on penalties)

A clash with local rivals Leatherhead at Fetcham Grove brought with it plenty of expectation, ultimately all fulfilled by the K's second successful penalty shoot out of the competition, and our third in a row at luckless Leatherhead.

Before the seemingly inevitable penalty shoot out - the match itself. In hindsight, it might have been better just to have had the penalties. Make no mistake, this was a veritable War & Peace of a football match, minute upon grinding minute of drudgery in the freezing cold, battled out on a field which looked as if a herd of buffalo had stampeded it across it five minutes before kick off. Both sides played a fully committed game, neither made much progress. Certainly the conditions did not seem to help either side, it was increasingly difficult for the players to run with the ball, and any pass over 10 yards seemed an over-achievement.

So much of the first 90 minutes was hard work, at times painfully so. Some moments stood out. Ahmad's free-kick from the left on 18 minutes produced a header from a Tanners defender which clipped off their post, inches from an own goal. Unfortunately, Alimi shot wide from the resulting Taylor long throw. Kenny Ojukwa ran hard in the first half, Tony Reid ran hard all game. Martyn Lee replaced Ojukwa at half-time. In the second half, we produced our best move of the game, a good passing link-up through midfield resulted in a great cross but Scott Corbett could only clip his header at the keeper.

In goal for us - Alan Hughes, still on the books and much practised in the Kent league. Alan had a good game for us, making some sharp saves especially in extra time. In the second half, he seized the ball off the forward's feet after he had bested our defenders; in extra time Hughes tipped over a decent chance and clawed another dangerous ball wide as Leatherhead sought to capitalise on Brady's sending off.

Extra time promised little else but penalties until Leatherhead bustled forward. A Tanner's free-kick hits the post - the follow-up seemed the simplest of tap-ins but the Leatherhead player succeeds only in hoofing the ball a mile over the bar. What a let-off.

Then, Mick Brady, up to now admirably solid although booked for a nasty challenge after 10 minutes, was forced to claw his opponent to the ground as sight of goal beckoned. The referee had no doubts, and Brady marched.

With Ks down to ten men, Leatherhead threatened at once, Hughes came to K's rescue with the saves described above. Sills came on for ex-Tanner Wetherall as we shored up our defence for the closing 15 minutes. Then, an amazing moment. Martyn Lee deftly floated in a free kick, and as the keeper hesitated, Scott Corbett managed to toe poke the ball into the goal after 109 minutes - surely no penalties required this time?

But alas - Leatherhead charged immediately forwards, and calmly dissected our defence like a scientist does to a laboratory rat. The equaliser, coming only a minute after the K's goal, was deflating and penalties once more seemed inevitable.

What of the penalties? The K's fans had been fortunate to secure themselves the best position behind the goal from which they witnessed a confident finish from the first two Leatherhead players; fortunately Alimi (the only survivor from our last penalty win at Fetcham Grove), driving the ball straight down the middle, and Corbett proved their equals. The third Leatherhead player - a miss, a Johnny Wilkinson job! Martyn Lee - surely - but the ball hits the bar! Two all, three penalties taken.

Leatherhead's fourth penalty left Hughes with no chance. 3-2 to Leatherhead. Ahmad has had some difficulties from the spot this season, but this time he levelled it 3-3 with a deft effort. Leatherhead's fifth penalty - their keeper Tommy Dunn - fires it high and wide. 3-3 - Tony Reid to win the match - but no, the Leatherhead keeper sprawls to his left and scrambles the shot away.

It is all back in the balance again. The next Leatherhead player strides up - woefully wide! Glee amongst the Ks fans, surely this time - Sills moves up, strikes the ball into the net, gloriously into the net. Cue mass joy on the terraces from one set of fans. Tony Reid leaps into assorted arms. Everyone is ecstatic - the semi-finals, here we come!

Tue 21st Feb 2006
Fetcham Grove
Surrey Senior Cup quarter final
aet - Kingstonian win 4-3 on penalties
1Alan Hughes
2Steve PotterillCautioned
3Jon Coke
4Scott Corbett
5Michael BradyCautioned and Sent Off
6Richard Taylor
7Mazin Ahmad
8Bashiru AlimiCautioned
9Tony Reid
10Kenny Ojukwa16
11Paul Wetherall12
12Julian Sills11
14James Rose
15Stuart Booth
16Martyn Lee10
17Paul Brady
Match Report By
Jonathan Burt