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Metropolitan Police 0-0 Kingstonian

Kingstonian's luck deserted them yesterday evening as the Metropolitan Police's defence held firm to break K's run of scoring in 18 consecutive matches. Despite cries of Police brutality, the referee only found his way to the yellow card twice, whilst the upright denied Kingstonian the chance of extending their recent run.

Kingstonian were dominant right from the kick-off, the first chance headed over the bar. Then Bashiru Alimi created a chance on the left wing, skipping a challenge and threading the ball into the box, only for the goalkeeper, Stuart McKenzie, to collect. However, McKenzie then conceded an indirect free-kick, as he gathered up a back pass from his defence. With Alimi and Martyn Lee standing over the ball, Kingstonian were beginning to look very threatening. As the referee blew his whistle, Alimi tapped the ball, and Lee let rip with a rasping effort that rocketed narrowly over the bar.

The Metropolitan Police then began conceding a series of free-kicks. First Lee was tripped out on the left wing. He sent in a deep, high ball that met a Kingstonian head, but McKenzie held the ball safely, despite having two strikers breathing down his neck. Then Alimi was fouled, and Lee's free-kick was collected the goalkeeper. As Kingstonian maintained their strangle hold over the boys in blue, they won a corner on the left. Lee's cross was well placed, and as Richard Taylor rose to meet the ball, he was collared by a clumsy challenge. The referee didn't notice the challenge and the ball was eventually cleared.

Another free-kick came Kingstonian's way, and this time Lee struck the ball hard and low, however the wall were able to deal with it, releasing the ball upfield. As play pushed into Kingstonian's half, a cross to the near post saw two Police marksmen bearing down on Richard Martin. However, the sharp shooters missed their target, giving K's a goal kick.

Kingstonian continued to dominate the centre of the park, enabling them to create chances for James Rose. A Lee cross from the left saw Rose head the ball down into the near post, but McKenzie got down well to save. Then a cross from the right found Rose in space, but he was unable to volley cleanly, and the defence again cleared the ball upfield.

Another Kingstonian corner found Julian Sills, who had time to control the ball before rifling a shot narrowly wide of the post. As another wave of Kingstonian attacks came forward, Lee was tripped and awarded a free-kick, but McKenzie was able to get his body behind the ball to take cleanly. Then Alimi, out wide on the right, took on his marker and beat him, before playing Tony Reid into space. Reid's shot, however, flew over the bar.

Shortly before half-time, Alimi switched to the left to link up with Lee. A clever passage of play was broken up as Alimi was tripped. Lee put his free-kick into the near post with venom, and Alimi was first to the ball, but unable to control it sufficiently, and had to watch as it slipped wide of the post. Thus the players trotted off a half-time with the scores still level at nil-nil.

After half-time, Kingstonian did not let up the pressure. Martyn Lee swung the ball in from a corner kick, which a defender managed to head over his own goalkeeper. The ball was kept in play on the right, and another cross, aimed at Reid, was headed over the bar for another corner. Again Lee sent the ball back into the box, for which McKenzie came, but the long arm of the law failed to gather cleanly, instead relying upon a defender to clear. As Kingstonian worked the ball back upfield, Reid found himself marked by a sleeping policeman, beating his man, before pulling the ball back to Steve Symes for a cross, which was too deep and the ball was cleared.

After another clumsy challenge, the Met Police number 8 found his way into the referee's book, not for the challenge, but for abusive language. Lee's free-kick found Sills at the far post, but his header was saved by McKenzie. Then their number 6 picked himself up a yellow card, for what must be considered a similar offence as his team mate. This time the free-kick came in low at the near post. Number 8 was the first to the ball, and nearly suffered poetic justice for his earlier offence, as the ball ricocheted off his shin and onto the post. However, the ball managed to stay out of the netting and was cleared downfield by the defence.

Shortly afterwards, Kingstonian brought on a couple of fresh faces. Stuart Booth and Tony Reid were replaced by Scott Corbett and Kenny Ojukwa. After the changes, Martyn Lee robbed a defender of possession before making his way through the centre, only to see his raking ball picked up by the defence and cleared.

In the final 10 minutes, the Met Police began to push forward, and nearly created a couple of openings, but were denied by a combination of Martin and his defence, as well as lacking a final ball of real quality. As the seconds ticked away, a final chance out on the right for Kingstonian saw a beautiful curling shot from Paul Wetherall narrowly drift over the bar.

The referee's whistle signalled the end of an intriguing match. Kingstonian had dominated for much of the game, but had been unable to find the goal that would have extended their recent record of scoring to nineteen games. Kingstonian's midfield, in particular, were excellent, winning so much possession and playing with a real fire in their bellies. And so we go to Kingsmeadow on Saturday, hoping that the K's will be able to banish this game's sense of 'arrested development'.

Tue 17th Jan 2006
Imber Court
Isthmian League Division One
Metropolitan Police0
1Richard Martin
2Paul Wetherall
3Steve Symes
4Steve Potterill
5Julian Sills
6Richard Taylor
7Stuart Booth14
8Bashiru Alimi
9Tony Reid16
10James Rose
11Martyn Lee
12Mazin Ahmad
14Scott Corbett7
15Michael Brady
16Kenny Ojukwa9
17Paul Brady
Match Report By
Darren Bell