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Kingstonian 1-1 Ramsgate

Despite their goalkeeper's contention that it has the best playing surface in the league, Ramsgate must be sick of the sight of Kingsmeadow and all who play there. For the fourth time in a little over three weeks they faced a team who call Jack Goodchild Way home, yet in those four games they have failed to record a single win. FA Trophy elimination against AFC Wimbledon, following a fractious tie which went to a replay, has now been followed up by two draws in the league against K's for the high-flyers recently promoted from the Go Travel Kent League.

This game did little to live up to the drama of the six-goal thriller between the two sides on the Kent coast a fortnight previously, as the match had little flow to it and was weighed down by too many free kicks. Shots on target were at a premium and the 1-1 scoreline was unfair to neither side. However, with Ramsgate seeking to maintain their promotion push and K's still trying to kick-start their league campaign from their woeful position of 18th, it is doubtful that either side would be particularly happy with a mere point.

Any self-respecting football fan is as loathe to use the phrase "It was a game of two halves" as they are to mimic the moronic "Easy, easy" chant which is seemingly sweeping the nation's playgrounds and terraces, but Kingstonian seem determined to force their followers into using it. Like a week previously against Cray, K's first-half performance was once again well below par as they fell a goal behind, before the second saw a marked improvement. Kenny Ojukwa broke his goal drought with a well-taken equaliser on 74 minutes but K's could not find the momentum to push for victory.

With Martyn Lee suffering a hamstring injury, Tony Reid was forced to start on the left wing with James Rose coming in t the side up front. Scott Corbett and Richard Martin's returns from injury allowed them to return in place of Wayne Noad and Mark Torcaso, however.

K's had plenty of possession early on but in the absence of Lee there was too little creativity to unlock the well-organised, if at times ungainly, visiting defence. There were a few moments of action in the Ramsgate box - Ojukwa pulled a shot wide across goal after a splendid long ball from Jon Coke, Mazin Ahmad had a shot from a corner tipped over the bar by verbose goalkeeper Danny Twyman and Tony Reid headed over at the far post after a splendid run and cross from Ahmad. K's also had a penalty appeal after another Ahmad cross was cleared by Ollie Schulz only to hit the hand of James Gregory. However, it was ball to hand and the referee made the right call in not pointing to the spot.

The two best chances of the half fell to the visitors though, both following counter-attacks, and it was from the latter of these that they scored. Early on Shaun Welford had forced a good save from Martin but on 38 minutes he met a Michael Yianni cross with a superb diving header. Martin did well to get a leg to it but the power behind Welford's effort meant he was unable to react quickly enough to keep it out.

Kingstonian's frustration continued after the break. A splendid Ahmad run allowed him to play Ojukwa through on goal but he took the ball too far in rounding Twyman. The defence recovered and when the ball was eventually sent back to Corbett on the edge of the box he blasted over. Alimi and Ahmad fired wide from distance and Rose had a header saved as K's increased the pressure but failed to create anything clear-cut.

Twyman was getting increasingly distracted by K's vocal support and it showed midway through the half when a poor goal kick went straight to Rose. The young striker failed to capitalise though and was shortly withdrawn for Paul Wetherall, allowing Reid to move into a more attacking role. This quickly paid dividends for K's, as Reid advanced well down the left and picked out Ojukwa on the penalty spot with a low cross. Ojukwa was able to take an amount of time that may well have left Ramsgate's boss fuming before coolly lifting the ball over the advancing Tywman to level the scores.

The final fifteen minutes were a damp squib however and neither side ever truly looked like finding a winner. Both Martin and Twyman commanded their areas well snuffing out the aerial threat, whilst only rarely being tested by shots on target. A mini-brawl broke out in the K's box on 82 minutes and eventually Ojukwa picked up the first booking of the match on 87 minutes - an event that was arguably long overdue.

Ramsgate are a tough side who have done well in both league and cup this season; the result is nothing to sneeze at for K's but the fact remains that if their appalling league position is going to be improved on then wins need to start coming from somewhere - it is two months since the side has won in the league and however K's look at it, that is simply not good enough.

Mon 5th Dec 2005
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Isthmian League Division One
1Richard Martin
2Jonathan Coke
3Richard Taylor
4Scott Corbett
5Julian Sills
6Mazin Ahmad
7Steve Symes
8Bashiru Alimi
9Tony Reid
10Kenny OjukwaCautioned
11James Rose16
12Steven Sanders
14Ryan Adams
15Michael Brady
16Paul Wetherall11
17Mark Torcaso
Match Report By
Simon Grier