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Kingstonian 2-2 Tooting & Mitcham

Four hundred and twenty one fans made their way to Kingsmeadow this evening for the clash between high flying Tooting and Mitcham and the form side in the league, Kingstonian. The fans were treated to two-all draw that could have gone either way, but on reflection neither side deserved victory.

With Kingstonian attacking the Athletics End, Tooting kicked off the first half. And it was the visitors who had the better of the opening spell, threading a couple of passes into the box for their pacey strikers, to be denied first by the goalkeeper, and then by a defender.

However, Kingstonian were not short of chances too. A free-kick was awarded to Kingstonian on the edge of the box after an infringement by a Tooting defender, and Mazin Ahmad stepped up to take. He curled the ball towards the far left post, and the goalkeeper had to make an agile save, pushing the ball onto the crossbar and out for a corner. A short pass from the corner teed up Martyn Lee, who sent a piledriver of a shot into the near post, rattling the woodwork.

Kingstonian were then awarded another free-kick, this time for a foul on Bashiru Alimi on the left wing. The poor free-kick was cleared by Tooting, who were then able to break, until a late challenge sent the runner sprawling. The resulting free-kick found the unmarked head of a Tooting player, who headed wide of the far post. Minutes Later a goalmouth scramble caused further concern for Kingstonian. The ball appeared to be kicked out of the goalkeeper's hands, but fell to a Kingstonian shirt and was just cleared.

As Kingstonian worked the ball upfield, Kenny Ojukwa found himself in space on the left wing. While the fans and everyone expected a cross into the box, Ojukwa fancied his chance, and sent the ball towards the near post, catching everyone by surprise, including the Tooting goalkeeper, who scrambled to his near post in time the see the ball hit the post and bounce back towards the advancing K's forward line. However, a Tooting defender had read the danger and was able to clear the ball upfield.

As the first half came to an end, Kingstonian found themselves in the Tooting penalty box. Ojukwa, with the ball near his feet, was adjudged to have been pulled down and the referee blew for a penalty. Up stepped Mazin Ahmad, who struck the spotkick low and to his left. The Tooting goalkeeper got down well but was able only to parry the ball back into the path of Ahmad, who neatly put it in the net at the second time of asking, on the stroke of half time. KINGSTONIAN 1 - 0 Tooting & Mitcham United.

The early stage of the second half was dominated by the battle for possession of the ball in the middle of the park. Ahmad did manage one chance, finding himself free outside the box only to volley over, although the ball had taken a deflection. However, Tooting began to reassert themselves on the game. Awarded a free-kick almost next to the corner flag, they sent a low cross into the centre of the box. A mistimed K's foot sent the ball heading across the face of goal, and required some goalmouth acrobatics to clear the ball.

However, Tooting continued to press, working a corner on the right. Ryan Gray crossed the ball straight onto the unmarked head of Vernon Francis, whose angled header beat everyone. Kingstonian 1 - TOOTING & MITCHAM UNITED 1.

Kingstonian then pressed the self-destruct button. Martyn Lee was adjudged to have committed two fouls that gave Tooting possession further up the park, and was then unfortunate in provided a glancing header to the feet of Danny Twin, who turned goalwards before his shot squirmed under Kingstonian legs and the goalkeeper. Kingstonian 1 - TOOTING & MITCHAM UNITED 2.

Tooting continued to press forwards, and created a couple of openings through the middle of the park by combining strength with speed. The tricky Amadou Kouman nearly found himself one on one with the goalkeeper, but for an offside flag to be raised.

However, by committing players forwards when they had the lead, Tooting allowed Kingstonian to work their way back into the game. A Kingstonian break was brought to an abrupt end when the Tooting defender upended the attacker. Mazin Ahmad took the resulting free-kick, sending it across the face of goal, and Sills rose the highest to plant the later equaliser into the back of the net. KINGSTONIAN 2 - 2 Tooting & Mitcham United.

Shortly afterwards the referee brought the game to an end. It was disappointing that Kingstonians great winning run was halted through a combination of poor defending and conceding unnecessary free-kicks, although the players should be credited with having the spirit to come back from a goal down themselves. It should also be remembered that Tooting & Mitcham are second in this division at present, nevertheless, this was not the second half vintage that we have come to expect from Kingstonian this season, and let us hope we can get back to winning ways against Newport IOW on Saturday.

Mon 9th Jan 2006
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Isthmian League Division One
Ahmad, Sills
Tooting & Mitcham2
1Richard Martin
2Paul WetherallCautioned
3Steve SymesCautioned
4Tommy MoorhouseCautioned14
5Julian Sills
6Richard Taylor
7Mazin Ahmad
8Bashiru Alimi
9Tony Reid
10Kenny Ojukwa15
11Martyn Lee16
12Stuart Booth
14Michael Brady4
15James Rose10
16Steve Potterill11
17Mark Torcaso
Match Report By
Darren Bell