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Whyteleafe 0-2 Kingstonian

Kingstonian hadn't won two successive competitive matches since April 2004, but following the 2-1 victory against Ringmer on Saturday, that is exactly what they were chasing today. The weather was as it should be on an August bank holiday and the summer sun combined with the picturesque forest scenery to put the fans in a positive mood before the kick off.

K's began with a more conventional formation than was seen against Ringmer, with Kenny Ojukwa starting upfront alongside Panter. Taylor was picked for left back and, despite the confusing shirt number, Ahmad played on the left wing.

The game began at quick pace, with Whyteleafe making the first of the chances with Mark Hammond shooting over the bar after five minutes, and skipper Richard Williams following with a driving shot two minutes later, which was deflected away from goal by Stuart Reeks. But the K's responded quickly and a confident long throw from Chuck Martini found Ahmad, who took on the Whyteleafe defence to put a cross along the ground. Ojukwa and Leafe's keeper, Wastell, both went for the ball before it bounced through to Panter who was left clear to poke it into the back of the net, but the linesman's flag had already been raised.

Exchanging pleasantaries, no doubt

K's maintained pressure through the middle section of the first half, with shots from Bennetts and Panter going wide and over respectively. Ahmad continued to trouble the defenders down the left side and a well placed cross was desperately headed away, but only as far as Ojukwa on the far side of the box, who held up the ball well to supply Panter with an opportunity. Panter elected to cross to Lee who struck just wide of goal.

Ahmad and Ojukwa continued to link up well and on the half hour mark Ahmad shot from the left hand side into the bottom corner, producing Wastell's best save of the match. Kingstonian's persistence was soon rewarded, when on the 33rd minute Richard Taylor's long throw into the box was met by a climbing Ojukwa, who headed cleanly past Wastell to put Kingston 1-0 up. Ojukwa seemed delighted with his goal, which saw the K's go in ahead at the half-time break.

Kingstonian came out for the second half with a confidence boost and immediately pressed on for another goal. Within a minute they'd won a fee kick and Ahmad delivered an excellent cross which met the head of Scott Corbett, and was knocked down for Ojukwa, whose shot whipped across the face of the goal. It didn't take long for K's persistent pressure to pay off, and on the 52nd minute another set piece doubled the advantage. Unmarked on the edge of the box, Sills produced a superb run forward to the back post to head home Martyn Lee's well-placed corner. Following the ball into the back of the net, Sills celebrated with a pumped fist to the crowd, as his goal not only sealed the game for Kingstonian, but also set him up as the current highest goal scorer for the club. But we are only four matches into the season.

Initially the pressure continued and K's came close to a third when Corbett took a shot from an Ahmad corner which was blocked on the ground by the Leafe's keeper. Martyn Lee continued to persevere in midfield and won the ball in a tight situation allowing him to play in Ahmad whose shot was matched by Wastell.

Gravity-defying stuff

The explosive way in which the K's had started the second half was inevitably unsustainable and the middle section of the second half was played cooler and more collected. Whyteleafe had a couple of opportunities, but made little. Their best chance came when a free kick led to a goal-mouth scuffle allowing Andrew Martin to head towards the corner of the goal, which was destined to pull one back but for an excellent clearance off the line by Sills.

The rest of the second half was fairly quiet, before a last burst of excitement in stoppage time. Lee played in substitute Tony Reid who blasted wide into the stand. Moments later, Whyteleafe broke quickly to produce a strong strike from substitute Carlton Murray-Price, the first real test for the K's keeper. But Martini was every bit as good as the shot and got one hand down to keep it out before Dickens cleared to safety.

It is fair to say the Whyteleafe will probably not be the toughest team that Kingstonian will have to face in this league, but by no means are they the worst. Whilst there are definite areas in the team which could do with improvement, they played well overall and there were a number of excellent performances. Sills continued to provide a strong head in defence, and Alimi and Lee held together excellently in midfield. Ahmad gave the opposition defenders plenty to think about and Ojukwa played with pace and commitment. If Kingstonian can keep both the level of play and the confidence from this match, we can look forward to a strong season, but the goals must keep coming.

Mon 29th Aug 2005
Church Road
Isthmian League Division One
Ojukwa, Sills
1Chuck Martini
2Mazin Ahmad15
3Richard Taylor
4Scott Corbett
5Julian Sills14
6Stuart Reeks
7Scott Bennetts
8Bashiru Alimi
9Kenny Ojukwa
10Damian Panter12
11Martyn Lee
12Tony Reid10
14Michael Brady5
15Ian Dickens2
16Christian Gonzalez
17Jon Ashwood
Match Report By
Kevin O'Connor