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Kingstonian 2-3 AFC Sudbury

Kingstonian and AFC Sudbury put on a cup tie to remember at Kingsmeadow, but after the Sussex side grabbed it with an injury-time goal, having entertained the fans will be of little consolation to K's.

Julian Sills returned from injury to replace the now-injured Tommy Moorhouse in the only change for K's. They could not have got off to a worse start however, as a free header from Neil Calver in the very first minute put Sudbury ahead after a Luke Hammond free kick.

It could have got even worse for K's but Andrew Claydon fired over from an acute angle before the home side eventually settled down. They did in fact begin to take control of the game, but were unable to find a breakthrough before half time. Tony Reid and Danny Morris were unable to get to the ball after Nathan Munson fumbled a Glenn Boosey cross, Mazin Ahmad fired straight at the goalkeeper and Donald George cleared a Stephen Broad shot off the line.

Sills headed over from a Martyn Lee corner and then the midfielder came close himself from a free kick. Lee was having one of his best games in a long time, but Boosey's match would be over before half-time - stretchered off as a result of a poor challenge from behind that the referee did not produce a yellow card for.

It did not take long after the break though for Kingstonian's chances and possession to manifest themselves in a pair of goals to give the home side a deserved lead. After a nice run down the left by Ahmad, substitute Dean Lodge stole in at the near post to beat Munson with an accurate glancing header. A minute later and K's were in dreamland, a driving run and audacious angled chip from Lee clearing Munson, with Morris heading the ball in from right on the line to make sure.

Suddenly K's were 2-1 up and looking well on their way to the next round. Reid had a fine chance as he led a counter-attack but instead of passing to Lodge, in acres of space, he shot wide.

Meanwhile, Calver, brought off for his own good in the first game, was letting his frustration show again. He picked up a yellow card and then continually pushed his luck by criticising the referee. He was lucky to escape a second yellow after hurling the ball into the ground on the hour mark before eventually walking on 65 minutes, arguably a game and a half too late, for a foul on Lodge.

Quite why Sudbury's manager did not withdraw Calver before he could see red as he had two days ago is a mystery, but the event proved to be a turning point - in a most unexpected direction. A goal and a man up, K's took their foot off the gas and the chances dried up.

Sudbury on the other hand rallied against the lethargic home side. Darren Bethell came close with a header from a corner before eventually grabbing a 79th minute equaliser. K's had become sloppy giving away a number of free kicks and when one of them was hit long and knocked down, Bethell hit a fierce shot that deflected wickedly past Garrard.

Bethell may have scored again a minute later but Luke Garrard bravely rushed out to deny him. The scores were level once more though and soon, so were the players on the pitch. Richard Taylor was turned by James Rowe and with the Sudbury striker bearing down on Garrard, the K's centre-half stopped his progress with a cynical professional foul for which he was dismissed.

Danny Lavender replaced Reid in an attempt shore up the defence but in injury game K's again messed up the defence of a set piece. An injury time corner was headed in at the far post to give Sudbury a lead that seemed most unlikely at the time Calver was dismissed.

K's had one more throw of the dice but it was spectacularly wasted. Lavender chipped the ball into the box, Scott Corbett headed it superbly across goal and the ball fell to Steve Potterill. The former Bromley defender was in a perfect position to equalise but volleyed over from six yards and K's were out of the Trophy at the first hurdle.

Sudbury probably deserved their win over the balance of the two matches. They are a friendly club who play good football and it is hard to begrudge them their success. Nonetheless, K's will be bitterly disappointed at not finishing them off when 2-1 up and in charge of the game.

Through the game K's offered plenty - but playing Ahmad, Lee and Lodge together for most of it that is to be expected. For possibly the same reason though, K's were always shaky at the back and just did not do well enough defending set plays.

K's defensive problems are shown in the fact that they have only kept two clean sheets this season - this is simply not good enough and more and more wins are being lost this way. For parts of the game K's were simply awesome, but there seems to be no consistency of stringing this level of performance together across ninety minutes. Perhaps the new training facilities the club will be using this week will help and perhaps Stuart McIntyre can instil more discipline in the players to perform for ninety minutes.

Monday 23rd October 2006
(AFC Sudbury H)
Stuart McIntyre interview
[WMA file - 7:02 - 1,687Kb]

Mon 23rd Oct 2006
Kingsmeadow Stadium
FA Trophy 1st qualifying round replay
Lodge, Morris
AFC Sudbury3
1Luke Garrard
2Steve Potterill
3Martyn Lee
4Stephen Broad
5Julian Sills
6Richard TaylorSent Off
7Scott CorbettCautioned
8Daniel Morris
9Tony ReidCautioned14
10Mazin Ahmad
11Glenn Boosey17
12Pablo Jenkins
14Danny Lavender9
15Yinka Salaam
16Jon Coke
17Dean Lodge11
Match Report By
Simon Grier