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Horsham YMCA 2-3 Kingstonian

In his final interview for K's Web, Stuart McIntyre warned that it would take more than just a change of manager to overhaul K's fortunes. He was quite right, as evidenced by Alan Dowson losing his first three games in charge with the squad he inherited, but the plethora of new players that the ex-Walton boss has brought to Kingsmeadow are already starting to show that maybe they can make the difference.

Kingstonian made it seven points from nine with a win at Victor Gladwish's Horsham YMCA, having produced some of their best attacking football since the fine run of form they enjoyed this time last year. The game was hairier than it might have been, thanks to continuing lapses in a defence that has now kept just one clean sheet in the last 27 games, but the strong intelligent forward play of Bobby Traynor and his new team-mates eventually manifested itself in a 3-2 win.

Traynor took a share of the blame for Saturday's failure to beat Sittingbourne having missed a glaring chance to seal the game but he waited just three days to make amends. His strength, guile and sharpness were always a handful for Horsham and he eventually turned the game in ten second half minutes which put K's 3-1 ahead having been level at a goal apiece.

Quick to capitalise on a poor 65th minute backpass, he powered in behind the Horsham defence and did superbly well to hold off his marker and blast the ball past American goalkeeper Dean Ruddy. Ten minutes later some fine skill on the left allowed him to put in a perfect cross which left Ruddy and his defence in two minds. Gary Drewett, by far the best of McIntyre's signings for K's, stole into the gap and chested onto the post before following the ball into the net with his hip.

K's were well in control of the game by this point but the first half had been one of missed opportunities. Debutant Wayne Finnie headed wide in the fifth minute and a Traynor free kick came close on twelve. Danny Summers, also a debutant and one of seven starters who are new to the club under Dowson, should have scored after Drewett played him in but put the ball wide of the near post.

K's eventually took the lead on the half-hour mark, Ruddy parrying Wes Goggin's low shot back to the powerful midfielder who blasted into the top corner, but the lead did not last until half-time. K's regular habit of leaving opponents unmarked in the box reared its ugly head again with Dan Sackman the beneficiary at the far post. His effort hit the post but Scott Kirkwood was left with a tap-in from the rebound.

Dowson rallied his troops at half-time though and they came out with renewed purpose. Ruddy parried a fine Summers drive wide for a corner and then tipped a Drewett cross-shot over the bar before Traynor eventually created the double-breakthrough.

Nonetheless K's were determined to make things difficult for themselves and allowed YMCA back into the game in injury-time. No-one was in the box to challenge for Martyn Lee's early cross and Horsham broke down the right. Steve Davies played the ball in for Matt Russell who calmly dinked the ball past the advancing Garrard with Finnie just unable to get back in time to scramble it to safety.

K's were able to hold on for the last few minutes though and avoided throwing away three points which they thoroughly deserved after a fine performance. Time will tell if the last three games have been a turning point or just a blip on the radar of K's miserable season, but Dowson certainly seems to be rebuilding the club in the right direction.

Saturday 30th Dec 2006
(Horsham YMCA A)
Report of the abandoned game
[available here]

Tue 6th Feb 2007
Gorings Mead
Isthmian League Division One South
Horsham YMCA2
Goggin, Traynor, Drewett
1Luke Garrard
2Jon Coke16
3Liam Cockerill
4Wayne Finnie
5Simon Sobihy
6Julian Sills
7Gary Drewett
8Neil Lampton15
9Danny Summers14
10Bobby Traynor
11Wes GogginCautioned
12Glenn Boosey
14Simon Huckle9
15Martyn Lee8
16Lee Riddell2
17Stephen Windegaard
Match Report By
Simon Grier