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Leatherhead 0-1 Kingstonian

Simon Sobihy shone as his goal secured Kingstonian's season-long struggle against the drop zone. His looping header from the left passed over Leatherhead 'keeper Paul Borg, whose out-stretched hands flailed in the air left behind, after Lee Riddell's free kick in front of the main stand on the right.

This came on the day that Kingstonian's next opponents, Godalming Town lost, when only one point would secure the mathematical survival. Sobihy's header came in the 34th minute. It sparked off two more goals that were subsequently ruled illegal.

First Bobby Traynor's last minute low shot from Lee Rundell's corner kick on the left again, was ruled out after pushing in the penalty area. This was later confirmed minutes later to a disbelieving Alan Dowson as both teams trudged off, leaving the three match officials alone near the main stand in the Leatherhead area. Then in the second half debutant and substitute David Francis had another goal disallowed after the ball was judged to have carried over the line, in spite of the many complaints from the travelling away fines, who made up the majority of the 306 fans and have commented since that it was not over the goal line.

The first half had begun with initial pressure by the home side. In the fourth minute James Greenaway was eventually contained after battling his way through to the goal area. Then David Shin backed into Luke Garrard minutes later, knocking him off balance and leaving the defence to secure the goal area. This they did and released Saheed Sankoh to break out and run to the other end. He passed to Glenn Boosey, who was then closed down.

It was not until the 21st minute that the Sankoh Boosey combination worked again and Kingstonian were able to mount a meaningful attack, as Garrard was called into action with a series of saves. Sankoh passed again to Boosey, whose low shot to the right of keeper had him stretched to the full as it went wide. Then Boosey broke over the half way line and passed to Traynor on the left. He then passed back to Shin before the home side managed top wrest the ball off.

Sankoh once again combined with Boosey, just before the half-hour mark, but as the ball bounced up off a tired pitch it hit Boosey's hand and the referee blew. Minutes later Boosey nearly rattled the crossbar after his 25 yard shot rocketed just above it. He had been fed by Shin, this time, on the right, and Leatherhead 'keeper Paul Borg would have been well beaten. Two minutes later came Sobihy's header as the Leatherhead defence failed to cope with Riddell's free kick. Julien Thompson for the home side came close to equalising after a Tommy Moorhouse error, but his low shot went to the left.

The second half started with two stoppages, something that nearly counted against Kingstonian, after referee Stuart Butler allowed a generous 10 minutes for them and substitutions later at the end of the game.

In the 47th minute Shin was bought down by a high tackle in the midriff out on the right flank, which resulted in a yellow for defender Paul Sears. Barely had the game resumed after the two minutes of stoppage, when Wes Goggin ended up on the pitch prone as a result of another attack. With grass burns and a ripped shirt he had to go back to the bench. Both were able to resume play in spite of these.

In the 57th minute Shin won a free kick 30 yards out and in from the right. Traynor's kick went sailing over the defence into the keeper's arms. Leatherhead's Greenaway soon afterwards then had a powerful shot deflected to the right before Garrard managed to tip it over the top. The game then descended into a flurry of cards and substitutions. With Leatherhead players becoming frustrated, tempers began to boil under the warm spring sun. Four of their players were booked for dissent.

Ks brought on Neil Lampton for Boosey, Francis for Riddell and Danny Summers for Sankoh, while Leatherhead bought on one more of their three named substitutes. With the 90 minutes up, the referee made his brief starring appearance finding 10 minutes from somewhere in the second half. Both sides used the time to prise open the goal area again. First Thompson's diving header from the right beat Garrard only for Stuart Reeks to clear the ball over the goal almost on the line. Then from the corner Traynor managed to take the ball and running up field found Francis, who shot beat the goalkeeper only for the assistant referee Barry Jarmer to flag for offside. And finally Summers' powerful shot went over the crossbar.

With most fans hoping for a victory, but believing a draw possible, an ever-confident Kingstonian are finding that they can take on teams near the top and hold them. Another Garrard clean sheet also augurs well, as both Sobihy and Moorhouse played their part in a better defence. While they face Godalming Town on Saturday, a team almost destined for the drop, the trip to Maidstone will be a stern test. They ought to come away with a point too, if they play like they did over Easter.

Monday 9th April 2007
(Leatherhead A)
Martin Tyler interview
[WMA file - 7:41 - 1,845Kb]

Mon 9th Apr 2007
Fetcham Grove
Isthmian League Division One South
1Luke Garrard
2Stuart Reeks
3Simon Sobihy
4Lee Riddell15
5Tommy Moorhouse
6Wes Goggin
7David Shin
8Glenn BooseyCautioned12
9Saheed Sankoh14
10Bobby Traynor
11Nick Rundell
12Neil Lampton8
14Danny Summers9
15Dave FrancisCautioned4
16Martyn Lee
17Paul Wetherall
Match Report By