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Kingstonian 2-0 Horsham YMCA

A stunning solo effort from NJ Lampton and a clinical finish by Saheed Sankoh gave Kingstonian victory in this frenetic game. The result meant Kingstonian maintained their 100% start to the season and left Horsham still looking for their first points. Alan Dowson was almost able to name the same starting eleven from the previous victory against the Corinthian Casuals, the one change being Scott Corbett coming in as a replacement for the unavailable Gavin Cartwright.

The game began at a high tempo, with both sides creating chances to open the scoring. Early on, Saheed Sankoh won the ball on the half-way line, before threading a pass through the middle of the defence to Wes Goggin. Before Goggin was able to latch onto the pass Chris May, in the Horsham goal, was able to clear, but only for a throw in to the home side.

Just moments later Horsham won a throw in by the corner flag. A long throw bounced across the goal mouth, where Matt Outfield found the space for a shot having reacted to Kingstonian's failure to clear the ball. His powerful effort was deflected by the legs of Jason Turley into the safety of Luke Garrard's hands.

Kingstonian were sometimes wasteful in possession, often putting themselves under pressure. A free kick in an attacking position near the Horsham penalty box was somehow turned into a counter attack. What seemed like a good idea on the training ground nearly backfired, as three Kingstonian players stood in front of the taker, acting as a shield. The ball was bounced off the back of their legs, in an attempt to tee up a long range effort, but was charged down by Horsham and consequently put the K's on the defensive.

However, the midfield was impressive, and continued to create opportunities for the home side. Man of the Match Wes Goggin being declared offside by the narrowest of margins after racing past the static defence.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the pitch, Matt Russell headed the ball over Tommy Moorhouse, pitching Steve Davis into a one-on-one with Garrard. As Kingstonian's defence stood still, looking for the linesman flag, Davis seemed prepared to take his time. However, Garrard sensed his opportunity and pounced, plucking the ball away from Davis's feet to remove the danger.

After twenty five minutes Kingstonian had to make an enforced substitution, bringing on Simon Huckle to replace Simon Sobihy, with Jon Coke taking over captain's duties. However the change did not disrupt Kingstonian's charge forwards, as Corbett's deep cross from the right wing found Bobby Traynor inside the box. Traynor hit a volley back across the face of goal, but Sankoh was unable to make a clean connection, his tame effort dropping into May's hands.

Skipper Sobihy on the ball
Photo: Chris Hatton - Kingstonian FC

Nevertheless, it was the home side that made the breakthrough before half-time. Traynor again proving himself an unselfish player as he fed the ball through the Horsham lines, picking out NJ Lampton sprinting into the box. As the angle narrowed, Lampton looked to take the ball back across the goal and shot. May reacted by pushing the ball into thepath of Sankoh, who took the opportunity to add to his goal tally, placing his shot beyond the Horsham goalkeeper to give Kingstonian the lead.

Under the glare of the sunshine, and with very little breeze, Kingstonian began the first half with a charge towards the Horsham goal. Wes Goggin went on a mazy run into the box but over-ran the ball. The K's kept up the pressure until Lampton became involved in a tussle and gave away a free kick. Bobby Traynor won the ball back, skipping two challenges before unleashing a rasping effort which a defender blocked. Traynor picked up the rebound but his second attempt was driven straight at May.

However it was NJ Lampton's turn to put the screws on Horsham. Picking up the ball on the right wing, he ran towards the centre of the pitch, bypassing the challenges of three Horsham midfielders. Lampton changed direction, heading into the box, and in doing so skilfully controlling the ball past two more defenders. With just the keeper to beat NJ opted to round May before slotting the ball into the back of the net to seal one of the finest pieces of individual skill seen at Kingsmeadow for some time.

Teammates hail NJ wondergoal
Photo: Chris Hatton - Kingstonian FC

After the second goal both sides began to make changes. James Rose replaced Sankoh in the 67th minute, with Tommy Moorhouse coming off to make way for the lively Akwasi Edusei in the 80th. The substitutions broke up the continuity of the match, which played into Horsham's hands, as Kingstonian had been the dominant force of the second half up to this point.

Horsham began to press forwards more often now, with Garrard called into action to tip a beautifully struck free-kick wide of the post. Michael De'Ath broke through the ever tiring Kingstonian defensive lines, forcing Garrard to produce another good save, low and to his right, however the linesman's flag had been raised.

In the dying moments of the game confusion reigned around the Kingstonian penalty box. As Scott Corbett became involved in a tussle with a Horsham striker just to the side of the penalty spot, the referee blew his whistle. The Horsham players must have been as convinced that they had been awarded a penalty as the Kingstonian defenders were that Corbett had been fouled. But the referee awarded a free-kick to the attackers a yard outside of the box, which was placed above the cross bar for a goal-kick. However the Horsham efforts were too little too late, as Kingstonian held on to win the game.

Saturday 25th August 2007
(Horsham YMCA H)
Alan Dowson interview
[WMA file - 3:12 - 770Kb]

Sat 25th Aug 2007
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Isthmian League Division One South
Sankoh, Lampton
Horsham YMCA0
1Luke Garrard
2Jason Turley
3Simon Sobihy15
4Tommy Moorhouse16
5Scott CorbettCautioned
6Jon Coke
7Neil Lampton
8Wes Goggin
9Bobby Traynor
10Saheed Sankoh12
11Liam Cockerill
12James Rose10
14Danny Summers
15Simon Huckle3
16Akwasi Edusei4
17Luke Naughton
Match Report By
Darren Bell