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Kingstonian 1-0 Leatherhead

Kingstonian are back in the last play-off position, after a fourth league win in a row, with a Tommy Williams' goal in the 11th minute against local rivals Leatherhead.

Repeating last year's Easter Monday fixture, albeit at home, combined with play-off rivals Worthing's draw in their South Coast derby meant that K's are now back in the play-off zone for the end of the season with only five games left.

With Bobby Traynor flattened as he ran towards the box from the left Williams took a free kick with his right foot that went past the wall and just carried on until the back of the net by the far post finally caught it and stopped it. Aaron France, in the goal, was beaten.

Tommy Williams strikes a free kick
Photo: Chris Hatton - Kingstonian FC

And that was it as far as goals were concerned, with Kingstonian recording their first one-goal victory since before Christmas but as has been since then a few more goals could have gone in as both 'keepers were kept busy. France was busier than Luke Garrard.

Again the home side dominated the early shots but Lynvall Duncan had the first chance on goal for Leatherhead in the eighth minute. He held a cross from the right but was unable to do anything with it. Three minutes later Williams converted the free kick to score the only goal of the game.

Tommy Williams free kick leaves Aaron France stranded
Photo: Chris Hatton - Kingstonian FC

Almost immediately Traynor nearly doubled the advantage when he tried to latch on to a high ball but France was able to capture the ball. And then France once again denied another Traynor chance when a Wayne Finnie corner found the head of NJ Lampton before France intervened.

Finally the visitors struck back with first Dave Stevens being pulled up for off-side after a long break from his own goal area and then two minutes later, in the 24th minute, saw striker Billy Marshall's shot go over the bar. And then a free kick minutes later, well held by Garrard, began a classic counter punch as Dean Lodge found Danny Summers. Once again France tipped the ball over the top and, ultimately over the stand at the Athletics End.

With the wind, the occasional snow flurry, sleet and rain fall, on their backs Kingstonian racked up their tempo and in 29th minute Summers once again could not beat France. Traynor was then denied after Lampton picked up a misdirected pass and launched himself back at the Leatherhead goal.

Traynor was once again denied after Gavin Cartwright passed to Summers and the ball was plucked athletically out of the air by France with Traynor ready to pounce. Summers continued with a header just over the left corner of the goal.

Danny Summers scratches his head
Photo: Chris Hatton - Kingstonian FC

For Leatherhead it was all backs to the wall - or goal - as Stevens headed over in the 36th minute from Steve McNamara; but Garrard had the ball covered anyway. Then McNamara was denied a penalty after coming down in the area from a tackle by Simon Huckle. And in the last minute of the half Marshall hit the side netting from the left.

Almost immediately Alan Dowson pulled off Cartwright and bought on Jon Coke.

The second half began with Traynor forcing another excellent save from France, before the game settled into stalemate. With the weather now quiet the home side attacking the Kingston Road End found themselves facing a becalmed wind, vaguely ripping from behind them in an about turn.

A couple of substitutions - notably ex-K's man Glenn Boosey coming on for Stevens - finally kick started the second half. In the 65th minute Lodge broke down the left before crossing in for Jamie Beer, but once again France was equal to the task. Minutes later Williams' free kick hit a crowded defence and Traynor's follow up bounced back out off Stewart Holmes. Next Williams was stopped after Beer found Traynor across the other side of the pitch.

Another free kick by Lampton was well punched out by France and then minutes later a long throw in by Finnie found Simon Sobihy's header but then was plucked out of the air by France with Traynor lurking for the kill.

Increasingly though Leatherhead were piling on pressure with few real chances as time was beginning to run out. Garrard tipped over a chip from Boosey being the best chance. Williams' counter attack and then Sobihy's chance, from Lodge, being mere relief.

In injury time McNamara was given his marching orders for a second yellow after bringing down Sobihy.

If K's are to get through to the play-offs - and even promotion - then the win 10 days before against Worthing could be that turning point. Even when Kingstonian were losing their way throughout the winter it was rarely because they did not have the chances to score. Five matches left and on the back of five wins, including the semi-final at Imperial Fields, fortune could favour the team if the run continues.

Monday 24th March 2008
(Leatherhead H)
Alan Dowson interview
[WMA file - 7:22 - 1,767Kb]

Mon 24th Mar 2008
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Isthmian League Division One South
1Luke Garrard
2Jamie Beer12
3Simon Sobihy
4Simon HuckleCautioned
5Wayne Finnie
6Gavin Cartwright14
7Neil Lampton
8Tommy Williams
9Bobby Traynor
10Danny Summers15
11Dean Lodge
12Jason Turley2
14Jon CokeCautioned6
15Steve Goddard10
16Rob Sheridan
17Luke Naughton
Match Report By
Michael Underwood