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Kingstonian 1-1 Millwall XI

Kingstonian began their first home friendly fixture of the season by holding a strong Millwall XI to a 1-1 draw. Milwall handed starts to seven members of the first team squad, but failed to break Kingstonian's steely resolve in this fast paced encounter.

Kingstonian kicked off the first half by attacking towards the Athletics Ground, and immediately won a corner when Scott Barron rose to defend a cross. Neil Lampton drove the ball into the penalty box, but the loose ball was cleared by the defence. The K's won possession back and released Saheed Sankoh goalwards. Sankoh held the ball up as James Rose made a dash into the box. Sankoh threaded through the defence but Rose was only able to drag his shot wide of the far post.

Milwall's Ryan Smith, a constant thorn in the side of Kingstonian's defence, made a jinking run from the right wing, crossing the path of Tommy Moorhouse, whose late challenge gave Millwall a free-kick. With Neal Ardley standing over the ball, Smith curled his free-kick goalwards, the ball flashing narrowly wide of Luke Garrard's near post.

However it was Kingstonian who made the break-through on 9 minutes. The dangerous Sankoh picked up the ball wide on the left and darted diagonally across the pitch, creating the space for Neil Lampton to run into. Lampton duly obliged, and Sankoh picked out his man. Lampton made a neat touch, taking the ball past the last defender, and slotted his shot past the outstretched arms of Preston Edwards to give Kingstonian an early lead.

Milwall had the opportunity to level the scores just moments later, as Ryan Smith burst through the K's defence and crossed to the far post. Ryan James was on hand to meet the cross, racing past his marker, but his volley struck the upright and rebounded outside of the penalty box. As both sides fought for possession in the middle of the pitch Moorhouse, making a late lunge, earned himself a yellow card.

Kingstonian found themselves struggling to turn defence into attack, largely thanks to the organisation of the Millwall defence. Whilst attempting to utilise the pace of Sankoh by playing balls over the defence, the K's suffered a series of offside decisions. Consequently Kingstonian's attacks were stunted, and the pressure inside Kingsmeadow began to build.

Millwall began to press, and nearly equalised when a hopeful ball into the box found Ryan Noel, who was unable to direct his header under the crossbar. However a rasping shot from 20 yards forced Garrard into making a save on the ground. Unable to hold the shot, Garrard was unlucky to parry the ball into the path of Tom Kilby, who tapped the equaliser past the unfortunate Kingstonian stopper.

Millwall kicked off the second half under floodlights, but it was Kingstonian who made the brighter start. Neil Lampton, wide on the right wing, found the space and time to tee up a deep cross. Preston Edwards came out to collect as two Kingstonian strikers bore down on his goal. However as the attackers rose, Edwards appeared to tip the ball beyond them, and out for a corner, which was cleared.

Millwall turned defence into attack with greater urgency than Kingstonian, and a short while later a superb pass caught Kingstonian's defence sleeping, releasing Chris Hackett into the box. Simon Sobihy began to herd Hackett away from the goal, and his shot struck Sobihy on the back before landing safely into Garrard's hands.

As the match wore on Millwall began to dominate possession and chances. A quick free kick was headed just wide of Garrard's goal, before Ryan Smith ran across the face of the goal. Skipping the challenge of a defender Smith turned goalwards, but the ever-reliable Sobihy made a well judged sliding tackle to dispossess the tricky winger. From the resulting corner Smith found himself with space to shoot, but his effort flew over the bar.

Having made six changes throughout the match, Kingstonian struggled to assert themselves on the latter stages of the game. Ross Chalke looked lively, using his pace to good effect when out wide, but Kingstonian struggled to keep possession. Millwall looked the more likely side to steal a victory, but Kingstonian can take great heart that a side featuring a good proportion of first team squad members struggled to break them down. Despite coming up against an extremely well organised defence, the K's also managed to construct an excellent opening goal. Kingstonian ought to be able to take confidence from this performance into their two remaining friendlies before the season kicks-off.

Mon 6th Aug 2007
Kingsmeadow Stadium
1Luke Garrard17
2Scott Corbett12
3Simon Sobihy
4Jon Coke15
5Tommy Moorhouse18
6Gavin Cartwright
7Neil Lampton
8Wes Goggin16
9James Rose14
10Saheed Sankoh
11Liam Cockerill
12Creag Wilson2
14Danny Summers9
15Lee Riddell4
16Gareth Graham8
17Luke Naughton1
18Ross Chalke5
Match Report By
Darren Bell