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Walton & Hersham 3-3 Kingstonian

Alan Dowson returned from his first match at former club Walton & Hersham with honours even as Kingstonian fought back in a game which swung from one end to the other.

Having dominated the first half the visitors failed to stomp on the home side with only one goal from Gavin Cartwright to show for it. And then a hat-trick by Julien Thompson after the break in 11 minutes turned the match the other way.

Gavin Cartwright celebrates his goal
Photo: Chris Hatton - Kingstonian FC

Another penalty by Bobby Traynor and Simon Sobihy's second goal from the head in less than a month bought the game level.

Kingstonian began the match dominant and Simon Huckle up front almost scored in the second minute when a long throw in from Wayne Finnie rebounded off a defender to NJ Lampton, who fed it back in but the final show went wide.

Minutes later Lampton was at it again when his low shot, or cross, went below the diving 'keeper Rob Webb and beyond the far post with Traynor lurking in the centre to pounce on any loose ball.

In the 10th minute Huckle had Webb on his back foot as his looping shot off Jon Coke's long cross was held back by the finger tips before a clearance by a defender.

A minute later it was Luke Garrard's turn to be saved by a defender when Thompson had him stranded to the right 10 yards out. With options open the striker shot to the near post, only for Sobihy to block the ball on the line.

Normal service was resumed with Huckle then lobbing the goal from 15 yards but it was too strong and went over. Dean Lodge tried a similar shot in the 20th minute and it too went over.

Finally in the 22nd minute Cartwright found the back of the net, again with a lob that this time looped over the keeper, hit the top of the net and followed it downwards to the back. Traynor had crossed to Lodge who pushed it back to Cartwright.

Two minutes later Kingstonian had the chance to add to the score when Traynor forced Adam Moriaty to pass back to his own goal keeper from 15 yards out on the left but the indirect free kick hit the small wall and out for a corner. Lodge then followed this up when he dispossessed a defender 35 yards out and ran to the goal on the right but a diving Webb 20 yards out managed to just get enough on the ball to deny him.

Dean Lodge denied by goalkeeper Rob Webb
Photo: Chris Hatton - Kingstonian FC

A rare attempt on goal by the home side saw Moriaty's free kick stopped and then held by Garrard but the first half belonged to Ks. Traynor saw his shot snatched out of the air, Cartwright saw his cross from the dead ball line swing in and then out of play.

Luke Garrard saves the free kick
Photo: Chris Hatton - Kingstonian FC

Then in the 41st minute Webb saved well from Lodge on the right after a pass by Huckle. The first half ended with a weak shot from Traynor, with Lodge lurking in the centre, and then Nick Rundell's header weakly going to Webb.

With so much domination and chances on goal, it was to be expected that Kingstonian would go on to score again and this they did, but not until Thompson's three-goal thriller.

First he latched onto a loose ball after Garrard could only parry Jon Neal's shot in the 53rd minute. Then his low shot on the right went under a diving Garrard 13 minutes later as the defence seemed to panic. He rounded it off two minutes later by latching onto a weak header back from Finnie.

Throughout this time the visitors still managed to keep pressure on at the other end. Cartwright went wide in the 47th minute to the right after picking up a pass from Jason Turley. Another cross from Turley minutes after the first goal went just behind Traynor - who was forced to duck - with the striker perfectly positioned in the centre.

Jason Turley in action
Photo: Chris Hatton - Kingstonian FC

Lampton saw his powerful volley tipped over by a full-stretch Webb a minute before the home side went into the lead.

Finally Traynor found the back of the net with his penalty kick after Lodge was bundled over in the area.

Another rare attack by Walton and Hersham saw Thompson denied by an excellent fingertip save by Garrard after the striker latched onto a free kick by Moriaty in the 77th minute.

Ks then bought the game level three minutes later when a defender headed a Lodge corner out. Finnie then took a trademark long throw-in which Sobihy duly headed in.

Simon Sobihy heads in the equaliser
Photo: Chris Hatton - Kingstonian FC

They continued to press and two throw ins from Finnie minutes later first saw Lodge lob over the goal from 35 yards and then Cartwright denied by Webb.

With the game almost ended two late substitutions took the sting out of the game. First Stephen Goddard came in with two minutes remaining for Huckle and then David Suchy replaced Coke, who limped off, in injury time.

Once again Kingstonian failed to capitalise on their dominance and should have racked up a comprehensive win instead of their ninth draw - the second highest in the division. The team have the potential to rack up some big scorelines as most of the team can find the back of the net and surely this will come soon.

Saturday 16th February 2008
(Walton & Hersham A)
Alan Dowson interview
[WMA file - 5:00 - 1,201Kb]

Sat 16th Feb 2008
Stompond Lane
Isthmian League Division One South
Walton & Hersham3
Cartwright, Traynor (pen), Sobihy
1Luke GarrardCautioned
2Jon Coke14
3Nick Rundell12
4Wayne Finnie
5Simon Sobihy
6Gavin CartwrightCautioned
7Neil LamptonCautioned
8Jason Turley
9Bobby Traynor
10Simon Huckle17
11Dean Lodge
12Jamie Beer3
14David Suchy2
15Matt York
16Saheed Sankoh
17Steve Goddard10
Match Report By
Michael Underwood