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Kingstonian 2-2 Walton & Hersham

Sub Danny Summers scored a last minute gasp goal to salvage a point for Kingstonian in the gathering gloom and rain on Saturday.

Finding themselves two down to last season's Ryman Premier side courtesy of a brace of quick-fire goals after only 17 minutes, Alan Dowson had to cajole and ultimately reorganise his tactics against the side he left 10 months ago.

The ever-influential Dean Lodge hit the first with a true net-buster in the 38th minute when his powerful shot on the right foot from the right side shot through the defence and passed keeper Rob Webb at speed.

Bobby Traynor had passed to him from the penalty area after he found any movement forward blocked by four defenders. But it was Summers, bought on to replace Simon Sobihy in the 67th minute and was allowed to reign in a weak midfield as Dowson changed tactics from a flat back four to a more aggressive three in defence, that bought the game level with a minute left.

Once again Lodge was playmaker with a pass to Summers that was forced from 15 yards out through a crowded goal area at the Athletics End.

Traynor nearly gave the home side the dream start, in the sixth minute, when he hit the underside crossbar with seemingly the net behind rippling in the still air, after Lodge collected a ball out to the left flank and turned a defender 40 yards out. His run ended in a cross to Traynor.

Bobby Traynor strikes against the crossbar
Photo: Stephen Baird

In spite of a good call for a goal K's composed themselves as the ball rebounded out to the right and David Shin. He looped the ball back in and Traynor snatched at another chance. This time the ball missed the near post from the same side.

The visitors began to fight back and when Rob George was a bought down 25 yards out Adam Moriaty stepped up with a long looping kick on the right over the wall to the near post but Luke Garrard was equal and parried the ball away with Aaron Goode picking up the ball and clearing it away.

Luke Garrard saves a free kick
Photo: Stephen Baird

In the 13th minute Sobihy dived for a header, missing it by inches after Lodge cleaved open the defence with a pass: but that was as good as it got for a while for most of the fans.

Tom Carter opened up the defence with a long run up the centre and then a 35-yard low rocket with his left foot on the quarter-hour and the hosts were a goal down.

Wes Goggin tried to respond from the restart with a run on his own up the centre but he wasted the chance and was closed out before he even got to the goal area.

Walton & Hersham then had a corner on the right, which resulted in a free kick conceded by K's on the opposite side near the goal area. Moriaty took up position and looped the ball in to a crowded area for a header out to fall at Tom Card's feet.

His sliced kick landed with Garrard who failed to hold on to it and under pressure then saw Adam Nowacki bundle the ball over from less than four yards out.

Kingstonian responded positively. Traynor found himself on the wrong end of a decision when in front of the keeper at the near post he picked up a Lodge corner and the referee blew for an infringement.

Then deep in defence Goggin picked up a ball and began to run hesitantly, almost not believing that the path ahead was opening up, before passing out to Saheed Sankoh 30 yards out. He was able to round the keeper out on the right and then with defenders running back, he tripped on the ball and the chance was squandered.

David Shin and Saheed Sankoh in attack
Photo: Stephen Baird

Just as the first half seemed to be merging into the greyness of the autumn evening Sankoh headed just wide in the 36th minute after Lodge crossed in to Sobihy. The skipper battled hard to keep off the defence and sent in the ball. Two minutes later Lodge took on the responsibility himself and scored.

Sankoh then saw his shot go just wide in the 41st minute after the ball was seemingly deflected from its net-bound direction. A goal kick was given.

Everything the first half had seemed to be was lacking in the second half with a succession of yellow cards and substitutions as both sides seemed to be settling into the result early.

An early chance by Dean Williams went wide after Gavin Cartwright had allowed the ball to go loose.

Players lining up to defend
Photo: Stephen Baird

Traynor saw his shot go wide along the ground to the left by 10 yards after a cross-pitch free kick by Lodge in the 55th minute. Then Lodge found Sankoh in the 67th minute, who passed across the goal mouth with Shin charging in from the left. It was only in the 79th minute that both sides woke from this period of inertia. Ex-K's hero - turned boo boy - Phil Ruggles chipped in a ball with Cartwright defending and the ball went wide, gaining a corner in the process.

Garrard was then forced into tipping the ball around after a long cross on the left by Dan Nwanze, with the defence all at sea.

Minutes later Shin crossed the ball in but it was too close to the keeper. A cross in from Lodge then found Traynor, but his ball easily flew over the crossbar.

Substitute Mark Peters then had Garrard diving down to save before the action returned into attack for Kingstonian and Summers finally found the goal the previous 10 minutes had threatened to produce for either side.

A late attempt, again by Peters, deep into injury time, went over.

Another draw for Kingstonian - only their second this term - saw them salvage a point at the death. The team are still grafting and picking up wins and now draws, which is keeping them near the top end of the league. Hopefully most of those in the highest crowd of the season will come back again, tempted by continued prospects.

Saturday 17th November 2007
(Walton & Hersham H)
Alan Dowson interview
[WMA file - 4:56 - 1,186Kb]

Sat 17th Nov 2007
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Isthmian League Division One South
Lodge, Summers
Walton & Hersham2
1Luke Garrard
2Aaron GoodeCautioned16
3Simon SobihyCautioned14
4Simon Huckle
5Wayne Finnie
6Gavin Cartwright
7David ShinCautioned
8Wes Goggin
9Bobby Traynor
10Saheed Sankoh
11Dean LodgeCautioned
12Neil Lampton
14Danny Summers3
15Carl Gibbs
16Jon Coke2
17Luke Naughton
Match Report By
Michael Underwood