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Kingstonian 2-3 Ashford Town

With a record of two wins and four defeats in league games between the two, K's have never enjoyed playing Ashford Town. Even with the Nuts and Bolts on a run of pitiful form, nine games without a win despite a squad that is far from the league's cheapest, they once again proved a thorn in K's side by comprehensively outplaying them at Kingsmeadow.

Alan Dowson is right to point out that K's have won games this season where Dean Lodge has had a bad game. However, until they start winning without him, it will be hard to shake the belief that he was largely responsible for the table-topping form. The style of attacking play which took K's to that position relies hugely on confidence; suddenly, they seem short of it.

The first half, like so many at Kingsmeadow have been this year, was goalless and not terribly eventful. NJ Lampton headed onto the top of the bar early on but Bobby Traynor was unable to follow the rebound in. Charlie Glyde headed wide for Ashford before the game burst into life near the end of the half.

Jon Coke fizzed a twenty-yarder over the bar and was then called on defensively, clearing off the line from Mitchell Sherwood after Glyde had hit the inside of the post. Sherwood and Tommy Williams also missed the target in first half injury time.

K's have been making a habit of making a mess of the period shortly after half time and this game was no exception, despite Adam Thompson producing a Seb Barton save from a low free kick. Keystone Cops defending saw Ashford take the lead, with Glyde unmarked for a header, Sherwood unmarked to put the ball back across goal after Glyde had made a complete mess of the header, and James Humphreys unmarked to blast past the helplessly unprotected Garrard.

Ashford's second goal had more quality about it, with a turning shot from Paul Jones giving Garrard little chance. The two goals, within six minutes of each, seemed to have put the game beyond a K's side who were struggling to muster a shot on target.

A goalkeeping error brought them back into the game though, when Barton spilled an innocuous Traynor chip into the path of Simon Huckle, who converted from close range.

K's had lost all shape at this point though, playing what appeared to be a 3-4-3 formation with Huckle and Thompson joining Traynor up front. Without a creative spark it did them little good, though did leave them exposed at the back to allow Ashford to restore their lead to two goals. Garrard saved superbly from Humphrey but Tony Browne smashed the rebound home while the visitors celebrated as if they had won the league. Or at least the League Cup.

A bit of luck would allow the scoreline to flatter K's a little more, as Tommy Williams saw a shot deflect past Barton to give K's a lifeline. They'd have wanted one chance in the three minutes of injury time, and had one, but Williams skewed it well wide to deny K's a point that they would not have deserved.

Five home games in November could have allowed K's to extend their lead into double figures. Instead, they have stuttered to just five points from them and Dowson will need to work out how to recapture the form that took them to the top in the first place.

Sun 30th Nov 2008
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Isthmian League Division One South
Huckle, T Williams
Ashford Town3
1Luke Garrard
2Neil Lampton
3Jon Coke
4Adam Thompson
5Max HustwickCautioned
6Simon Huckle
7Liam Collins
8Tommy Williams
9Bobby Traynor
10Carl Wilson-Denis16
11Jamie Byatt
12Wayne Finnie
14Nick Rundell
15Jamie Beer
16Jason Turley10
17Luke Naughton
Match Report By
Simon Grier