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Whyteleafe 0-2 Kingstonian

Kingstonian are still not back to their best form, but two fine moments of creativity in an otherwise scrappy encounter saw them retain their league lead with a 2-0 win at Whyteleafe. The in-form Carl Wilson-Denis was once more the architect; having struck ten goals in as many games since the start of December, all in games which K's have won, his role in keeping Alan Dowson's men at the top of the league has been as crucial as anyone's.

Wilson-Denis brings to the table all of the attributes which have seen Emile Heskey's England career revitalised, with the added bonus of goals - a bonus which, until this season, Wilson-Denis has himself lacked throughout his career. His first contribution in this encounter however was as a provider, squaring low across the Leafe six-yard box after a strong run, only for Bobby Traynor to fail to connect with the ball.

Until the closing minutes, the first half was not a great advert for non-league football. NJ Lampton and Simon Huckle blazed over for K's while Luke Garrard saved an Andrew Martin free kick and was relieved to see ex-K's reserve Ellis Conroy fire wide after Jason Goodchild had a shot blocked.

Mainly the half was characterised by scrappy play and both sides giving the ball away. K's were particularly careless in their own half, with the defence often dwelling too long on the ball (even without Max Hustwick on the pitch) and testing Garrard unnecessarily with tricky backpasses on a bobbly surface at Church Road.

It was individual brilliance that broke the deadlock three minutes before half-time. Wilson-Denis, out of seemingly nothing twenty-five yards out, spotted giant goalkeeper Robert O'Hara just a couple of yards off his line yet somehow weighted a lob to perfection that the roughly seven-foot custodian was unable to keep out of his net. It was a quite remarkable strike that O'Hara will not enjoy reliving - but just the sort of moment that K's players have stepped up to produced time and again this term.

An invigorated K's looked to see the game off before the interval, but their best passing move of the match ended with O'Hara doing well to save a powerful Traynor effort with his legs after a Lampton cross.

The second half was not a great deal better than the first. Lampton headed well wide from close range but atoned a few minutes later by cutting in superbly and forcing O'Hara into an excellent save with a precision chip. Lampton's two efforts sandwiched a close twenty-yarder from Richard Dimmock for the home side, and bearing in mind their recent defensive form, K's fans knew that a second goal was going to be crucial.

Wilson-Denis made sure of the points mid-way through the half. Despite the home side's protestations, the match officials deemed him onside when receiving Liam Collins' slide-rule pass and he waited for O'Hara to commit himself before calmly dinking it over the prone number one. It was another fine finish from a striker chock-full of confidence.

Whyteleafe are an honest side who did not give up and twice produced outstanding saves from Garrard in the last ten minutes. Tommy Williams was lucky not to get a second yellow card late in the game but he escaped censure and K's made sure they left with eleven men on the pitch and three points that edge them nearer to promotion.

Tue 24th Feb 2009
Church Road
Isthmian League Division One South
Wilson-Denis (2)
1Luke Garrard
2Jason Turley
3Jon Coke
4Adam Thompson
5Wayne Finnie
6Simon Huckle
7Liam Collins
8Tommy WilliamsCautioned12
9Bobby Traynor
10Carl Wilson-Denis
11Neil Lampton15
12Rob Sheridan8
14Jamie Beer
15Phil Williams11
16Julien Thompson
17Luke Naughton
Match Report By
Simon Grier