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Cray Wanderers 2-1 Kingstonian

Kingstonian sacrificed a point as they chased three at Cray Wanderers, going down to a late Marcus Cassius strike while chasing an improbable win with an aggressive second half formation.

That Ks were prepared to risk defeat to go for victory is no grounds for criticism - but in truth, they were lucky still to have the option come the 87th minute. They had been second best for most of the game against a home side who kept the ball well and dictated play. Cray squandered chances to take more than a one goal lead, however, not least when Ks legend Colin Luckett slammed a penalty onto the underside of the bar, and Ks found a way back into the game.

A poached equaliser from Bobby Traynor, his hundredth goal in three years at Kingsmeadow, gave Ks hope but Cassius' strike undid them after they sacrificed their wing-backs for the attacking options of Dean Lodge and Christian Jolley.

Nobody was unhappier with the performance than Alan Dowson, who watched from the terraces due to his sending off at Sutton some two months ago. The adjectives he used in his post-match interview included, "Shocking", "Embarrassing", "Awful", "Unacceptable" and "Disgusting" while the count for the word "Pathetic" ran to seven - with two uses aimed at Ks, one at the linesman and no fewer than four at the referee.

The first half-hour was far from entertaining, with Cray dominating possession but proving unable to create chances. A semblance of life eventually interjected itself into the game when home goalkeeper Tony Kessell could only punch a Matt Gray free kick as far as Bashiru Alimi on the edge of the box, but the midfielder fired over on his weaker right foot.

This seemed to wake Cray up and they threatened Ks three times before the interval. Luckett hit a free kick over the bar, Cassius got the better of Robb Sheridan but pulled his effort wide of the far post and Rob Tolfrey did superbly to deny George Porter.

Five minutes after the break they secured a well-deserved breakthrough. Much to Dowson's chagrin, Ks left John Guest unmarked at the far post following a corner and Leigh Bremner forced his header over the line from close range.

Two minutes later, they might have doubled their advantage. Max Hustwick clumsily tripped Bremner in the penalty area but Luckett's spotkick crashed onto the underside of the bar with Tolfrey beaten.

The introduction of Lodge and Jolley for Lee Hall and Mo Harkin, with Matt Gray switching to midfield, showed serious attacking intent for Ks and five minutes later they eventually managed their first shot on target; a Gray free kick that was easily saved by Kessell.

Ks' new attacking endeavour came at the expense of their defence however, with Tolfrey forced to block another Bremner effort at the near post and then save brilliantly from George at the near post.

Cassius also came close before Traynor, in typical fashion, poached an equaliser with the sort of superb finish to a cutback by Gray that has led to his remarkable goal tally in the red and white hoops. The referee took upon himself to ruin the moment by booking him for celebrating with the fans - the sort of jobsworth pillockry that will no doubt carry favour with FIFA's attempts to sanitise the game beyond recognition.

Having dominated the match, the equaliser seemed to trigger Cray into panic mode and for five minutes Ks had them on the ropes, culminating with the home side having to clear a John Fletcher backheel off the line after Traynor had teed him up from a Gray corner.

As Ks pushed for the win they left themselves heavily exposed though and Cray made them pay. Tommy Tyne was afforded far too much time and space in the Ks half to pick out Cassius at the far post and, unmarked, he beat Tolfrey with a confident finish. Ks, who have only drawn three games all season, gambled and lost but can hardly say that Cray didn't deserve all three points.

Sat 20th Feb 2010
Hayes Lane (Bromley FC)
Isthmian League Premier
Cray Wanderers2
1Rob Tolfrey
2Matt GrayCautioned
3John Fletcher
4Max Hustwick
5Robb Sheridan
6Luke HickieCautioned12
7Bashiru Alimi
8Mo HarkinCautioned15
9Bobby TraynorCautioned
10Carl Wilson-DenisCautioned
11Lee Hall16
12Simon Huckle6
14Francis Duku
15Christian JolleyCautioned8
16Dean Lodge11
17Craig Bradshaw
Match Report By
Simon Grier