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Kingstonian 4-1 Cray Wanderers

A Dean Lodge hat-trick and one more from Carl Wilson-Denis saw Kingstonian return to winning ways with their biggest victory of the season so far.

The first came in 34 minutes with a low shot beyond the keeper, then in to the second half a trademark scamper up the right saw him double his tally and the third came down after the referee bravely turned down penalty appeals and allowed Lodge to side-foot the ball into the net from close range.

With skipper Luke Garrard rested after the birth of a girl on Thursday, Alan Dowson gave Ashlee Jones his first team competitive debut but it was his counterpart at the other end Jack Smelt who saw the first action as Lodge picked up a cross in from Lee Hall. Lodge's shot went just wide of the post.

Joel Ledgister than had an almost open goal minutes later as Lodge sliced through the midfield to pick him out. From 20 yards out and Smelt only to beat, he kicked the ball into the ground and, with the power taken out of the shot; Smelt had an easy ball to gather.

Ledgister then had the opportunity to make up for that when in the 15th minute he powered out of the midfield before crossing to Bobby Traynor on the left. The ball was then played back to Ledgister in the area but his weak shot was easy meat for Smelt again.

Finally the visitors awoke and a good parry away by the previously-untroubled Jones saw Rob Quinn denied from 25 yards out. Jones was then in the wars when he was challenged, as he had the ball, by Scott Kinch in the area. Kinch received a yellow.

In between, Ledgister won a corner after picking up a cross from Lodge but Simon Huckle could only head wide from 20 yards out off Matt Gray's shot into the box from the flag.

Just after the half hour Ledgister shot wide after some good defending in the area by Smelt that saw Lodge on the ground, under Smelt's pinpoint dive to the ball to concede a corner. From the corner Francis Duku's header was denied by Mark Willy, and Ledgister could only shoot wide from the loose ball.

Deadlock was soon broken when Traynor passed to Lodge, who cut inside to find the ball into the back of the net. Gray had the opportunity to end the half with a second when Des Boateng out-foxed the midfield but Boateng's pass was just too far ahead of his fellow midfielder.

A minute earlier Ross Lover had shot over the bar from 30 yards but Jones had the goal covered, and so Ks went in at the break a goal to the good.

The visitors had an early chance to equalise but Quinn was wasteful and the hosts made most of this opportunity. A chipped pass out from Gray found Lodge who sprinted at goal from the left, striking low towards the far post and beyond the diving Smelt.

Three substitutions, in two minutes saw the game slow as first Gray left the field limping slightly with Christian Jolley coming on and then Ledgister taken off two minutes later for Carl Wilson-Denis. At the same time Leigh Bremner replaced Stanley Muguo.

Wilson-Denis was soon into the action and when he came down in the Cray area under the challenge of Aaron Day, it seemed as though a penalty would be given by referee Carl Brook, but with the ball still travelling to the far post through a crowded defence, he let play go on. Lodge was at the post to tap in a simple close range shot for his hat trick.

Three goals down, Cray bought on ex-Ks legend Colin Luckett for Kinch but the flow was definitely with the home side and Smelt had to be quick off his mark when Wilson-Denis was picked out by Lodge's cross in from the right. Steve Aris was then denied when his header hit the woodwork for Cray, but Jones had it almost covered anyway.

Lodge was then taken off, with Lewis Cook coming on instead. However his first action was in defence as Luckett crossed in and Bremner was able to head home from close range.

From the restart Cook was able to find Wilson-Denis in the area but his flicked effort went wide, whilst Traynor saw an effort blocked by the legs of a defender. Wilson-Denis added his name to the scoresheet however soon after, holding held off the attentions of his markers before sweetly striking a half volley into the back of the net.

With many teams in the league playing in the FA Cup, Kingstonian used the opportunity well to take full points; but they were worthy winners in this contest against a Cray team that looks as though it is starting to struggle at this level. For Kingstonian, they have shown they can play at this level and, on the evidence of this game, play well.

Sat 10th Oct 2009
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Isthmian League Premier
Lodge (3), Wilson-Denis
Cray Wanderers1
1Ashlee Jones
2John Fletcher
3Lee Hall
4Max Hustwick
5Francis Duku
6Simon HuckleCautioned
7Matt Gray12
8Des Boateng
9Bobby Traynor
10Joel Ledgister15
11Dean LodgeCautioned16
12Christian Jolley7
14Karl Beckford
15Carl Wilson-Denis10
16Lewis Cook11
17Luke Garrard
Match Report By
Michael Underwood