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Kingstonian 2-3 Crystal Palace

Kingstonian came up narrowly short in a clash of styles against a Crystal Palace side who may have missed their bedtimes had their 85th minute winner not averted extra time at Kingsmeadow. The superior organisation and physicality of the home side was not quite a match for the raw pace and skill of the visitors, although two controversial moments in injury time left Ks fans fuming at referee Robert Smith.

Palace took the competition seriously enough to win it three times between 1997 and 2002, although more recently the efforts of their young teams have been less impressive. At times their attacking flair proved frightening for their Ryman League opponents, but their defending of set pieces was abysmal and nearly proved costly for them - despite the win over Ks, they do not look a good enough side to win the cup this year.

Ks had a lot of early possession without creating a breakthrough before both sides' first chance were missed headers, from Christian Jolley and Ibra Sekassa. Jolley forced a great save from Ross Fitzsimmons before Palace nearly took the lead on 28 minutes; this time Rob Tolfrey made a brilliant low save, from a powerful James Comley free kick.

Two minutes later Ks were ahead. Palace could only head a corner out as far as Karl Beckford and when the Ks midfielder hooked the ball back into the box, an abject failure of the offside trap left Jolley with an easy headed finish while goalkeeper Ross Fitzsimmons watched from no-man's land.

The lead did not last until half time though, with Palace setting Taureen Roberts free behind the Ks defence. Tolfrey made a superb one-on-one save but Roberts picked up the rebound and put the rebound home through the legs of the unfortunate Rob Sheridan. Four minutes after the break the Eagles were ahead when Roberts' strike partner Ibra Sekassa was set free to beat Tolfrey and launch into a series of celebratory somersaults of the kind that make you realise just what the human body is capable of. Or at least what other humans' bodies are capable of.

Roberts and Lewis Cook both came close before the 73rd minute, where the game's first controversial moment saw Ks denied a penalty. Carl Wilson-Denis' cross found Cook unmarked at the far post but his finish was blocked by Karl Knight, possibly with his hand.

Cook came close again, this time from distance, before proving the architect of an equaliser on 78 minutes. Again, Palace cleared a corner and then made a complete mess of setting an offside trap for the ball back into the box. Max Hustwick's head met Cook's lob and when Fitzsimmons charged out in a doomed effort to get to the ball first, Hustwick was left with the easiest of finishes.

Ks proved unable to hold on for extra time though, as once again a ball through the static defence left Tolfrey facing a one-on-one. Substitute Rhys Williamson-Murrel was the man with the opportunity and he beat the Ks goalkeeper with a confident finish.

Ks had two chances to force extra time but Smith made sure that they would be successful in neither. The first saw a corner bundled over the line after Palace yet again failed to defend a set piece, although the referee controversially decreed that the ball had not crossed the line. A minute later, Jolley mazed his way into the penalty area only to be hacked to the ground; remarkably, Smith deemed the challenge to be legitimate and Ks' involvement in cup competitions was ended for another season.

Mon 30th Nov 2009
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Surrey Senior Cup 2nd round
Jolley, Hustwick
Crystal Palace3
1Rob Tolfrey
2Rob Sheridan
3Lee Hall
4Max Hustwick
5Francis Duku
6Adam Thompson14
7Lewis Cook
8Des Boateng
9Carl Wilson-Denis12
10Karl Beckford
11Christian Jolley
12Simon Huckle9
14Bashiru Alimi6
15Tom Woolston
16Stefan Martin
17Adrian Blake
Match Report By
Simon Grier