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Kingstonian 2-0 Margate

A scintillating game of fast flowing and passionate football saw Kingstonian come out tops in their first league meeting at home against Margate.

First a deflected goal off Aaron Lacy in a frenetic goal mouth scramble as John Fletcher picked up a header down from Francis Duku was followed in second half stoppage by Lacy being outdone in front of the main stand on the halfway line by recent substitute Dean Lodge, who then ran towards goal and outwitted Matt Reed in goal before slotting in from 10 yards out.

If anyone expected a quiet start, the hosts were certainly not in that mindset. Buoyed by an increasingly noisy set of fans behind the goal, with a dose of visitors from Gorredijk (Dutch Friesland) and the occasional one from Sweden, they went straight for the Margate goal from the off. Bobby Traynor was denied and then shot wide in only the first four minutes.

And then Rob Tolfrey at the other end turned the game on its end as the visitors attacked. As a ball went towards the byline, it rebounded in off the referee only for a free kick to be conceded straight away on the left. Another rebound found Dan Stubbs in the centre 15 yards out and firing across to the far post, Tolfrey pulled off a save as he found extra power to push the goal-ward shot over the top.

Rob Tolfrey tips over
Photo: Simon Roe

Within minutes a cross into Duku was headed down beyond Reed, stranded on the left post and Fletcher tried to push it into goal five yards out. Lacey could only half block the shot as the ball crossed over the line weakly.

John Fletcher bundles in the opening goal
Photo: Simon Roe

Simon Huckle then failed to make the best of a poor pass back to Reed and score a second. Matt Gray was then booked as he volleyed into the athletics stadium behind from a conceded throw-in.

At the other end Stubbs then miscued a shot with Tolfrey out of position, at the other end, and the ball went straight to the Ks goalkeeper. Margate continued to search for an equaliser and ex-K Anthony Joseph was pushed out wide by Duku onto the left and shot wide of the near post.

However, in the nature of the game, at the other end Carl Wilson-Denis then found Duku up in attack and Duku could only head wide. Huckle next tried his luck with another header within a minute, the 35th, but Reed was at the receiving end rather than the back of the net. Wilson-Denis then tried to round the keeper but once again Reed was superior to an attack.

Wilson-Denis then outfoxed the defence, as he has often this season, with Curtis Robinson another left in his wake but his cross in from a deep right went beyond Traynor and then an unmarked Adam Thompson.

Within a minute of the restart his shot was deflected by Duku into the grateful arms of Reed. This then saw an early change of tactics as Margate sacrificed their 11, Ben Clarke, for Wayne Wilson.

An ever-increasingly boisterous kop end tried to up the tempo on the field but the game settled, finally, into a midfield stalemate. Christina Jolley crossed in on the 58th minute but Traynor's shot in front of goal was smothered by Reed.

A substitution on both sides saw Luke Hickie give way too Lee Hall and the visitors throw on Tony Gonella for Joseph in the 67th minute. A free kick conceded almost immediately saw Traynor shoot straight and low into a wall.

Tempo then began to increase as Ks sought a winning goal, ever egged on by those behind the goal. Gray and Traynor were denied by a resolute defence and then Traynor again and Wilson-Denis saw a defender deflect a shot. In between Stubbs tried to chip Tolfrey.

Traynor was once remiss as he combined twice with Wilson-Denis only for the former to shoot wide. However almost at the other end Tolfrey denied Stubbs. Lloyd Blackman then was unable to control the ball as Margate piled on pressure for an equaliser. Substitute Gonella then saw a shot tipped away and around the side by Tolfrey, 15 yards out.

In a late bid to hold onto the lead Wilson-Denis was sacrificed for the fresher legs of Lodge. Gray had been minutes earlier taken off for Rob Sheridan. Tolfrey then saved once again in injury time before launching up an attack on the left.

Lodge picked up the ball on the far left before the halfway line and pushed beyond Lacy in front of the main stand before going alone in the Margate half. Frantic bodies piled back as Lodge then had to round Reed and slot coolly into the net for the second, very much still alone with the Reed a spectator and the rest of his team a long way behind.

Dean Lodge slots in the second
Photo: Simon Roe

Another victory as Ks took second spot deservedly. With a month of postponements everywhere Kingstonian are now firmly in the play-off zone and continued form like this must see the club looking to be in with a second promotion push at the end of April.

Sun 31st Jan 2010
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Isthmian League Premier
Fletcher, Lodge
1Rob Tolfrey
2Matt GrayCautioned12
3John Fletcher
4Adam Thompson
5Francis Duku
6Simon Huckle
7Luke Hickie14
8Mo Harkin
9Bobby Traynor
10Carl Wilson-Denis15
11Christian Jolley
12Rob Sheridan2
14Lee Hall7
15Dean Lodge10
16Tommy Williams
17Grant Fisher
Match Report By
Michael Underwood