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Sutton United 1-1 Kingstonian

There are numerous reasons to hate Ryman 1 South - a lack of away fans, a poor standard of football and Fleet Town being three of the main ones - but for Ks fans the lack of a real local derby was one of one of the most depressing facets of their years in the wilderness.

A point gained at Sutton was therefore of less importance to the club than to be able to play them, and compete as equals, in front of a crowd more passionate than any that Ks have played in front of since the 2006 Surrey Senior Cup final. The game also ticked the boxes of derby cliches on the field, being tight, often scrappy, with a large dose of yellow cards and the dismissal of Alan Dowson.

For around ten second half minutes Ks dared to dream of a famous victory following a Simon Huckle strike. If they had won, you could have added 'smash-and-grab' to the list of archetypal derby features - as it was, a James Norwood header on 83 minutes levelled the scores, which was no less than Sutton deserved on the balance of play. There was a suspicion of offside, although from my position right in line (looking down the pitch from behind the Ks goal) I can categorically confirm that I have no idea whatsoever.

The first good chance of the game fell to Bobby Traynor when Matt Gray played him in on goal but his tame lob gave Kevin Scriven an easy save. Ks would not, however, create such a good opportunity again in the first half and it was the home side who looked more likely to score. They had an abundance of territory and possession and were able to get many balls into the Ks box through corners and Billy Hawes long throws, but the defence proved mostly resolute. Only Norwood and Matt Hann were able to test Rob Tolfrey seriously before the interval, with the goalkeeper being equal to both efforts.

The third quarter of the game was even more devoid of threats to goal than the first two were; a feat that took some doing. The heavy pitch did little to help attacking football, while a Ks midfield that was solid but lacking in pace and flair rarely looked like unlocking Sutton. The game changed on a mistake though, a full hour after Ks had last managed a shot on target. Scriven went to clear a regulation back-pass but miskicked straight to Simon Huckle, who kept his nerve to chip into the unguarded goal from 35 yards.

Max Hustwick headed a Matt Gray free kick wide but Sutton were forced to ramp up their attacking endeavours and Ks knew they would have to hang on for ten difficult minutes in order to record the win. It was not to be though, as legally or not, Norwood sprinted into a position where he was totally unmarked and headed Alan Poulton's cross past Tolfrey. Traynor had half an opportunity to recapture the lead in injury time but under pressure from the defence his potshot was not powerful enough to trouble Scriven and the local rivals shared the points.

Sat 12th Dec 2009
Gander Green Lane
Isthmian League Premier
Sutton United1
1Rob Tolfrey
2Lee Hall
3Adam ThompsonCautioned
4Max HustwickCautioned
5Francis Duku
6Simon Huckle
7Matt Gray
8Mo Harkin17
9Bobby Traynor
10Carl Wilson-DenisCautioned
11Bashiru Alimi
12Rob Sheridan
14John Fletcher
15Lewis Cook
16Dean Lodge
17Christian Jolley8
Match Report By
Simon Grier