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Kingstonian 1-1 Waltham Abbey

A goal in each half saw honours shared but it was a fast flowing Kingstonian that won the plaudits.

Trailing at half time to a 24th minute goal, they piled on the pressure throughout the second half and when in the 66th minute Bobby Traynor slotted in past the diving keeper Joe Taylor it looked as though the flood gates would open and but for the woodwork, a miss or two and some off-the-line defending the tally would have been higher.

The home side made their intent obvious early on and in the ninth minute Dean Lodge crossed to Matt Gray only for the ball to deflect off a defender for a corner. Once again Gray was involved a minute later but this time Carl Wilson-Denis was unable to control the ball enough from Gray's cross and this time the ball went over the bar by a distance.

Still the pressure mounted and when Lodge won a corner, Gray's shot into the area found Mo Harkin well placed but somehow the defence managed to head the ball away off the line and beyond. From that corner Wilson-Denis could only head wide.

Carl Wilson-Denis in action
Photo: Simon Roe

It was the turn of Abbey to attack and Chris Ellerbeck on the left found Harry Elmes, but the final touch was lacking and keeper Luke Garrard was able to watch it fly over the bar with some ease.

He was more controlled six minutes later when he latched onto a pass from 30 yards out to slide it in past Sam Stannard and Garrard to score.

Almost proving the "against the run of play" adage, Ks continued to set up chances with Harkin crossing into Traynor and coming in from the right he was denied by Taylor's dive across his own goal. Lodge then broke out from the left in the next attack but somehow contrived to shoot just wide.

With that the game lost its edge for a bit and it was not until the first half's dying moments that Ks once more went up a gear. Gray once again shot wide after Des Boateng's pass deflected off Wilson-Denis and then a minute later Stannard's cross in was pushed behind for a corner by Taylor.

He was then denied by Taylor again within a minute of the restart when his half-volley was saved well.

Harkin was the next to be denied when his close range shot from his swivel was taken well again by Taylor who managed to put it behind for a corner. Gray's corner then found Wilson-Denis who headed onto Francis Duku and somehow the smallest man on the pitch George Chandra managed to get it away off the line.

At the other end Ellerbeck forced Garrard into a diving save with Harkin on hand to make the clearance.

Max Hustwick in action
Photo: Simon Roe

Sensing that the home side were going to be denied, fresh blood was bought on in the form of Simon Huckle and Karl Beckford for Boateng and Harkin. However it was the referee Darren Blunden who made the first impact when looking to give Traynor a penalty after he was bought down in the area after he undid the offside trap from Lodge's cross, he decided that the linesman on the far side was right and gave a free kick the other way for offside.

Minutes later at closer range Traynor made no mistake this time as acrobatically converted Wilson-Denis' header from the left.

Bobby Traynor scores
Photo: Simon Roe

Bobby Traynor scores
Photo: Simon Roe

Huckle then sought to make it two within a minute of the restart, once again from Wilson-Denis, but this time Abbey captain Dave Ayres managed to get his leg in the way and the ball rebounded away.

His next chance however was not so great after he picked up a cross from the lively Lodge and well placed in the area from 15 yards out he curled the ball low and past the right post.

With the game looking to come to an end the home side tried again for the win. Beckford found Traynor but once again Chanda was on hand and he managed only to concede the corner. From Gray's corner there was a mad scramble in the goal mouth before the referee decided that Wilson-Denis had fouled.

Abbey sensing the game was going too fast put on their third substitution, Barrington Brotherton coming on for goal scorer Elmes. Earlier Dayo Oshitola and Tom Bailey had come on separately for Aaron Gayle and Ellerbeck.

Huckle was once again at fault in the 90th minute when he shot wide from a good position after Beckford's pass rebounded straight to his feet. Still the home side pressed for a result and in injury time Lodge was denied by the upright when his shot 15 yards out clattered into it.

Dean Lodge strikes against the post
Photo: Simon Roe

But for posts, missed shots and some plucky defending Kingstonian would be looking at a win after the game as Garrard was rarely tested. The defence was once again able to clear up any rare forays in the area, and more often than not further up field. Gray ran the midfield and worked well to keep the game going and Lodge is looking well up the wing, without the hard attention he was getting last season.

Sat 5th Sep 2009
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Isthmian League Premier
Waltham Abbey1
1Luke Garrard
2Sam Stannard12
3Lee Hall
4Max Hustwick
5Francis Duku
6Mo Harkin
7Matt Gray
8Des Boateng15
9Bobby Traynor
10Carl Wilson-Denis
11Dean Lodge
12Simon Huckle2
14Rob Sheridan
15Karl Beckford8
16Luke Pigden
17Tommy Williams
Match Report By
Michael Underwood