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Walton Casuals 4-3 Kingstonian

Most men who like football up to the age of about 30 will fondly know Championship Manager as a way in which they wasted, or perhaps still waste, colossal amounts of time that they should have spent more productively. It is quite fitting, therefore, that the computer game should sponsor the Isthmian League Cup, which is itself a colossal waste of time, although has the disadvantages that it is colder, less fun and you can neither get Ks into the Champions League nor injure Joey Barton.

Walton Casuals' Franklyn Road was the venue for this year's early Kingstonian exit, which at least meant less time was wasted than travelling to the likes of Lymington or Outer Hillingdon, and the game was suitably sparsely attended for the unpopular competition. The admission price was a ridiculous £8 (eight) as Casuals opted not to follow the Ks lead of charging a lesser price for a lesser competition.

Ks raced into a 2-0 lead within 8 minutes before remembering that they didn't want the expense, fixture backlog and general boredom that comes with a League Cup run and conspired to throw the game away.

Both early goals came from Christian Jolley. For his first, he latched onto an early Matt Gray cross and headed past Chico Ramos, while for the second he latched on to an underhit backpass and rounded the goalkeeper to put Ks well in charge.

Ks continued to boss the game, with Carl Wilson-Denis forcing Ramos to push wide for a corner, Karl Beckford coming close and Mo Harkin forcing the goalkeeper to tip a twenty-yarder over the bar.

Francis Duku could not quite turn a Gray cross in and then Carl Garstary cleared Jolley's follow-up off the line from an acute angle. Eventually Casuals launched an attack of their own and debutant Rob Tolfrey and Duku were so mesmerised by the big occasion of the League Cup that they got all in a muddle and presented ex-Ks man James Rose with a tap-in.

After the break Casuals were level, to the minor pleasure of the literally tens of home fans. Ks made a meal of clearing a deep, high, cross to the far post and Craig Lewington became the second Waltonite to score against his former club.

Bashiru Alimi was lucky enough to be introduced on 57 minutes and six minutes later Ks were back in front. For at least the second time in three days, an opposition goalkeeper had a brainfade, in this instance Ramos choosing to pick up a backpass. Lewis Cook took the indirect free kick, about 15 yards out from a moderately tight angle. He went for power and the wall broke up, allowing the shot to deflect straight into Ramos' top corner.

Casuals looked a far better side than in the first half though, with Anthony Gale producing a Tolfrey save and a volley narrowly clearing the crossbar. They had left their top scorer Martin Grant on the bench, but perhaps fearing that defeat would leave only the Surrey Cup preventing their season being over before Liverpool's the end of November, introduced him to wreak havoc on Ks.

That he did, equalising five minutes from the end, where Ks' defensive shortcomings from a free-kick bore remarkable similarities to Lewington's goal and allowed Grant to slam home from close range. Casuals right-back Mark Walters evidently didn't fancy another half-hour of action as he nearly headed in an own goal but was saved by Garstary's second goal-line clearance of the evening.

Just a minute from time Grant secured the Stags' first ever win over Ks, with what was admittedly a quite sublime chip from outside the area that was worthy of a far bigger stage. Tolfrey had no chance and for that goal, and not giving up in a game where most surely would have, Casuals deserved their victory. Alan Dowson, however, may not have been impressed at how Ks were completely in charge of the game at 2-0 before hitting autopilot and deserting the cockpit to spend the next 82 minutes partying with the flight attendants. Or perhaps just playing Championship Manager.

Mon 9th Nov 2009
Franklyn Road
Isthmian League Cup 2nd round
Walton Casuals4
Jolley (2), Cook
1Rob Tolfrey
2Rob SheridanCautioned
3Lee Hall
4Karl Beckford
5Francis Duku
6Des Boateng16
7Matt GrayCautioned
8Mo Harkin
9Christian Jolley
10Carl Wilson-Denis
11Lewis Cook
12Jamie Summers
14Ali Dewar
15Tom Woolston
16Bashiru Alimi6
17Luke Garrard
Match Report By
Simon Grier