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Kingstonian 2-1 AFC Hornchurch

For the first time this season, Alan Dowson expressed his disgust with Kingstonian's performance, after a lucky win in which AFC Hornchurch outplayed Ks in the second half. Although the cliche will say that the result is all that matters, as an indicator for how the season's 39 remaining games will go, it was far less encouraging than the team's two previous games.

With Max Hustwick joining the centre midfield injury list, Ks looked even more exposed in the middle of the park. Too often they resorted to hitting long balls at lone striker Bobby Traynor, to little effect against a large visiting backline, and chances were few and far between - a vast contrast from the game against Billericay, who Dean Lodge had dominated just five days earlier.

The Essex side looked the more dangerous from the off, with Jamie Richards having an early effort deflected wide. In the fifteenth minute he created the game's opening goal when Dean Hamlin handled his cross away in the six-yard box. Tommy Black waited for Rob Tolfrey to make an early movement before casually rolling the penalty the other way.

The Urchins had been good value for their lead but six minutes later fell asleep at the back to costly effect. A Tolfrey goal kick cleared their back line and Lodge beat goalkeeper Ollie Morris-Saunders to the ball, knocking it past him and tapping into the open net. Dowson has been effusive in his praise of the winger's workrate over the summer and his first goal of the season will sit well with the trio of assists earned against Billericay.

A serious injury to Simon Huckle (dislocated elbow) and serious-looking injury to Richards held up a first half that had already been delayed by 15 minutes due to Morris-Saunders being stuck in traffic. Richards it eventually transpired was OK, but team-mate Elliott Styles went off at half time with a suspected broken ankle. The lengthy period of injury time saw a flurry of action, with Black and Ricky Hayles coming close for the visitors while Adam Thompson blasted over from close range and Traynor headed a Lodge cross wide.

Hornchurch completely dominated the second half. It was only their wasteful finishing, and a man-of-match display from Tolfrey, that kept the scores level long enough for Ks to take advantage late on.

Martin Tuohy headed over shortly after the break and then dangerous substitute Jo Flack fired over. As the half progressed, Hornchurch looked more and more dangerous, with Michael Spencer breaking clear of Hamlin before firing wide at the near post and Tolfrey blocking a Paul Shave drive. Tolfrey raced off his line to deny Flack again before the Hornchurch man came closest of all five minutes from time, beating the goalkeeper only to see his effort rebound off the inside of the post. Tobi Jinadu hacked clear.

The introduction of Carl Wilson-Denis for Jean-Sylvain Dossou had at least made Ks slightly more effective up front, as he was better able to deal with the long ball than Traynor. They were able to get into the game enough to allow Lee Hall some missed long-shots, and eventually got somewhat lucky and made the Urchins rue their poor form in front of goal even more than before.

With two minutes to go, another Hall long-shot misfired to Wilson-Denis, who did superbly to control it and crack a low shot at goal on the turn. Morris-Saunders tipped it onto the post, from where it rebounded onto the back of his head and nestled in the goal, to the dismay of the visitors. Hornchurch still had time for one more chance but it too was wasted, with Dave McSweeney's shot deflecting wide off the brave Jinadu.

Ks were delighted with the win, which puts them second in the league, but Dowson was disgusted with the performance, describing it as, "pathetic". The loss of Huckle for the next two months will only increase the club's midfield worries but the Bury and Billericay games have shown that the side does have the ability to play well. Dowson will be hoping that those games are more indicative of how they will perform over the coming season, as performances like this do not usually see the opposition be so generous in front of goal.

Sat 28th Aug 2010
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Isthmian League Premier
Lodge, Wilson-Denis
AFC Hornchurch1
1Rob Tolfrey
2Dean Hamlin
3Tom BirdCautioned
4Tobi Jinadu
5Gary MacDonald
6Jean-Sylvain Dossou14
7Matt Gray
8Simon Huckle15
9Bobby Traynor
10Adam Thompson16
11Dean Lodge
12Tom Duffy
14Carl Wilson-Denis6
15Lee Hall8
16Sam Clayton10
17Nic Taylor
Match Report By
Simon Grier