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Hastings United 1-2 Kingstonian

Kingstonian capitalised on contentious refereeing to beat Hastings United with a last minute penalty. While there was no doubt that Ks' penalty was legitimate, after Sean Ray blocked Antonio Gonella's shot with his hands, just two minutes previously Rob Tolfrey got away with what appeared to be a professional foul as George Porter tried to round him. Even Alan Dowson admitted it should have been a penalty, but Ks got the rub of the green to secure three vital points.

The first half saw both sides hit the woodwork but neither break the deadlock. For Ks, veteran Ian Pearce struck the post after a goalmouth scramble, while Hastings' Ben Billings struck an upright after Tom Hutchinson failed to deal with a difficult low cross. Adam Thompson cleared off the line. Tolfrey was slightly the busier goalkeeper in a tight first period, making two good saves, compared to the one that home goalkeeper Seb Barton had to make from Bobby Traynor.

The second half saw more action, with Thompson heading over just two minutes after the break. Tolfrey rushed off his line to save at the near post on 53 minutes, with Allan Tait chipping wide shortly afterwards.

In the 61st minute, however, a Tom Bird error gave Hastings the lead. His back pass from the half-way line fell well short of Tolfrey, who was rounded by Porter to put the home side one to the good. Ks sought to get quickly back in the game but Hutchinson headed over and a Traynor effort was deflected wide.

In the 88th minute, Ks finally found an equaliser. Mo Harkin swore that his chip from the corner of the penalty box was intended as a shot not a cross, but few believed him, including his own manager. Nonetheless it sailed over Barton's head and into the far corner to level the scores.

Momentum was on Ks' side going into injury time, but they found themselves unable to get the ball into an attacking position. Disaster appeared imminent when Max Hustwick's backpass gave Porter another free run at Tolfrey but this time he was felled after knocking the ball past the goalkeeper. The referee played on however, much to the chagrin of Hastings and their management team.

The oversight was made all the crueller in the 97th minute, when Ray used his hands to block Gonella's drive after a goalmouth scramble. Traynor had not had a penalty for over four months, but the lack of practise made no difference as he sent Barton the wrong way to win three unlikely points.

Tue 22nd Mar 2011
The Pilot Field
Isthmian League Premier
Hastings United1
Harkin, Traynor (pen)
1Rob Tolfrey
2Dean Hamlin14
3Tom Bird
4Adam ThompsonCautioned
5Tom Hutchinson
6Ian Pearce15
7Sam Clayton
8Allan Tait12
9Bobby Traynor
10Paul Vines
11Bashiru Alimi
12Mo Harkin8
14Max Hustwick2
15Antonio Gonnella6
16Jordan Cheadle
17Nic Taylor
Match Report By
Simn Grier