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Margate 3-3 Kingstonian

Kingstonian let slip a three goal lead and a play in the final promotion play-off position as they drew away to lowly Margate.

In weather and on a pitch akin more to cricket, the team fired in three goals within 14 minutes of the first half as a brace from Bobby Traynor and one from Paul Vines put the hosts to the sword.

But just before the break a headed goal by Wayne Wilson reduced the deficit and then two more in the second half bought Margate an unlikely draw. With Harrow drawing, the win would have given the last play-off berth to Kingstonian.

Knowing a win was the minimum requirement for them and cheered on by a bumper end-of-season following from the Kingston area and beyond, the team began with purpose.

An early attack up the left saw a corner in the first two minutes and then a wide shot by Adam Thompson later was interspersed with a shot over the bar at the other end. And Gary MacDonald then saw his header go just too far ahead of Traynor for another chance.

However on the quarter hour mark, a shot outside the box was deflected off the hand of Curtis Robinson straight to Vines who slotted in low. By this time the referee had blown for a penalty which Traynor duly despatched low to the right.

Seven minutes later, with the defence awry and the injured 'keeper exposed, Vines did get on the score sheet with a clinical shot 10 yards out in front of goal.

Tom Bird's free kick on the left was headed down in the area by Simon Huckle and Vines finished it off. And another seven minutes later Vines was denied brilliantly twice by the injured Jamie Palmer in quick succession, only for Traynor to swoop in from the left and beat the goalkeeper low to the near post.

In-between and after Mo Harkin missed twice and Thompson's swivel had seen the ball volleyed weakly to Palmer. Four-nil to the good ought to have seen the team to the end, although many would think that three goals to the good would suffice.

Margate had other ideas and in the 38th minute Aaren Lacy's corner on the left was headed out of defence straight back to him. His cross back in found Wilson by the far post, who headed in from five yards.

At the other end, Kingstonian were far from finished. Bird's cross was just inches too high for Vines in front of goal and Margate then hit back with Stephen O'Brien denied by a late kick out and away just short of the goal line.

However the cushion of two goals was quickly halved cafter the restart and the comfort zone became one of nerves. Once again it was Wilson's head that did the damage. And he nearly had a hat-trick in the 50th when his corner kick on the left curled in, carried by a gust, to hit the far post and rebound away to safety.

Sensing potential disaster Ks upped their game and Vines headed across goal from Bird's cross. Minutes later Dean Lodge crossed long upfield to him but Palmer was quicker to the ball.Then Lodge's free kick found Huckle who headed only to be denied again by Palmer on the line.

This was going to the high tide mark in the second half for Ks as gradually Margate regained belief in themselves again. In the 79th minute the comeback kids did come back when a second corner in succession ended with captain Dean Hill kicking the ball almost over his shoulder and into the centre of the net.

Then with the chance to rub collective faces in the sand, half-time sub James Pinnock was clean on goal and tried to lob Rob Tolfrey only for the ball to go wide. Sean Welford was later denied as his header went over with almost the last action of the game.

At the other end in the 88th minute Antonio Gonella, just on the pitch, went up the left and almost scored an unlikely winner but the ball hit the top of the bar hard and Palmer could push the ball away to safety.

Injury time saw Tolfrey up in the area as Bird took a corner but Tom Hutchinson could only head wide.

A last minute equaliser for Cray against Harrow meant that a win would have seen Kingstonian overhaul the latter into the last play-off position and an away trip to Tonbridge but instead the team ended up in seventh position and a point off fifth. But they now face a third term in the Ryman Premier when August arrives.

Sat 30th Apr 2011
Hartsdown Park
Isthmian League Premier
Traynor (2, 1 pen), Vines
1Rob Tolfrey
2Adam Thompson
3Tom Bird
4Gary MacDonald
5Tom Hutchinson
6Simon Huckle
7Bashiru Alimi16
8Mo Harkin15
9Bobby Traynor
10Paul Vines
11Dean Lodge14
12Inaki Ordono
14Sam Clayton11
15Allan Tait8
16Antonio Gonnella7
17Nic Taylor
Match Report By
Michael Underwood