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Kingstonian 1-0 Margate

If Non-League Day was intended to demonstrate that semi-professional football can be as exciting as the professional game, then Kingsmeadow was the wrong place to be. After a fourth consecutive victory though, thanks to a late strike from Dean Lodge, this will be of little concern to the established Ks fanbase, who saw their side grind out another win to remain at the sharp end of the league table.

Despite his winning strike, Lodge was not the star of the show. That accolade fell to goalkeeper Rob Tolfrey, who kept his side in the game by repelling a number of Margate efforts with some fine saves. It was the third consecutive game won by a late goal and the internet is becoming increasingly full of accusations that Ks are a lucky team - perhaps in a previous life, Alan Dowson was one of Napoleon's generals.

Tolfrey's goalmouth was becoming something of a Waterloo in the opening spell of the game, as Ks were forced to clear numerous set pieces before the goalkeeper made a fine save from Shaun Welford after an excellent move from the visitors.

Ks did not manage an effort on target until the half-hour mark, when a Matt Gray free kick was easily saved by Jamie Turner - whose last game against Ks had been a nightmare performance in the colours of Maidstone United. Former Ks fan James Pinnock then came close for Margate, firing over after a counter-attack with Matt Gray lying injured on the ground. Late long-range efforts from Lodge and Gray failed to find the target and the sides went in goalless after a dull half which Dowson later compared to a pre-season friendly.

Ks showed more purpose after the break with Lodge and Carl Wilson-Denis producing Turner saves before Gray fired over with his left foot. Margate produced the best chances of the match though, with Tolfrey making a fantastic close-range save from Pinnock after good work Welford and then denying tricky substitute Ishmail Kamara. Kamara's effort rebounded to Welford but Tolfrey quickly popped to his feet and narrowed the angle to make another great save.

Once again though, Ks found a late winner against the run of play. Substitute Sam Clayton found league top-scorer Bobby Traynor, who turned provider with a perfect through ball for Lodge. Lodge pulled the ball across Turner and slotted it into the far corner of the goal to leave The Gate ruing their missed chances.

Margate still had six minutes to find an equaliser but Wayne Wilson fired over and Tolfrey made another good save to deny Kamara, capping his best display of an already fine start to the season. Ks clung on and although they could not mark Non-League Day with an entertaining display, they marked it with a vitally important result.

Sat 4th Sep 2010
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Isthmian League Premier
1Rob Tolfrey
2Dean Hamlin
3Tom Bird
4Tobi Jinadu
5Gary MacDonald
6Jean-Sylvain Dossou12
7Matt Gray
8Adam Thompson
9Bobby Traynor
10Carl Wilson-Denis
11Dean Lodge16
12Sam Clayton6
14Tom Duffy
15Billy Dunn
16Lee Hall11
17Nic Taylor
Match Report By
Simon Grier