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Kingstonian 4-2 Tooting & Mitcham

With Ks needing a win to keep their playoff hopes alive, a tie against one of the league's most open teams, Tooting and Mitcham, could not have come at a better time. Ks managed to put four goals past the Terrors, and although some slack defending made the result hairier than it may have been against opposition with only pride to play for, they moved to within one point of the playoffs going into their final day trip to Margate.

Ks raced out of the blocks, taking the lead in just the fourth minute. Recalled Dean Lodge played Paul Vines in on goal and he beat Jamie Butler with a powerful shot that took a slight deflection off the recovering Sol Pinnock.

Ks kept the pressure up as they sought to quickly make the game safe. Aaron Goode did well to clear after a fantastic run from Lodge, Matt Drage needed a desperate tackle to deny Vines after more good work from Lodge and then Butler saved the striker's header from a Tom Bird cross. Bobby Traynor fired over after some neat footwork in the box before Terry Dixon volleyed wide for the visitors, after the sort of desperately poor defending of a corner that led to Hornchurch's goal three days previously.

On 27 minutes Goode blocked a Bashiru Alimi shot but just a minute later Ks were two to the good. More trickery from Lodge caused Jordan Wilson to trip him inside the box, and although Butler got a hand to Traynor's penalty he could not keep it out of the net.

Ks are rarely in the habit of making things easy for themselves though, and allowed Tooting back into the game on 36 minutes. Jason Henry was allowed to get to the byline down Ks' right, and his low cross was easily converted from close range by the unmarked Billy Crook. Four minutes later the scores were nearly level after Lodge lost possession to Wilson, but Henry fired wide with a clear run at Tolfrey's goal.

Ks' efforts to reinstate their two goal advantage were thwarted late in the half when Gary MacDonald got the ball stuck under his feet when in a great position, Tom Hutchinson's follow-up volley hit the crossbar and the Butler pushed a looping effort from Hutchinson onto the woodwork.

Ks came out for the second half in a nervy manner looking to protect their advantage, with Traynor moving to the right of a 4-5-1. Pinnock fired wide early on and then Henry should have scored with the follow-up to a Dixon effort which Tolfrey parried away.

On 55 minutes Ks went 3-1 to the good though, when Tooting failed to deal a Traynor chip from a short corner. It was cleared only as far as Hutchinson, who knocked the ball into the air and headed past Butler.

Tooting were not ready to give up, striking the woodwork with a free kick and then winning a 69th minute penalty after an Adam Thompson foul on Henry. Ks legend Geoff Pitcher sent Tolfrey the wrong way from the spot to make the scoreline a nervy 3-2.

Ks proved to be no Arsenal though, and instead of collapsing they reinstated their two goal cushion. Substitute Allan Tait broke free and looked for Traynor. A desperate sliding block from Michael Noone kept the striker from having an easy finish, but it wrong-footed Butler and Vines was on hand to ram home from close range, his second goal against his former club. Ks had no more problems protecting their lead and will now head to Margate with an iPhone and a calculator rather than a bucket and spade.

Mon 25th Apr 2011
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Isthmian League Premier
Vines (2), Traynor (pen), Hutchinson
Tooting & Mitcham2
1Rob Tolfrey
2Adam ThompsonCautioned
3Tom Bird
4Gary MacDonald12
5Tom Hutchinson
6Simon Huckle
7Bashiru Alimi
8Mo Harkin
9Bobby Traynor
10Paul Vines
11Dean Lodge15
12Inaki Ordono4
14Sam Clayton
15Allan Tait11
16Antonio Gonnella
17Nic Taylor
Match Report By
Simon Grier