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Kingstonian 1-1 Bury Town

A draw with Bury Town was more significant for what it showed the future might hold for Ks than for its reward on the day. Having left themselves too much to do with an awful start to the season, Ks' playoff hopes are, surely, now extinguished; but, one of their best performances of the season showed that this squad could form the core of a team capable of challenging at the sharp end next year.

It's hard to remember a game in which Ks kept possession so well. They controlled much of the contest against Bury, and until they eventually abandoned their 4-5-1 shape as Alan Dowson rolled the dice in search of victory, Rob Tolfrey had rarely been as untroubled.

Ks only lacked a cutting edge. Promising attacks fell in the final third against a well-organised Bury defence, with Ks not quite able to find the right final ball or beat their man at the right time. Alan Dowson will have the summer to lodge a bid for the sort of player who can bring that sparkle to his team's game.

Far the better side, the first half was ultimately one of frustration for Ks. Aaron Goode showed great skill to get a cross in but Saheed Sankoh could not quite get on the end of it. Sam Clayton's 25-yarder was hit straight at Marcus Garnham while Ryan Woods pulled a low Bobby Traynor cross wide.

The best chance of the half fell to Matt Pattison after an excellent through ball from Clayton, but the ball caught under his feet and he allowed the defence to recover.

Traynor nearly scored just seconds after the interval but Garnham saved sharply at the near post from a tough angle. Louis-Rae Beadle became the 43rd man to turn out for Ks this season, itself a reflection of how long it has taken to find the right formula, and immediately had a chance to score. Garnham could only weakly punch away a Clayton cross, but Beadle failed to keep his follow-up under the crossbar.

Unable to break the visitors down, Dowson replaced Clayton with Allan Tait and switched to 4-4-2. The gamble, which worked recently against Margate, opened the game up but appeared as if it would not pay off Sam Reed won a penalty, fouled as he cut between Bashiru Alimi and Ian Gayle. Lee Smith sent Tolfrey the wrong way to put a frustrated home side behind.

Almost immediately though, Ks hit back. Sankoh's 20 yard effort was saved but Ks maintained the pressure and Beadle atoned for his earlier miss with a powerful long-range drive into the bottom corner. His casual celebration suggested that this sort of strike was nothing out of the ordinary for him, though if this is the case he would surely be plying his trade at a higher level; it was a goal any player should be proud of.

Needing the win both sides approached the final minutes in gung-ho fashion, but neither could secure the three points, making it four draws from the four meetings between the sides since Bury's promotion to the Ryman Premier. Tait had an effort easily saved from a Beadle cross, while John Sands fired wide for the visitors and Smith cleared the crossbar from distance.

Ks are surely now facing another year of Ryman League football, but the promise of recent weeks has shown that if Dowson can keep this side together then it may prove a brighter year than this one has been.

Sun 11th Mar 2012
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Isthmian League Premier
Bury Town1
1Rob Tolfrey
2Aaron Goode
3Tom BirdCautioned
4Gary MacDonald
5Ian GayleCautioned
6Bashiru Alimi
7Matt Pattison12
8Ryan Woods
9Bobby Traynor
10Saheed Sankoh
11Sam ClaytonCautioned16
12Louis-Rae Beadle 7
14Chris Sessegnon
15Luke Wanadio
16Allan Tait11
17Jake Whincup
Match Report By
Simon Grier