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Canvey Island 0-2 Kingstonian
Gayle force K's breeze past the Island

Hope is alive at Kingstonian. It's not just that results are going the right way, but this win over Canvey Island was as comfortable as you're likely to see against a fellow playoff contender. In a gloriously sunny March afternoon Ks were relentless in their midfield domination from the word go, and the two goal margin flattered The Gulls in a game where the hosts failed to pose any kind of substantial goal threat.

Alan Dowson made no changes from the comfortable win over Aveley as his side entered the game knowing that anything less than a win would see them out of playoff contention. In a scrappy first 20 minutes, it was Ks who had the best of the play, and twice came close to scoring. Firstly Ian Gayle's header flew straight at James Russell in the Canvey goal before Ryan Woods angled drive hit the bar and flew over. From then off, nervy exchanges failed to create chances until a bobble inside the penalty area saw the ball land at the feet of Saheed Sankoh who was felled by Matt Game. As we come to expect, Bobby Traynor made no mistake from the spot and he picked up where he left off last week by giving his side the lead.

The penalty was the sole clear cut opportunity of the half but in the dying moments before the interval Ks almost doubled their lead as Tom Bird's free kick caused havoc inside the six-yard box before being cleared away.

After not giving away a sniff of a chance in the first half, Ks may have expected a stirring response from Canvey following the break, but instead Kingstonian dominated from the off. Bobby Traynor had a number of chances to extend the lead within the first 20 of the half. A volley was sliced over before he could only side-foot wide following great work from Sam Clayton down the left, and while the third of the efforts was on target, it floated tamely into the arms of Russell. Slight hesitancy in the area cost the next chance before he found himself in acres of space within the area but put it right down the keeper's throat. We all know Bobby will take chances, and his all round game today was perhaps as good as it has been all season. Rather than the misses spurring Canvey on, Ks continued to press. Good chances fell to Woods and Clayton as the bombardment continued but interventions from defenders and the keeper as well as some sloppy finishing kept the scores tight.

Eventually the game was put to bed as a training ground move was executed perfectly. A short corner was flicked into the mixer by Traynor and Gayle was first to react, powering the header home to secure the points. The lead could have extended as long-range efforts from Woods went close before a rasping effort from substitute Allan Tait strung the fingertips of Russell as he tipped it wide. For the hosts, two injury time efforts that went just over were all they could muster, a telling footnote in a comprehensive Kingstonian win.

This may well have been the best Ks performance of the season, one that left those in attendance that the playoffs are still in sight. And if not, then if the squad can stay together, next season is one to look forward to. It's been a turbulent season, but Dowse is building something quite special at Kingsmeadow.

Sat 24th Mar 2012
Park Lane
Isthmian League Premier
Canvey Island0
Traynor (pen), Gayle
1Rob Tolfrey
2Aaron Goode
3Tom Bird
4Gary MacDonald
5Ian Gayle
6Simon Huckle
7Matt Pattison14
8Ryan Woods
9Bobby Traynor12
10Saheed Sankoh
11Sam Clayton
12Allan Tait9
14Louis-Rae Beadle 7
15Chris Page
16Luke Wanadio
17Jake Whincup
Match Report By
Jamie Cutteridge