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Kingstonian 1-1 Hastings United

Kingstonian fought back from a goal down to claim a point with a late equaliser from Tom Hutchinson in a match they should have won but equally could easily have lost.

The home side started off brightly and created two good chances in the first two minutes, both of which fell to Hutchinson. The first saw his shot blocked at the near post by the keeper and the second was a header just wide from a corner.

Kingstonian proceeded to dominate the first half hour and came close to scoring twice through Clayton and with a Traynor header. As the half came to a close the Kingstonian tempo dropped and Hasting started to edge back into the game, although they only managed to create one half chance when Crellin screwed his shot high and wide.

The second half started with Kingstonian on the attack again. A long clearance from Tolfrey found Clayton on the left and as the midfield piled forward to support him, he cut inside onto his right and forced a smart save from Armstrong-Ford.

It was Hastings however who opened the scoring against the run of play in the forty eighth minute. A long cross-field ball somehow bounced over the last defender and found the Hastings left winger, Ben Davisson, in acres of space. He made no mistake as he lashed in a powerful shot from 12 yards.

Hastings could have put the result beyond doubt ten minutes later as referee Fissenden controversially adjudged a fiercely hit shot had been handled by Hutchinson. Justice was arguably done as Tolfrey dived low to his right to save a poorly hit penalty from Carey.

Downson took this as a sign to mix things up as he made a double substitution with Goode coming on for Page and Duff for Byatt. However it was a fracas round the Kingstonian dug-out that saw the game spring into life in the seventy fifth minute. As Carey wrestled with Bird in an attempt to prevent him from taking a quick throw in handbags were soon being thrown as both teams piled in, with able assistance from those on the bench. Carey was duly booked once matters had settled down.

In a rare counter attack Hasting's Attwood ran through on goal before being sandwiched between two defenders but saw his strong shout for a penalty turned down.

Kingstonian now threw everything they had at Hastings as Hutchinson moved up front to join the attack. But just as it looked as though they were not destined to score, man of the match Sam Clayton conjured up a chance out of nothing. When the ball reached him on the right he was offered no options by his team mates and had no choice but to run with the ball. Having dribbled past two defenders his delicious curled cross was met by Hutchinson with a diving header as he buried the ball into the bottom corner.

As the game entered time added on after ninety minutes, fortunes swung wildy as first Hastings No9 Medlock was played through for a one on one with Tolfrey before being denied by a brilliant tackle by Gayle. The action immediately swept up the other end as first Traynor saw his snap shot well saved by Armstrong-Ford before Clayton shot over from just outside the area.

Over the ninety minutes Kingstonian enjoyed greater possession and created more chances, but played like a side short on confidence. Having taken an unlikely lead, Hastings will rue their penalty miss and the fact that Medlock looked certain to snatch three points at the end before Gayle's brilliant intervention. Overall though a draw was probably a fair result.

Sat 17th Dec 2011
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Isthmian League Premier
Hastings United1
1Rob Tolfrey
2Chris Page14
3Tom Bird
4Gary MacDonaldCautioned
5Tom HutchinsonCautioned
6Ian Gayle
7Sam Clayton
8Bashiru AlimiCautioned15
9Bobby Traynor
10Simon HuckleCautioned
11Jamie Byatt12
12Aaron Goode11
14Stuart Duff2
15Jason Henry8
16Hongi Moon
17Jake Whincup
Match Report By
Peter Allan