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Horsham 1-3 Kingstonian

Kingstonian took advantage of some early good fortune to eventually run out deserved 3-1 winners away at Horsham.

After a quiet opening as both sides tentatively probed the respective defences, the match burst into life with a controversial penalty in the eighth minutes. Clayton slipped past Horsham winger Nwachukwu and whilst there was no doubt his heels were clipped, the contact appeared to be comfortably outside the area. However the referee immediately pointed to the spot and did not change his mind despite consulting the linesman, who had only initially flagged for a free kick. Traynor was calmness personified as he despatched the penalty in his usual clinical fashion.

The remainder of the half settled into a routine as Horsham tried to play a neat passing game on a difficult surface, whilst Kingstonian were more direct and often penetrated down the left wing through a lively Jamie Byatt. Indeed it was through this route that Kingstonian came close to extending their lead as Byatt found Bird whose shot was tipped over the bar by Westoby.

Shortly afterwards Horsham had the ball in the net as Kingstonian failed to clear their lines after three or four attempts. The subsequent cross found Freeman unmarked but his well directed header past a poorly positioned Tolfrey was ruled out for off side.

Despite Sky showing the half time score as 1-1, Kingstonian emerged for the second half still 1-0 in front and came agonisingly close to doubling their lead within the first minute, as Hutchinson saw his header come back off the inside of the post and into the welcome arms of Westoby. The chances continued to flow for the visitors as first Bird shot straight at the keeper from a long range free kick and then Traynor fired powerfully over after good work by Huckle. This early pressure soon paid dividends as a deep cross from a Clayton free kick was headed back across goal by Huckle leaving MacDonald with the simplest of finishes as he headed in from close range.

Just as it looked like Kingstonian would press on and overwhelm the opposition, Horsham pulled a goal back in the sixty seventh minute. A clearance from a corner fell to Varley whose shot from 25 yards bounced awkwardly in front of Tolfrey who pushed it onto the bar but it was unclear if it crossed the line before Freeman made sure by thumping it home.

The goal was a catalyst for a big swing in momentum as Horsham sensed an equaliser and started to push Kingstonian to defend deeper and deeper. However the Kingstonian defence was in uncompromising mood and two clever substitutions, with Henry on for Byatt and Duff for Traynor, allowed them to relieve the pressure with dangerous counter attacks. Indeed with two minutes to go Clayton sprinted clear down the left and finished well with a low shot across the keeper and into the bottom corner.

Kingstonian have played much better than this in recent games without any reward. However there was a sense of purpose in their play and whilst they were undoubtedly lucky to take the lead with the early controversial penalty, their greater attacking threat was ultimately the difference between the two sides.

Sat 26th Nov 2011
Gorings Mead (Horsham YMCA)
Isthmian League Premier
Traynor (pen), MacDonald, Clayton
1Rob Tolfrey
2Chris Page
3Tom BirdCautioned
4Gary MacDonald
5Tom Hutchinson
6Ian Gayle
7Sam Clayton16
8Bashiru Alimi
9Bobby Traynor14
10Simon Huckle
11Jamie Byatt12
12Jason Henry11
14Stuart Duff9
15Hongi Moon
16Ben Cheklit7
17Jake Whincup
Match Report By
Peter Allan