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Lewes 1-1 Kingstonian

Kingstonian's unbeaten start to 2012 continued, but it once again relied on a goal in the final 10 minutes, this time to grab a share of the points against playoff challengers Lewes.

As Alan Dowson commented after the game, the first half saw possibly the Ks' best performance of the season but a combination of poor finishing, bad luck and one silly tackle in the penalty area saw them go in to half-time a goal down. The visitors were less impressive in the second half, but Stuart Duff's 81st minute equaliser was the least Dowse's side deserved. The performance was all the more impressive baring in mind the fact it was done with their manager on the sidelines for the final 60 minutes after Dowson was sent to the stands.

The manager made one change from the win over Harrow as club captain Gary McDonald came in for Sam Clayton, with Aaron Goode moving up into midfield. This meant Stuart Duff continued up-front ahead of Bobby Traynor and it was Duff that caused the early problems for the Lewes defence. Sneaking between two players he could only smash his 8th minute shot wide, but Ks continued to press and Matt Pattison saw his low shot well saved by the host's keeper Rikki Banks' legs. This proved to be a decisive save as Lewes immediately broke up the other end of the field where Nic Ciardini was unnecessarily upended in the area by Goode, there was neither hesitation nor complaint as the referee awarded a penalty. Paul Booth had no hesitation in stepping up and duly dispatching it to give his side the lead.

Still Ks continued to press, twice before half time McDonald wasted good aerial opportunities from crosses by Fola Orilonishe and Pattison, as twice his headers went narrowly wide. Even when they weren't creating chances, Kingstonian were knocking the ball around nicely and dominating possession. Between these chances came the moment of controversy as Kingstonian's appeal for a back-pass was turned down and, after words were exchanged between management and officials, Dowson was sent from the touchline.

The second half began with less pressure from the visitors as the hosts began to exert themselves. Harry Harding seized on a poor clearance from Rob Tolfrey, but the Ks keeper reacted in time to push Harding's shot round the post. This was to be the only save Tolfrey made all afternoon. Pattison continued to threaten and it took a spectacular save from Banks to prevent his spectacular 20-yard volleying levelling the scores.

Soon after, Lewes broke and Booth was sent clear, with space and time he could only smash his shot high and wide, a feat matched by his strike-partner Michael Malcolm with a good, if less presentable chance, moments later.

Clayton and Traynor were brought on as Ks sought to get something from the game, and it was Traynor who played a pivotal role in the equaliser, in unlikely circumstances. His quick throw-in found Stuart Duff, on the corner of the area to do. Knocking the ball past one defender, he bore down on the keeper and calmly slotted it through his legs.

Both sides searched for a winner in the closing ten minutes, forcing corners at both ends. The closest either side got were attempts at spectacular finishes from Traynor and the host's Matt Somner, neither of which travelled the goalkeeper and at full-time perhaps both teams were satisfied with a point.

For Kingstonian, their performance merited more than the point, but Dowson acknowledge that on the back of two home wins, a point against one of the favourites for promotion was a good return.

Sat 14th Jan 2012
The Dripping Pan
Isthmian League Premier
1Rob Tolfrey
2Chris Page
3Tom Bird
4Gary MacDonald
5Tom Hutchinson15
6Aaron Goode
7Matt PattisonCautioned
8Bashiru Alimi12
9Stuart Duff
10Simon Huckle
11Fola Orilonishe14
12Sam Clayton8
14Bobby Traynor11
15Ian Gayle5
16Jason Henry
17Jake Whincup
Match Report By
Jamie Cutteridge