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Kingstonian 1-0 Lewes

Kingstonian recorded their second win in three days on Monday night in an exciting match at Kingsmeadow, which saw them run out eventual 1-0 winners, despite playing the final fifteen minutes with only ten men.

Lewes looked a very talented footballing side, with a passing game to rival anyone's in the division. Their combination of slick passing and sharp movement was very easy on the eye and it is clear to see why they have started so well this season. The K's defence, however, were up to the task, as they remained resilient throughout and defended extremely well, often limiting the Lewes players to long range shots, as they prevented them from penetrating with their intricate passing play.

It was Kingstonian that had the first real chance of the game in the thirteenth minute, however, when Sam Clayton's shot, from the edge of the box, fell just wide of the goal keeper's left hand post, after a clever one-two with Neil Jenkins.

The K's then took the lead on the half-hour mark. Some tricky footwork by Mo Harkin on the right hand touchline enabled him to find Ali Chaaban. Chaaban then played a delightful first time ball down the channel into the path of Romone McCrae, who had made an excellent run forward. McCrae then continued his run and found himself on the right hand side of the box, where he managed to get a powerful shot away across the goalkeeper, who could only parry to Bobby Traynor at the far post who dutifully nodded into an open net. 1-0 K's.

And that lead was nearly doubled only three minutes later after a long throw from K's captain Gary MacDonald was flicked on at the front post. An almighty goalmouth scramble ensued, where the ball could easily have found its way into the net, but was somehow scrambled away and a goal kick was awarded.

Christian Nanetti looked particularly dangerous for the visitors, as he regularly attacked at flying speeds, using his pace and trickery to good effect, seldom turning down the opporutunity to take players on. It was the 38th minute when he found himself one-on-one with Chris Page at right back for Kingstonian and as Nanetti surged into the box, Page defended excellently to get a toe on the ball and concede a corner, because he could have easily conceded a penalty if he failed to make contact with the ball. Steve Robinson rose well from the resulting corner, but could only head straight at the Kingstonian goalkeeper.

It was the second minute of injury time in the first half when McCrae brought down Michael Malcolm on the edge of the Kingstonian box and conceded a free kick in a dangerous position. Malcolm then got up and took the free kick himself, but he could only send it sailing high over the bar and into the athletics ground, to bring about the half time whistle, which brought an end to an exciting first half of football.

Nine minutes had passed in the second half when Sam Clayton won the ball with a strong tackle on the right hand corner of the Lewes penalty box. Clayton then cut inside and looked to spread the play to Neil Jenkins at left-back. The pass was miscued, however, and Clayton inadvertently played a fantastic through ball to Lewes centre forward, Michael Malcolm. Malcolm collected the ball and ran, at pace, towards Rob Tolfrey in the Kingstonian goal. Gary MacDonald did well to get back and force Malcolm wide, however, whose low down shot was saved by the feet of Tolfrey.

Two minutes later K's had a chance of their own after a ball inside from the left wing found Romone McCrae who took one touch and let fly, forcing a good leaping save from Lewes' stopper Liam Mitchell. McCrae continued to pepper the Lewes goal, with another testing shot ten minutes later, after skipping past a few challenges in the centre of the park. Again, Mitchell did well to parry wide.

Paul Booth came on for the Rooks in the 64th minute and was involved inside just three minutes, as he propelled a skidding shot on Tolfrey's goal, but Tolfs got low down to his right hand post and collected cleanly.

With only twenty minutes remaining Christian Nanetti played a superb ball into the path of Nic Ciardini, but his heavy touch on the corner of the six yard box let him down and the ball fell into the grateful hands of Tolfrey.

It was the 73rd minute when Tom Hutchinson picked up a yellow card for his show of dissent after the referee turned down what he argued was a handball by the Lewes winger just moments earlier. The referee appeared to not be looking when said incident took place.

It was a mere sixty seconds later when Hutchinson received his second yellow card and marching orders, after he checked to run of Lewes' wide man Ciardini, with a little tug of the shirt as he looked to continue his run forward.

That sending off also brought an end to Sam Clayton's impressive evening, as he was sacrificed for another defender, in the shape of Lynvall Duncan, who slotted in at centre-back, whilst Traynor filled in on the wing for Clayton, leaving Allan Tait - who had replaced Ali Chaaban in the 70th minute - as the lone striker.

The final five minutes brought about some real end-to-end stuff and in the 85th minute, Michael Malcolm played the ball to Ciardini. Ciardini then got the better of two K's defenders on the right hand side of the box, before laying the ball back to Malcolm, whose first time shot went just over the crossbar.

Only a minute later a foul by Traynor on the impressive Nanetti gave Lewes a free kick, which was whipped in by Malcolm, but cleared by the Kingstonian defence. The clearance could only reach Ciardini however, whose shot from 25 yards out whistled narrowly over the bar.

Both teams continued to attack right until the final whistle and McCrae had another sizzling shot turned away, low down by the Lewes goalkeeper.

Lewes looked to play the long ball into the box for the first time in the match in the four added minutes. They failed, however, to make anything of these numerous balls that were pumped in as Tolfrey capped off an impressive performance by claiming the majority of deliveries with ease, helping K's to hang on to a very impressive 1-0 win.

Lewes are a very good side and certainly showed signs of why they are fourth in the league. They will without doubt be up there challenging throughout the season, but K's richly deserved this excellent win and their two recent victories should give the dressing room a huge boost and could kickstart Kingstonian's season.

Mon 26th Sep 2011
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Isthmian League Premier
1Rob Tolfrey
2Chris Page
3Neil JenkinsCautioned
4Gary MacDonaldCautioned
5Tom HutchinsonCautioned and Sent Off
6Romone McCrae
7Mo HarkinCautioned12
8Simon HuckleCautioned
9Bobby TraynorCautioned
10Ali Chaaban15
11Sam Clayton16
12Bashiru Alimi7
14Ian Selley
15Allan Tait10
16Lynvall Duncan11
17Mo Maan
Match Report By
Sam Bryant