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Margate 2-1 Kingstonian

In many ways Kingstonian's performance at Margate was an encouraging one; in others, it typified season-long problems that are yet to be resolved. A dominance of possession, helped by Mark Hams choosing a 4-5-1 formation, was a sign of the ability that this Ks side does have but it was rendered obsolete by another poor performance in both penalty boxes.

The last-minute sucker punch to hand Ks their third consecutive defeat was harsh, but also had an almost-inevitable feel about it for a team short of confidence who had wasted half a dozen clear chances over the course of the game.

Hartsdown Park is never an easy ground to win at - Ks had failed in their previous four attempts - and they made the task even harder for themselves on six minutes. Rob Tolfrey missed a corner from the right and it cannoned straight into the goal off the shoulder of Gary MacDonald.

The 'Gate had the better of the first half hour, with two free headers coming close - one narrowly clearing the crossbar and another producing a Tolfrey save, while Dan Stubbs came close from 30 yards. Ks' best chance in that period fell to MacDonald after a Bobby Traynor cross, but Ks' top scorer from open play this season could not keep his header down from close range.

Ks began to see more of the ball though and had a flurry of pressure right at the end of the half which eventually culminated in an equaliser. First, Simon Huckle was played in with a sight of goal, but taking too long to control and unwilling to shoot with his left foot, the defence was able to recover.

Next, Mo Harkin played a perfect through ball for Traynor, but bearing down at a slight angle his shot clipped goalkeeper Simon Overland's foot on its way wide. Harkin sent Alimi through a minute later although he could not reach it before Overland came out to smother the ball, but deep in injury time the equaliser came. Harkin was again involved, heading back across goal, and although Sam Clayton headed over the referee deemed that he was fouled in the process. Traynor may be short of goals from open play but from the penalty spot he proved as reliable as ever, sending Overland the wrong way to level the scores.

After the break Ks looked much the better side, passing the ball well and having the majority of possession. With the chances they created they should have won the game, but poor finishing let them down before another defensive lapse turned a draw into a defeat right at the death.

Traynor teed Tom Bird up for an excellent cross, but from just six yards out Huckle could only head at Overland's legs. The goalkeeper, who would be named Margate's man of the match, denied the midfielder again two minutes later, getting down to block his side-footed effort from a Harkin cross.

The excellent Harkin went off with another injury on 55 minutes, to be replaced by returning ex-K Jamie Byatt, although Ks remained on top - despite Clayton having to clear a Kwesi Appiah shot off the line on 59 minutes.

A Huckle header from a 75th minute corner went through Alimi's legs only to be blocked on the line, with Alimi unable to scramble the follow-up home. In the last fifteen minutes Ks continued to look dangerous, but were unable to create a clear-cut chance, before the late defensive lapse that undid all their hard work.

'Gate substitute Adam Burchell was able to dance through the right hand side of Ks' defence, and Appiah tapped his low cross in from close range. Ks had a final throw of the dice but Chris Page fired well wide, condemning Ks to a third consecutive defeat.

Sat 19th Nov 2011
Hartsdown Park
Isthmian League Premier
Traynor (pen)
1Rob Tolfrey
2Chris PageCautioned
3Tom Bird
4Gary MacDonald
5Tom Hutchinson
6Ian Gayle14
7Mo Harkin15
8Bashiru Alimi
9Bobby Traynor
10Simon HuckleCautioned
11Sam Clayton
12Jason Henry
14Stuart Duff6
15Jamie Byatt7
16Malaki Lumsden
17Jake Whincup
Match Report By
Simon Grier