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Wingate & Finchley 0-2 Kingstonian

Kingstonian came away from a wet and windy Abrahams Stadium with a deserved three points, after a hard-working display from front to back. Two first-half goals gave Kingstonian control of the game and, from then on, the K's never looked likely to surrender the lead. Dowson headed into the game selecting to play a 4-5-1 formation, with Stuart Duff playing as the lone striker, in front of Alimi, Huckle and Ryan Woods, who made up a solid central midfield three.

Wingate & Finchley had the better of the early openings, with Bobby Aision heading Ross Parmenter's cross over the bar in the 9th minute. Two minutes later a ball over the top found Blues' forward David Laird. Laird powerfully shrugged off the backtracking Woods before firing his shot across Rob Tolfrey's goal. Tolfrey did well to adjust and managed to save with his feet. The resulting corner fell to Gazmund Dauti, but he could only blaze the ball high and wide.

Five minutes later Kingstonian had their first real chance of the game, after Huckle won two strong tackles in the middle and spread the ball well to Matt Pattison on the right wing. Pattison then did well to get the better of the Wingate left-back, Kieron Street. His through ball to Duff, though, was squeezed out by the Blues' centre-back.

Street was involved again in the 28th minute, after a deflected clearance deep into Wingate & Finchley's half found Duff inside the penalty box, approaching the byline. Street bundled Duff over clumsily in an attempt to regain the ball and the referee pointed straight to the penalty spot. It was perhaps a panicked reaction, but was a definite penalty and the Wingate players had no complaints. Bashiru Alimi confidently dispatched the penalty, sending the keeper the wrong way.

The Wingate & Finchley left-back's eventful half continued eight minutes later, after the impressive Matt Pattison's trickery led him into fouling him, just outside the box. Gary Macdonald's powerful cross led to a couple of corners, both being put up high into the swirling winds. Both proved difficult to deal with for the defenders, but the ball was eventually cleared and nothing came of it.

It was the 40th minute in which Aaron Goode doubled Kingstonian's lead. He picked the ball up and was allowed to carry forward, without any pressure from the Wingate players. Things opened up for him and he took his shot from 25 yards on the right-hand side of the box. The shot took a deflection off Bobby Aision and trundled into the bottom left of the goal. Bobby Smith in the Blues' goal was helpless, having already committed himself to his right.

Only minutes later Wingate & Finchley's captain Marc Weatherstone had his header disallowed, after he was found clearly offside after a flick on from a free kick.

Conditions got far worse at the start of the second half, as the rain started to come down very heavily and the wind made playing the aerial ball very difficult to manage. The pitch seemed to hold up well, however, and the torrential conditions soon calmed down.

It was the 59th minute when Parmenter's clever through ball found Leon Smith, who was brought down a yard outside the D, giving Wingate a free kick in quite a central position. Tony Burke then rattled the crossbar with a powerful strike, which Tolfrey could only stand and watch. The rebound came to nothing and was cleared away by Kingstonian.

Just two minutes later a Wingate & Finchley corner found Laird at the back post who, after controlling the bouncing ball well, had two consecutive shots blocked by a series of onrushing Kingstonian defenders.

In the 63rd minute came an abrupt end to Stuart Duff's afternoon. Duff had been chasing down a loose ball, as he had done tirelessly all game, when an unintentional collision with the defender left him in serious pain, as he had to be stretchered off and was replaced by Bobby Traynor.

Ten minutes later and Wingate had a chance to get back into the game. Burke clipped a ball into the box and Aision had timed his run to perfection, managing to avoid the offside trap and found himself free on the edge of the six-yard box. Unfortunately for the Blues, Aision missed the ball completely with his attempted header and the ball trickled away for a goal kick.

In the 82nd minute, Pattison viciously curled a Kingstonian free kick across the goal, forcing the Wingate & Finchley goalkeeper to produce a flying save away to his left.

It was a hard-working and organised display from the Kingstonian players, with the 4-5-1 formation proving a successful choice. Whilst not spectacularly entertaining, it was definitely effective and got a very tricky job done. It was not an ultra-defensive performance, Kingstonian did their fair share of attacking and were more effective than their counterparts when going forward. But the K's players were very quick to get back behind the ball and organised when they lost it, which was vital in providing the win. Kingstonian have now only conceded two goals in five games, and today's performance showed why this is.

This hard-working and organised mentality was typified in the first of six added minutes, when a long ball over the top found Leon Smith on the left of Kingstonian's penalty box. Two defenders quickly surrounded the Wingate forward, however, shutting him out effectively and clearing their lines before he could fashion a shooting opportunity. Some late pressure came to nothing, with Wingate finding it hard to generate any clear cut chances throughout the game. One good save by Tolfrey from Laird early on and a free kick striking the crossbar was all the danger that Kingstonian faced, Wingate mainly being kept to long range efforts. Again, this was testament to Kingstonian's resilient defending.

The last action of the game came as Traynor knocked down a high ball to Woods, whose shot fell just wide of the goalkeeper's left-hand post.

Sat 18th Feb 2012
Abrahams Stadium
Isthmian League Premier
Wingate & Finchley0
Alimi (pen), Goode
1Rob Tolfrey
2Aaron Goode
3Tom BirdCautioned
4Gary MacDonald
5Ian Gayle
6Simon HuckleCautioned
7Matt Pattison14
8Ryan Woods
9Stuart Duff12
10Bashiru Alimi
11Sam Clayton16
12Bobby Traynor9
14Allan Tait7
15Chris Sessegnon
16Saheed Sankoh11
17Jake Whincup
Match Report By
Sam Bryant