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Ryman League - Kingstonian 0 Hornchurch 1


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We'll be talking about this game for seasons to come and may well become the subject of legend. As my train pulled into Norbiton at 6pm there were spots of rain. Fairly soon followed the flashes of lightning and thunderclaps and by 6:45 an almighty storm had broken out. By 7:15 the pitch was more or less flooded and we were in a quandry. If this had happened in mid-season then the game would no doubt have been called off, but with AFC Wimbledon using the pitch on Wednesday and Thursday and with the season absolutely definitely having to finish on Saturday a quick decision was needed.


Meetings between managers/directors/match officials took place while ground staff worked on the pitch and a decision was made to wait, with the referee announcing a pitch inspection at 8pm. By then the rain had stopped and after a further 10 minutes the referee gave the go ahead with an 8:30pm kick-off.


Despite several minor puddles still evident and ground staff sweeping water off the pitch almost up until the first blow of the whistle, we kicked off as planned. Both sides soon learned that passing back to the goalkeeper was not a good idea and we were treated to a very competitive match. The chances started to come mid-way through the first half. Jamie Southon had to head off the line in the 23rd minute after Danny Gay was caught off his line after which Gary Abbott sent a shot just over the bar from 18 yards. Straight after this Andy Douglas had keeper Lance Key getting down low to save and a couple of minutes later a Kingstonian counter attack started by Martyn Williams ended in a shot just over the bar.


Our goal came in the 62nd minute when a Jon Keeling throw found Andy Douglas on the corner of the area who drilled a shot past Key. Two minutes later, though, Kingstonian came close to equalising when a long range shot from Dave Timothy beat Gay and hit the crossbar. We were on top though and deserved the victory. Andrew Martin came on in the 68th minute and caused problems in the home defence, and was only denied a possible comeback goal by a rugby tackle on the edge of the area when he would have been clear.


So a memorable night out and full credit must be given to the referee for being patient and understanding before kick-off and to all those who were determined to have this game played.


Line-up:- Gay, Gooding, Kerrigan, Southon, McGowan, Williams (R Martin 56), Keeling, Abbott (A Martin 68), John, Douglas (Brayley 87), J Martin. Subs not used:- Sorhaindo, McCartney (GK).

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