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Kingstonian 2
Knight (54'), Drage (96')
1 Bury Town
Finch (90')

Drage Bury-ies the Blues with late winner

Kingstonian snatched a dramatic victory with a 96th winner from Matt Drage, having seemingly blown it moments earlier by conceding a sucker-punch equaliser in a match they had hitherto dominated.

Exploding out of the blocks, Kingstonian forced six corners in the first five minutes before Casey drew a fine save from Garnham with a rising shot on the quarter hour. From the resulting corner Drage headed straight at the keeper from close range.

The visitors gradually weathered the early storm and came close to taking the lead in the 26th minute. Pappoe conceded a soft free kick on the edge of the area, which Whight hit left footed only to see Tolfrey tip his shot onto the underside of the crossbar. Patrick later spooned a shot high over the bar when well placed, as the game meandered towards half time.

Kingstonian started the second half much as they had started the first, by dominating the early exchanges. They spurned three golden opportunities to take the lead within the space of a minute as first Drage's header was blocked on the line, before Sweeney's follow up shot was pushed past the post by Garnham to concede a corner. From this Sweeney saw his goal bound shot deflected agonisingly wide by one of his own players.

This early pressure finally told as Kingstonian took the lead in the 54th minute. After good work down the right, Moss crossed to Pappoe, who showed good composure and held up the ball well, before teeing up Knight to finish from six yards.

The home side proceeded to dominate proceedings as Sweeney, Casey and Page all came close. As the game entered the final five minutes of normal time Bury raised their game and forced a succession of corners and free kicks from dangerous areas without creating any clear cut chances. This pressure finally told as Finch ghosted in to head past Tolfrey from a free kick.

This looked like being the ultimate sucker-punch, but Kingstonian picked themselves up for one last go in search of a winner. Having been berated by Moss for a poor delivery from a corner, Knight responded perfectly by immediately delivering a teasing cross which was headed back across goal and into the top corner by Matt Drage.

Kingstonian should have won this game at a canter given their almost complete dominance of proceedings. However, they showed great fortitude to raise themselves and find a winner after they had seemingly thrown away two points. This may yet prove to be a vital victory on the run-in to the play-offs.

Report: Peter Allan

Published Wednesday 12th September 2018