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Kingstonian 1
Sappleton (11' pen)
1 Farnborough
Dale (23')

No Magic In This FA Cup Tie

One of the great unheralded pleasures of following K’s in the Conference days (note to new fans: this was a golden period in the last century when Britain was a social democracy, the sun always shone and Jamie Cutteridge only supported Villa) was gathering at the back of comically oversized all-seater stands to survey the football below. None of this “hugging-the-touchline-non-league-intimacy” nonsense; we revelled in panoramic views, cantilever rooves, swathes of empty seats, plastic digging into our knees …

And so, if, as they say, every FA Cup game is someone’s first FA Cup game, that poor kid might not want to go back after 90 minutes of toil at Kingsmeadow ended in a 1-1 draw and a Monday night replay in Farnborough for Kingstonian on Monday night.

It had begun so well for Tommy Williams’ side; just ten minutes had gone when Ricky Sappleton was sent clear of the Farnborough back four before a nudge in the back sent him to ground. The referee instantly pointed to the spot and sent Martin Dynan back to the dressing room, before Sappleton dusted himself off and sent the penalty low and hard into the bottom corner.

Despite one fewer man, Farnborough immediately went on the front foot, dominating possession and it wasn’t long until they were level. A ball over the top found Bobbie Dale, who easily held off Max Hustwick before firing past Rob Tolfrey. The rest of the half passed by quietly with the only chance falling to Jake Kempton, who could only fire straight at Victor Sylvestre-Brotons in the Farnborough goal when through on goal.

Farnborough had the best of the early stages of the second half as Ks struggled to make any impact against the ten men as Lewis Collins clipped the post from outside the box for the visitors. But with 25 minutes to go, Ks finally got on top as Farnborough slowly retreated back into their own half, slowing the game down and content to sit play out for a replay. For Ks, Aaron Hopkinson was their main outlet down the right, with Dan Bennett becoming more influential after moving inside. Kempton was unlucky to shoot over when following up a free kick and his header was well saved.

In the end, it was left till the last few minutes for Ks to put on any real pressure. Alan Inns put two presentable headers off-target and Hopkinson’s fine ball across the box refused to draw any touches from the myriad of waiting Ks with the goal gaping. It was too little, too late and any goal would have been more than Kingstonian’s performance merited. Onto the Rushmoor Stadium on Monday night.

Match report by Taimour Lay.

Published Wednesday 12th September 2018