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Kingstonian 1
Noguera Leon (86')
0 Croydon Kinetic

K's into Quarter-Finals of Grant-McLellan Cup

A goal with four minutes remaining by Iker Noguera Leon decided a tight contest in the Second Round of the Grant-McLellan Cup between hosts Kingstonian and visitors Croydon Kinetic.

The first half was a goalless but very competitive affair, with K's being denied by Croydon Kinetic's fine goalkeeper on a couple of one-on-one duels with Iker Noguera Leon and Alex Body being denied by good saves.

The second half was equally tight and increasingly dramatic. Firstly, Croydon Kinetic should have opened the scoring in the 47th minute taking advantage of a quick counter attack, but the Croydon centre forward saw his shot graze the far post before Kingstonian managed to clear the danger. Twenty minutes into the second half, the visitors thought that they had opened the scoring thanks to another speedy counter attack, but, unfortunately for them, the assistant referee's flag had gone up for offside.

The Croydon goalkeeper continued with his outstanding performance, denying Alex Body on another couple of occasions and David Lopes once, but he could do nothing but watch in the 69th minute when substitute Deniz Ozer floated a free-kick off the top of the crossbar.

Both sides got increasingly desperate to avoid a penalty shoot-out but time began to tick down and the dreaded spot kicks were looking an inevitability. But then K's made the breakthrough. In the 86th minute, Alex Andreou took a free kick just inside the Croydon half and floated it into the penalty area. Somehow, the ball landed at the feet of Iker Noguera Leon, whose shot took a wicked deflection and settled in the back of the net. K's were able to see out the rest of the game and book their place in the quarter-final, where they will host either Manorcroft United or CB Hounslow United.

Published Wednesday 9th March 2022