FA Cup action this Saturday at Clarence Park
Plus details of CITYLIVE coverage
KINGSTONIAN are the visitors to Clarence Park on Saturday in the FA Cup Third Qualifying Round.
THE LOWDOWN: Kingstonian have enjoyed a long and rich history in non-league football since the club’s formation in November 1885.
The Ks won the FA Amateur Cup in 1933 and finished runners up in the same competition in 1960. Geoff Chapple led the club to back-to-back victories in the FA Trophy in 1999 and 2000 but financial problems saw the club slide down the leagues.
Since then the club has slowly been climbing its way back up the non-league ladder and made it to the Ryman Premier Division play-off final last year before losing out 2-0 to Boreham Wood.
The Ks have put that disappointment behind them and are currently level on points with Ryman Premier Division leaders Lowestoft Town.
THE MANAGER: Alan Dowson has been in charge at Kingsmeadow since 2007 after switching to the Ks from Walton & Hersham.
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Dowson’s playing career began with Millwall and took in spells with Fulham, Bradford City and Darlington in the Football League.
The 40-year-old spent 10 years with Walton & Hersham racking up 334 appearances as well as spending two years in the manager’s seat.
Dowson led Kingstonian to last season’s Ryman Premier Division play-off final before losing 2-0 to St Albans’ rivals Boreham Wood in a highly controversial game that saw Ks’ defender Francis Duku attacked by a spectator.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Prolific striker Bobby Traynor looks the man most likely to fire Kingstonian to victory at Clarence Park.
The former Brentford striker has netted 116 goals in 166 starts for the Ks and has seven goals from 11 starts this season including one in the 1-1 draw away at Margate in the previous round of the FA Cup.
LAST TIME: Saturday’s game will be the first time in six years that the two clubs have met.
The previous encounter saw current City boss Steve Castle come off the bench to fire the Saints to a 2-1 win at Kingsmeadow, a win that lifted the Saints out of the bottom four of the Ryman Premier Division.
The Ks’ last visit to Clarence Park saw them return to South West London with all three points courtesy of Mark Beard’s 90th minute goal.
HOW DID THEY GET HERE: St Albans City reached the Third Qualifying Round following a straightforward 3-1 victory over Kent Premier Division side Beckenham Town. Jean-Michel Sigere, Drew Roberts and an own goal was enough to give City their biggest win of the season and a place in the next round.
Kingstonian’s journey wasn’t so straightforward requiring penalties to overcome Margate.
Bobby Traynor’s goal at Hartsdown Park cancelled out Jamie Pinnock’s opener for Margate and set up a replay at Kingsmeadow. Again it was the Kent side who opened the scoring courtesy of Wayne Wilson’s free kick but Lee Hall equalised to take the tie to extra-time and penalties.
It was the goalkeepers who excelled in the shootout saving five penalties but it was the Ks who progressed courtesy of Rob Tolfrey’s three excellent saves.
NEWS: The Saints will be keen to banish the memory of last weekend’s 4-1 defeat to Bishop’s Stortford and with �7,500 in prize money on offer to the winners they have double the incentive to do well.
Inih Effiong was on target for the reserves in their 1-1 draw with Buckingham Athletic last weekend and could be pushing for a place in Saturday’s squad.
Boss Steve Castle also hopes to have Hassan Sulaiman available after the winger missed the last two games through injury but Adam Everitt is still suspended.
Kingstonian manager Alan Dowson has described Saturday’s encounter as his side’s biggest game of the season.
“This is the biggest game of the season and I’m desperate to do well. We’ve got a chance,” Dowson told the Kingston Guardian.
“We’ve got a lot of players who say they can play at that level, it is now up to them to go out and prove they are good enough.
“If we get to the Blue Square South I don’t know how we’ll get on. It is a big step up for us.
“If we can get there with �200,000 from a big cup run in our back pocket, it will make life a lot easier.”
For those of you who are unable to make it to Clarence Park on Saturday, you can keep up with the action via our CITYLIVE service which will start at around 2.30pm.