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Kingstonian 2
Mullen (52'), Hutchinson (61')
2 Brentwood Town

Last (minute) goal doesn’t win

Kingstonian conceded a goal in the 89th minute to draw with 2-2 with Brentwood Town in the Third Qualifying Round of the FA Trophy.

An out of sorts Kingstonian struggled through the first half against the Ryman North side. In a changed line up with Hutchinson coming in to partner MacDonald at the heart of the defence, Ofosu-Hene starting in midfield and Somner pushed out to left back, the home side played like strangers.

The visitors settled down quickly and generally looked the more accomplished side and created two good chances early, the best of which saw Read through one on one with the keeper but only producing a tame shot.

The biggest cheer of the half came in the 37th minute, albeit an ironic cheer, as the floodlights successfully came on. Moments later Wade Small’s fierce volley comfortably cleared the bar in what was Kingstonian’s only chance in the first period.

Craig Mullen came on at the start of the second half for Wade Small and the change soon paid dividends in the 50th minute. Latching onto a long pass he flicked the ball over the defender and showing great strength squeezed his shot in off the keeper.

Five minutes later we saw a quick change in fortunes as McCollin raced clean through but produced what could better be described as a weak back pass rather than a shot. Having looked like going 2-0 up seconds earlier, Kingstonian found themselves level. Read got onto the end of a long ball and shot over Tolfrey and high into the net.

Kingstonian wasted little time in retaking the lead in the 61st minute. Hutchinson showed the most determination in a crowded penalty to head powerfully past Justham from a Pattison corner.

Fortunes fluctuated as both sides had chances as the game opened up in the dying minutes. Just as it looked like Kingstonian had done enough, Brentwood levelled in the 89th minute. A deep corner avoided the despairing finger tips of Tolfrey and Blevitt gratefully headed into an empty net.

Overall a draw was probably a fair reflection of the whole game. Kingstonian were uncharacteristically poor in the first half and although they improved in the second, they were still someway short of their best. Having been lucky to go in level at half time they will ultimately be disappointed not to have held out at the end.

Report: Peter Allan

Published Wednesday 12th September 2018