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Canvey Island 4
King (45')
3 Kingstonian
McCollin (9', 49', 59')

K’s robbed on Park Lane

For the second league game in succession Kingstonian left Essex with no points and having conceded four goals.

Comparisons between a 4-3 defeat at Canvey Island and the previous 4-0 shellacking at Thurrock are few, but the porous nature of the Ks defence is certainly one of them.

Alan Dowson had tried to shore up the defence by going with five at the back, but despite Andre McCollin giving Dowson’s side the lead with a brave header from Byron Napper’s cross, Ks were out of sorts in the first half and could barely complain about a 3-1 half time deficit. Once former K Ashlee Jones was beaten to the ball by McCollin in the 7th minute he had a quiet first half, but the same could not be said of Rob Tolfrey. All three first half goals came down the Kingstonian left, and despite Ks starting with three centre backs, there was repeatedly acres of space around the area for Canvey to score three simple tap-ins. The warning had been there as Louis Dennis and Kevin Dobinson had gone close, but in the 15 minutes before half time James Hawes, Dennis and Rob King were left with easy opportunities which were finished with aplomb, leaving Tolfrey no chance and Ks reeling. A Gary MacDonald injury only compounded the misery, and Dowson switched to a 4-4-2 by bringing Dean Lodge on.

The second half was a different story. Just four minutes after half time Tolfrey’s goal kick was picked up by McCollin, who cut inside ad drilled the ball into the bottom corner to bring Ks within one goal. Kingstonian were suddenly dominating the midfield with Matt Somner and Lewis Taylor pulling the strings. Craig Mullen could only side-foot it into Jones’ arms from point-blank range, while Taylor’s header flew wide. The pressure finally told in the 62nd minute as McCollin rounded Jones, but while his shot was rolling wide, Rickie Hayles bundled the ball into his own net and got stuck in the net to compound his misery.

It looked as if there was only one winner as the Canvey goal was bombarded. McCollin hit the side netting, Jerome Sobers header was tipped up and cleared off the line and Kieron Murphy had a head saved. Andre McCollin twice had headers come off the crossbar while Jones saved well from Matt Pattison who also saw a corner cleared off the line. Ks were throwing many players forward and Bradley Woods-Garness was put through only to be brilliantly denied by Tolfrey in the 80th minute.

Pattison was blocked in the area by a defender but to the amazement of everyone was booked for diving! One last chance fell to Andre McCollin after lovely link-up play with Wade Small, but he volleyed a glorious chance over the bar. The final word however was Canvey’s. Ks continued to press for a winner there was a gaping hole behind the visitors defence. A long-ball put Woods-Garness through and he rounded Tolfrey before slotting home to the delight of the home crowd and the anguish of the visitors.

A spirited and dominant second half from Kingstonian was ultimately not enough and undermined by an abysmal first half. Football continues to be a strange and cruel mistress to which we’ll all return next week.

Report: Jamie Cutteridge

Published Wednesday 12th September 2018