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Kingstonian 0
2 East Thurrock United
Higgins (10'), Lawson (66')

Stuck on the Rocks

When Ks fans lauded their team's spectacular 9-3 demolition of Cray Wanderers, they were chock full of confidence that the side would make the Ryman League's promotion playoffs.

Few would have predicted that they would fail to win any of their next five games, scoring a miserable two goals in the process. But that has now transpired, as Alan Dowson's efforts to mix his team up to arrest the poor run of form backfired at home to East Thurrock United.

Ks packed the midfield, with tough-tackling Simon Huckle and Matt Somner sitting behind the more advanced Lewis Taylor. But it did not lead to any more possession for Ks, who suffered an afternoon of immense frustration.

Ks were under the cosh early on, and although Jack Barton did very well to block a fierce early effort from a goalmouth scramble, it took just ten minutes for the visitors to take lead. Sam Higgins capitalised on hesitation in the Ks defence to lash an unstoppable volley past Rob Tolfrey.

Ks didn't threaten in a meaningful way until the 24th minute, but Paul Vines was just unable to get on the end of a low Taylor cross for what would have been a certain goal. They did test goalkeeper Elliot Justham three times before the interval but he was equal to each effort - an easily held Vines shot, a Dean Lodge shot which he tipped over the bar and then a disappointing Taylor effort after Vines had set him through on goal.

The second half remained one of frustration as Ks failed to get a grip on the game to test their Essex-based opponents. Dowson eventually rolled the dice with a triple substitution, introducing three attack-minded players into the fray, but just a minute later the visitors had doubled their lead as James Lawson capitalised with a free header past Tolfrey.

Andre McCollin looked lively and tested Justham from distance, and Wade Small had a goal chalked off for offside after Nathan Koranteng delayed his pass too long. Ks never truly looked like getting back in the game though and the pressure is now on Alan Dowson to revive his side's confidence, and with it their fortunes.

Reports: Simon Grier

Published Wednesday 12th September 2018