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Kingstonian 1
Moss (72')
2 Metropolitan Police
Collins (40'), Hudson-Odoi (47')

Whistle-blower helps the Police

A Ks player reported on Twitter that the referee had said he'd probably never ref again after Ks' home defeat to Met Police.

It would be a shame to see somebody drop out of the game based on one poor performance but the official could be forgiven for questioning his desire to continue after what must have been a harrowing night defined by his error near the end of the first half.

Football is a fast-paced game and referees will always mis-see events that, even with the benefit of action replays, it can be hard to make a definitive judgement on. What is always harder for clubs to accept though is fundamental misinterpretations of the rules and it is this that Ks were the victims of, missing the chance to extend their lead at the top of the league.

In the 42nd minute of an uneventful first half the referee blew for a free kick for a foul on Josh Casey just outside the box. Ks brought their big defenders up from the back but Casey tried to take the set piece quickly, only for the referee to blow his whistle to presumably stop play.

Ks played to the whistle by stopping but, inexplicably, the referee then allowed the Blues to continue. A long ball was hoofed downfield, Tommy Kavanagh failed to cut it out with a desperate lunge, and with Sam Page and Matt Drage stranded at the wrong end of the pitch Charlie Collins had a free run at goal to blast past Rob Tolfrey.

With a sense of injustice Ks may have come out after the break with the bit between their teeth but in fact they quickly fell two behind. Met Police broke swiftly on a counter-attack and Bradley Hudson-Odoi poked past Tolfrey.

Substitute Charlie Knight eventually helped Ks to gather some momentum but it ultimately proved too little too late.

First, he took advantage of Blues miscommunication to latch onto a Ryan Moss cross and force Stuart Searle's first save of the match on 57 minutes. On 68 minutes he was the architect of the breakthrough though, finding Moss with a corner. The powerful striker headed home to give Ks hope.

Ks tried to strike an equaliser while the iron was hot, Andre McCollin forcing Searle to save with a vicious shot and then Moss seeing an effort deflect over after Page had burst into the box but left his pass just behind the striker.

Ks' momentum soon fizzled out though and the visitors had the best chance of the last fifteen minutes when Hudson-Odoi headed wide.

The referee should not distract from what was a poor Ks display; the first half was particularly insipid, a wide header of a long ball free kick from Moss being the only chance of note. Still, Ks can rightly feel aggrieved at the manner of the defeat and now need to regroup ahead of a tough run of fixtures.

Report: Simon Grier

Published Wednesday 12th September 2018