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Wealdstone 0
4 Kingstonian
McCollin (20' pen, 67'), Drage (22'), Akinde (81')

Stones rolled over

Eight hundred and ninety five fans (including a small but vocal few from Kingstonian) turned up to welcome newly crowned champions Wealdstone back to Grosvenor Vale.

The celebrations turned a bit flat as Kingstonian turned party poopers in some style to record a 4-0 victory.

Kingstonian started brightly, moving the ball around well before very nearly taking the lead on the quarter hour from an unlikely combination as Page crossed from the left to Drage, whose first time volley was well saved by North.

The Wealdstone keeper almost immediately turned from hero to villain. From a half cleared corner the ball was headed back into the area and as Matt Drage ghosted past a static home defence he was caught by North a fraction of a second after he had reached the ball. The referee pointed to the spot and perhaps harshly also produced a red card. With no substitute 'keeper on the bench, defender Cronin took the gloves, and promptly had to pick the ball out of the net as McCollin convincingly dispatched the penalty.

Drage was in the thick of the action two minutes later, but this time as the goal scorer. A near-post McCollin corner was expertly flicked on by the defender and past the keeper at the near post.

Kingstonian proceeded to dominate the remainder of the first half with the home side recording no efforts on target and importantly lost their influential playmaker Glen Little in what looked like a tactical change.

Wealdstone started the second half much better with Tolfrey making two good saves from Pigden and Penney. At this point Dowson introduced Ofosu-Hene into the fray in place of Sweeney, who had enjoyed an excellent first half.

Having weathered the early Wealdstone pressure, Kingstonian extended their lead in the 66th minute from the hitherto rather quiet McCollin. He gathered the ball on the outside of the area and tried what looked to be a rather speculative effort from 25 yards. However, it was well struck and went in off the inside of the left hand post.

Dowson then decided to substitute Drage and Moss, in what looked like precautionary moves. Pappoe dropped back into defence alongside Page, with Knight playing down the left wing and Akinde at centre forward.

The quality of Knight was quickly evident as he beat Hammond to deliver a low cross to the near post which was well converted by Akinde.

It was certainly a good time to play Wealdstone, with them having just been crowned champions, but this was still a very convincing performance from a confident K's side. Steve Laidler was again outstanding amongst a number of strong performances from the visitors. It remains very tight in the battle for a playoff spot, but there will be few chickens counted yet by Dowson given the disappointments of recent seasons.

Report: Peter Allan

Published Wednesday 12th September 2018