K’s Advance in FA Cup at Hornets’ Expense
On the day the Tour of Britain passed through Horsham, Kingstonian’s FA Cup campaign kicked into gear as their front two proved too much for the Hornets to handle to put Ks into the frame for the next round. Andre McCollin and Elvis Hammond’s finishing proved the difference as the pair grabbed two goals apiece to settle to tie at Goring’s Mead. The duo proved too much for the yellow jerseys of the Horsham defense to handle, bar none.
The host’s started well, eager to cause an upset and could have gone ahead after Rob Tolfrey let a backpass slip under his foot before recovering to clear off the line. Harry Smith blazed over with the goal under pressure from Alex Addai as Kingstonian held on amid a tough opening 15 minutes. It only took one chance for McCollin to settle the nerves however. The striker was played in by Tyrone Berry on the break, needing one touch to get away from the defender and one to smash the ball high into the near corner past Gareth Williams in the Horsham goal. The rest of the half was a quieter affair. Aaron Goode tested Williams from distance while the keeper also tipped Elvis Hammond’s dink over the bar. At the other end a fine double save from Tolfrey kept the scores level.
As the hosts tired in the second half, Ks took control. A long ball into the Horsham area was only cleared as far as McCollin who powered home a volley from the edge of the area to double the lead. Still Horsham created chances with Harry Smith again guilty of missing guilt-edged chances and Tom Gilbert heading over when it looked easier to score. The host’s midfield was saddled with mistakes from their attack and defense.
Two quickfire Elvis Hammond goals sealed the deal. Steve Laidler strode forward as the host’s backpedalled, playing in Hammond who nutmegged ex-K Byron Napper before stroking the ball past Williams. Minutes later debutant Pico Gomez’s inch-perfect ball found Hammond in acres of spaces who was able to repeat the trick and secure a scoreline which highlighted the difference in quality rather than reflecting the performances of the respective teams.
The sunny afternoon provided an encouraging start for Kingstonian in the cup. After a few years without any cup success, 90 minutes on a difficult surface against spirited opponents could have troubled Ks but a professional performance secured passage to the second qualifying round and broke a chain of disappointing cup defeats.
Match report by Jamie Cutteridge.