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Margate 2
Moss (20', 74')
1 Kingstonian
Darko (90')

50 Shades of Ryan Moss

Kingstonian went down at the hand of a former lover in the run up to Valentine’s Day as last year's fan favourite Ryan Moss’ two goals knocked Tommy Williams’ side of the Robert Dyas League Cup. It could be argued that, like many jilted lovers who had seen their partner run off for a shinier proposition with a bigger budget, Ks had yet to get over Moss’ departure and had yet to replace, and so it proved on a cold Tuesday night on the South Coast.

Such is the money thrown around by Terry Brown and company that Margate were able to heavily rotate their title-chasing side and still run out comfortable winners over a Ks side that had begun to play themselves into form. It was the clinical nature of the winners, and Kingstonian’s lack of incisiveness with the final ball that proved the difference. Too often throughout the evening K’s final ball was lacking of they couldn’t do enough with the half chances they were presented with to test the affable Matt Armstrong-Ford in the host’s goal.

In fact both sides were relying on these scraps until the class of Moss reminded the two K’s fans in attendance what they’d been missing. Daniel Sweeney, once again filling in at centre back, was slightly hesitant on the edge of the centre circle, giving Moss the smallest sniff of a chance. He didn’t need a second invitation, breaking away and firing a fine half volley from the edge of the area past Rob Tolfrey. It didn’t all go Moss’ was however as he somehow contrived to screw a shot wide when presented with an empty net as the first half came to a close.

Ks began the second half brighter, as Callum Webb tested Armstrong-Ford with a low shot that was almost split to Elvis Hammond. However the loss of Pico Gomez, who was having an excellent game in midfield, to a slight knock handed the impetus back to Margate, and when Steve Laidler dallied on the ball, Moss was set through on goal again and finished low into Tolfrey’s near post.

The remaining half an hour petered out as both sides seemed to save themselves for the final push for promotion to come, not that it didn’t produce any moments to savour: one moment of the highest quality, but more importantly, a moment of farce: Margate’s other ex-K Lewis Taylor attempted to inject some flair into proceedings but his attempt at a ‘rabona’ cross rolled weakly to Callum Webb yards away (coming soon to a quiz team near you: Lewis Taylor’s Failed Rabona). The moment of quality was the last of the entire game: Jesse Darko’s 25-yard free kick was pure postage stamp, curled perfectly into the top corner to give the visiting stalwarts something to cheer.

They say it’s better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. This didn’t ring particularly true in this instance, but it’s fair to say that Ks loved and Ks lost.

Match report by Jamie Cutteridge.

Published Wednesday 12th September 2018