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Kingstonian 1
Kavanagh (75')
0 AFC Hornchurch

Kavanagh Goal Claims Win For K’s

Football may be the beautiful game (“o jogo bonito”). But beauty is only skin deep, as my mother kindly counselled me. The subcutaneous truth is that character will decide more contests than aesthetics and so it proved in this bitty, far from pretty, encounter.

Well-groomed Tommy Kavanagh pitched in with his second goal in a week and it was enough for the tightest of 1-0 wins over Hornchurch, whose style got Honduras to the World Cup so perhaps can’t be knocked at Step 3 of the English pyramid.

After a superb free-kick dragged K’s back into the game at home to Dulwich five days previously, Kav alone made the difference at Kingsmeadow.

The match looked like it was heading for a niggly nil-nil when substitute Nathaniel Pinney, who found space intelligently after his introduction, received the ball on the edge of the area in the 75th minute. The ball bobbled off to Kavanagh who struck first time across keeper Sam Mott, deflecting off Andre McCollin and hitting both posts before going in.

If that sounds like an ugly way to win, well, it was merely reward for K’s second-half performance, in which the home side withstood lively Hornchurch challenges (6 Essex players were booked and one was, briefly, sent off) and bravely decided to get on with and play football.

But, for all their combativeness, Hornchurch remain effective and had their chances, particularly former Ryman Golden Boot winner Martin Tuohy who was twice denied by off-the-line clearances from Matt Drage and Alan Inns.

Junior Luke also missed a sitter, skying the ball so high it went over the old Kingston Road End (sorry, Noodle End).

The win, however it came, lifted K’s into 3rd. At least the table looks good.

Match report by Taimour Lay.

Published Wednesday 12th September 2018