Honours Even At Kingsmeadow
The derby with Hampton and Richmond Borough will never stir the same sort of emotions in Ks fans that encounters with Sutton United do, but the return of Alan Dowson at least added a touch more spice to proceedings.
Dowson was unable to capitalise on Ks' poor home record though, coming away with a draw from an encounter that was feisty and competitive, if lacking in real quality.
Ks were the better team in the first half but their dominance of possession yielded few clear-cut chances, as a Hampton defence including recently-departed Ks man Matt Drage held firm. The best chance fell to the on-form Pico Gomez after good work from Josh Casey but Matt Smith did well to tip his powerful volley over the bar.
Ks began to look more threatening after the break and might have scored from a pair of corners. From the first, Smith kept a Gomez header out and the Beavers bundled it away before Adam Doyle could turn the rebound home. Next, the left-back had a header of his own but it was again repelled.
Ks broke through on 61 minutes, however. Jesse Darko, on as a substitute after a pair of fouls wiped Chris Henry out of the game, said Elvis Hammond in on goal. Despite being held back he got a shot on goal which Smith could only parry but, despite still being fouled, he managed to turn the rebound home.
After looking comfortable defensively all game though, after taking the lead Ks began to wobble. Rob Tolfrey did well to keep a Drage header out after a corner but just four minutes after falling behind, the Beavers pulled level. Substitute Ben Harris was the man to beat Rob Tolfrey, getting a free kick to beat him low inside his left-hand post.
Both sides hustled and bustled but created little of substance in the closing period. Neither will be too unhappy with a draw, but Ks need to start notching wins at Kingsmeadow in the same manner they are on the road if they're to have a chance at a late tilt at the playoffs.
Match report by Simon Grier.