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Kingstonian 2
McCollin (66', 71')
2 Hendon
Smith (45'), Murphy (56' pen)

McCollin Inspires Kingstonian Fightback

An inspired Andre McCollin sparked a thrilling comeback as he netted twice in the second half to preserve Kingstonian's unbeaten start to the season as they fought back to draw 2-2 with fellow play off hopefuls Hendon. The game was a great advert for non league football as a crowd of 403 were treated to an entertaining match played on a balmy late summer afternoon.

In an open and well balanced first half it was Hendon who managed to create the clearer scoring opportunities. Kingstonian were grateful for Tolfrey's outstanding double save from close range in the 25th minute from first Ibe and then Sprague.

Most of Hendon's threat came down their right where the energetic Seeby overlapped to good effect as K's left back Blake was often left isolated.

On the opposite flank Kingstonian winger Alex Addai tormented Sprague, beating him at will time again, but failing to deliver a telling final ball.

It took a moment of great skill from Hendon No9, Leon Smith, to break the deadlock on the stroke of half time with a high quality goal. Picking up a loose ball in midfield, he drove on powerfully and cleverly created space for himself before finishing well with his left foot.

Kingstonian almost levelled matters straight after the restart, but Legg did well to turn Pinney's well struck shot past the post. Innes header from the resulting corner went just wide.

In a moment of controversy, Hendon extended their lead in the 56th minute from the penalty spot. Page was adjudged to have pulled Ibe's shirt, with the defender claiming it was his own shirt that was being held. Murphy sent Tolfrey the wrong way as he found the net.

Tommy Williams took this as the prompt to mix things up as he replaced the ineffective Blake with Henry as Casey slotted in at left back. This brought an almost immediate reward as Pinney played in McCollin who raced through and shot past Legg from a narrow angle.

With Hendon having been coasting at 2-0, the match completely turned on it's head as Kingstonian equalised in the seventy first minute. In a repeat of the first goal Pinney was again the provider as he laid the ball off to McCollin whose rasping drive unerringly found the bottom corner of the net.

It was one way traffic now as Kingstonian created chance after chance. The closest they came to a winner was when a powerful drive from Henry was tipped onto the crossbar by Legg.

In a final twist Hendon were reduced to 10 men in the eighty sixth minute as Sprague was sent off for a second yellow card. It was maybe a bit of a relief as he had been tormented by Addai all afternoon. Pinney had one last chance to snatch a win, but dragged his shot wide in the dying minutes.

Hendon provided a stern test for the home side and looked to be coasting to all three points mid way through the second half. It took two moments of inspiration from Andre McCollin to change matters, before Kingstonian finally looked like genuine promotion contenders. Overall it was a thoroughly enjoyable match to watch on Non-League Day.

Match report by Peter Allan.

Published Wednesday 12th September 2018