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Kingstonian 3
Pico Gomez (23'), Drage (30'), Pigden (33')
1 Metropolitan Police
Goode (12' og)

Kingstonian Win A Home Game

In a 46-game league season , we can all be guilty of too eagerly labelling certain matches “must-win”. But, without doubt, after three straight 1-0 home defeats, and without a victory at Kingsmeadow since mid-August, this Monday night fixture really did matter.

Manager Tommy Williams had complained of too many “similar” displays in recent weeks, with players going through the motions in an orthodox 4-4-2. A change in formation was a bold move – and it paid off.

K’s lined up in a 4-3-3 with Pelayo Pico Gomez the central, elusive striker, while Chris Henry and new loanee striker/winger Loick Pires played as inside-forwards –an Isthmian version of peak Spain/Barca.

Much of the summer was spent talking about keeping the 2013/14 team together but circumstances have dictated major changes to the frontline.

When Met Police took the lead through an Aaron Goode own goal in the 12th minute, it looked like 2014/15 was on the line. Then something happened that had nothing to do with tactics and everything to do with hard work – Pico Gomez pressed a lost cause, took advantage of a goalkeeping error and poked the ball into the net, reminiscent of a similar strike at Witham Town earlier this month.

At 1-1, K’s were transformed. After the ball broke from a corner in the 30th minute, Steve Laidler showed superb vision to knock the ball through a crowd of players to Matt Drage, recalled in Sam Page’s absence, who was lurking on the far side of the 6-yard box. Drage, a ball-playing centre-half if ever there was one, shaped to shoot first-time and curled the ball into the corner.

Two minutes later K’s made it 3-1 with another fine strike. Luke Pigden, signed from Wealdstone to add balance and mobility to midfield, arcked the ball over the keeper’s head with a fluid swing of his left boot.

In truth, aside from those mesmeric moments, K’s created little thereafter. But the need for a win was so great, and the threat from Met Police (albeit minus the injured Matt Pattison) serious enough, that few would begrudge a quiet second half.

Match report by Taimour Lay.

Published Wednesday 12th September 2018