Three Off As Lewes Deny Profligate K’s
It’s an age-old rule that the quality of a day out is inversely proportional to the scoreline, so as the biggest Kingstonian away following of the season trekked down to the South Coast on the first glorious day of Spring, Ks’ 1-0 defeat to Lewes was, in hindsight, painfully inevitable. In reality, neither side did enough to win in a scrappy game of few chances, but in the end the hosts took their gilt-edged chance while Kingstonian’s bounced back off the woodwork to leave Tommy Williams’ side winless in their last three games.
The first half was a quiet affair, with Lewes enjoying the lion’s share of possession, no doubt buoyed by the ‘new manager bounce™’ that Steve Brown provided from the dugout. Indeed, the most notable aspect of the opening 45 minutes was its odd punctuation by two red cards in a game which hardly merited it. Alex Addai was the first to go, impetuously reacting to a poor challenge by sticking his head into Tom Davis’ (who didn’t even make the tackle). His stomp off the pitch following the red was somewhat undermined by having to go back and get the shirt he flung to the ground in disgust. Sam Cole followed soon after for The Rooks, going in over the ball and onto Steve Laider’s shin to bring some parity in the now 10-a-side encounter.
The second half saw both sides spring into action and Ks began to dominate possession. Still, it took Rob Tolfrey to keep the sides level as the visiting keeper produced a stunning save to keep out Elphick’s point-blank header. Immediately Ks went up the other end and when Pico Gomez was felled by the onrushing Rikki Banks, the Spanish striker was handed a golden opportunity to open the scoring from the spot. Banks guessed the right way, but got nowhere near it, unfortunately this was due to the ball rebounding off the post and out of the play, as Ks spurned their best chance of the afternoon. Still the chances came for Ks, Pico forced a smart save at the near post from Banks while Charlie Penney volleyed over from eight yards and Adam Doyle’s header floated harmlessly wide.
Like clockwork, the sucker-punch came in the last few minutes. A long free kick forward seemed innocuous enough, but Tolfrey let it slip through his fingers, leaving Lewes defender Ollie Rowe with the simplest of empty nets to slot home into the secure a vital three points in their fight against relegation. Ks continued to huff and puff but never seriously looked like equalising. Matt Crabb reduced Lewes’ numbers to nine after reacting to a late Doyle challenge but it didn’t matter – not even two red cards and the willpower of Josh Casey can defy the laws of a good day out.
Match report by Jamie Cutteridge.