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Kingstonian 2
Kempton (35'), Goode (77')
2 Billericay Town
Talom (38'), Derry (83')

K’s pegged back twice by Billericay

A frustrating non-league day contest saw Kingstonian twice take the lead in an entertaining game against Billericay, only to quickly concede it again both times. The result moved Ks back into the playoffs, albeit with teams below enjoying the luxury of games in hand, but was nonetheless a missed opportunity.

Ks looked the better side in the opening stages but initially struggled to make a breakthrough. Malachi Hudson had the best early effort but it was slowed by a deflection making it easy for Jack Giddens.

In the 12th minute Mike Fondop-Tolum left Aaron Goode writhing on the floor after a late tackle and was lucky to be allowed to stay on the pitch. As is usual in such circumstances, he later scored.

Ks remained on top though and Giddens made one of the saves of the season, sticking out a leg to deny Pico Gomez from close range after neat interplay with Jake Kempton. He tipped a Ty Smith corner over the bar and was relieved to see Sam Page, befoe Ks took a deserved lead on 35 minutes.

Dan Bennett tenaciously won the ball back in the Blues' box, and teed Kempton up to emphatically smash home. Despite Ks having worked hard for the lead though, they kept it for just three minutes; Tom Derry heading on to Fondop-Tolum who blasted an impressive volley past Tolfrey. Billericay should in fact have gone in ahead, but for George Beaven hitting the woodwork from close range.

Gomez was heavily involved after the break, first teeing up Kempton for an effort that Giddens saved and then forcing the goalkeeper to save an effort of his own from a tight angle. The rebound fell to Page, who fired over. Gomez had two further efforts, but one sailed into the KRE seating and the other was saved.

Billericay should have taken the lead when Derry was played in on goal but Tolfrey stood up well to save one-on-one.

Finally, Ks restored their lead on 77 minutes with a goal from a fine passing move. Gomez surged forward and found Bennett, whose perfectly weighted ball teed up Goode for a sharp near post finish.

Once again though, the advantage was not to last. Bennett and Peter Dean lost possession when they tried one close piece of interplay too many, and Derry was played behind a flat-footed Ks defence to blast past Tolfrey.

Match report by Simon Grier.

Published Wednesday 12th September 2018