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Kingstonian 1
Pico Gomez (20')
4 East Thurrock United
Scott (13'), Yusuff (49'), Wraight (80'), Higgins (84')

Early Christmas Stuffing Dished Out to K’s

There's no real way to separate football and real life. For some football fans, life is what happens between games of football. I can remember Villa's 3-2 win over Arsenal on the day my brother died with infinitely more clarity than any details of hospital rooms or redundant diagnoses. 

East Thurrock at home, on the Saturday before Christmas, doesn't feel like the kind of match that is likely to stick with you years later, but it turned out to be 90 minutes that made fans in attendance question what they were doing with their lives. Ks went into the game sniffing around the top of the Alan Turvey Pyramid on a glorious run of form. Inevitably Kingstonian started the game well before conceding a goal from a set piece. That’s the way football works: it’s so crushingly inevitable that we may as well pack up and go home.

Fortunately, for the sake of the first half, Ks didn’t pack up and go home. Instead, they continued to knock the ball around nicely, testing the Essex’s side defence before scoring one of the oddest goals of the season. Alan Inns got on the end of a corner and while Lucas Lidakevicius got a strong hand to the header, he could only palm it over his own head. As he backpedalled to collect the ball he collided with own defender, leaving him, the defender, Pico Gomez and the ball collapsed in a heap behind the goal line. It was that kind of afternoon for everyone.

The second half was 45 minutes that got everyone thinking about their life choices. Kingstonian started well, and then East Thurrock scored again, as Adam Yusuff cut in from the left and curled it past Rob Tolfrey, ‘Am I happy in my job?’ Ricky Sappleton could then only head wide from a free kick and for some reason Kingstonian never looked like scoring again, ‘Is she the ONE?’. Every Dan Bennett stepover failed, ‘Is it the right time to have children?’ Ty Smith and Lee O’Leary didn’t give the back four enough protection, ‘Did I leave the gas on?’

To be fair, Kingstonian had quite a lot of the ball in the second half, but twice in the last ten minutes East Thurrock scored on the counter, exposing huge gaps in the Ks’ backline. It was that kind of afternoon.

Later that week, two Ks fans (separately) got engaged. Sometimes football gives necessary space to process what’s going on in the real world. It’s impossible to separate the two. It was that kind of afternoon.

Match report by Jamie Cutteridge.

Published Wednesday 12th September 2018