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Kingstonian 7
Bennett (12', 18', 74'), Dean (35'), Pico Gomez (70'), Kempton (82'), Smith (90')
0 Metropolitan Police

Stunning K’s Smash Seven Past Metropolitan Police

Sometimes football is hard to explain. Twice before since promotion back to the Ryman Premier Ks have made worryingly bad starts, and twice before Alan Dowson turned it around.

Never, though, did it come without a reshaping of his squad which made it all the more remarkable that despite just two changes from the side which went down so poorly to Leatherhead, a rampant Ks reignited the fans' pre-season optimism by beating Met Police 7-0 (seven).

Dan Bennett was the star of the show netting a hat-trick. Since the departure of Dean Lodge Ks have been crying out for a flying winger capable of both scoring and creating; one fine game is surely too early to start drawing comparisons to club legend Lodge, but Bennett certainly suggested that he might be the answer to one of Ks' biggest problems last year - the lack of goals from midfield.

He got both the opening two goals. The first came on 11 minutes after a deft through ball from Ty Smith, and from an almost identical position to that from which he failed to beat Leatherhead's goalkeeper last Monday, this time he got his angles right pushing a well-placed finish across Craig King and into the far corner.

The second came from outside the box. After a tricky run his first shot was blocked, but he picked the rebound up and pulled it low into the corner, off the inside of King's post.

Ks fans were delighted at the turnaround from five days ago, while The Blues struggled to make any impact on the game. Seemingly only the referee could help them, presenting them their best chance of the first half when he inadvertently got in the way of a Ks passing move. Joe Turner broke but fired well wide of Elvijs Putnins' goal.

Ks had missed the injured Pelayo Pico Gomez on Monday, but his ability to link Richard Jolly with the rest of the team made a real difference to Ks. On 35 minutes he made a tenacious run down the right and his cross deflected towards Peter Dean, who stuck out his left foot to volley past King for 3-0.

Just after the break Turner fired wide from distance but from thereon in Ks were dominant. Gomez latched on to a short back-header from Harry Tamplin but could only slot wide, and Jolly chipped at King after good work from Bennett.

The floodgates opened once more on 70 minutes. Elliott Taylor brought down Aaron Goode, who was regularly marauding forwards with confidence, and from Smith's free kick Gomez headed home with power.

Bennett's hat-trick was complete three minutes later after Goode played him in and he beat King with a deft chip. "Let them score!", jested some Ks fans, thinking of one absent supporter who would love to see his favourite 5-1 scoreline. Ks were in no mood for such charity though and with The Blues in disarray it was soon 6-0.

George Wells, who looked accomplished after a tough start to his Ks career, hit a long ball over the top of the visiting defence and substitute Jake Kempton smashed a first time volley home. On an ordinary day it would surely have landed somewhere in the blue abyss by the Kingston Road End but this was a day where almost everything was going right for Ks. One fan had been celebrating the score on the fingers of his giant foam hand; now he was a digit short.

The final man to get in on the act was Smith, picking up the pieces from a goalmouth scramble to squirm one inside King's post from 20 yards. By this point the law enforcement cliches were in full flow - 'criminal defending', 'arrest them for crimes against football', and, as things got a bit testy in front of the dugouts, 'police brutality'.

Like Germany against Brazil in the World Cup it should have been 8-0, Arron Hopkinson playing the Mesut Ozil role by missing a good chance at the end, hitting the post on the rebound from a Gomez shot. Met Police were no Brazil though, and certainly didn't have the energy to muster a consolation strike on the counter-attack.

Quite what to make of Ks after these three games, who knows. This might prove to be the start of a fine promotion campaign, or a mere aberration in a season that ultimately disappoints. Whatever it represents in the long term though, after a summer of doing other stuff at three o'clock on a Saturday, it was certainly a reminder that we've actually quite missed football.

Published Wednesday 12th September 2018