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Kingstonian 3
Pico Gomez (43', 65' pen), Smith (75')
0 VCD Athletic

As easy as ABC against VCD

After our first league game of the season, a 2-1 defeat at Leiston, Jamie Cutteridge rightly mused that drawing early conclusions is dangerous and futile.

Four more Ryman Premier fixtures down the line, and Ks fans are no closer to knowing how good their team is. The only possible conclusion right now is that there are simply no conclusions.

This was further epitomised by an up-and-down display against VCD Athletic on Monday night. The side from Kent came into the game yet to win this season, but in the early stages at Kingsmeadow it was they who looked the more capable. As Tommy Williams admitted afterwards, his side were edgy after the weekend setback in north London.

The returning Rob Tolfrey made a couple of decent saves but otherwise the half passed without any real incident until Ks grabbed the lead with a couple of minutes remaining. Another returnee to the side, Dylan Casey, swung over a clever first-time cross in front of the retreating VCD defenders. There was Pico Gomez, as cleverly positioned as ever, to sidefoot home via the inside of the post.

Dan Bennett might have added a quickfire second before the half-time whistle with a shot saved and another fired wide, and he was one of a number of players – including Gomez and Ricky Sappleton (starting his first game in hoops) – who came close to scoring after the interval as Ks kept the momentum up.

Austin Lipman provided the only second-half scare after nipping past Tolfrey, but he could only find the side-netting. At the other end, Casey was brought down just inside the box and Gomez, showing admirable strength to keep the ball away from the goal-hungry Sappleton, made no mistake from 12 yards.

Ty Smith added a third goal from twice that distance with a peach of a free-kick, using the zip on the Kingsmeadow turf that had survived the day’s downpours to get extra power on his swerving effort. It gave the VCD custodian Rob Budd no chance even though it was on his side of the goal.

It was the cherry on top of a fine 47-minute cake, but don’t expect the fare at East Thurrock on Saturday to be as delicious. It’s too early for that.

Match report by Rupert Cane.

Published Wednesday 12th September 2018