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Havant & Waterlooville 1
Patterson (90')
1 Kingstonian
Turner (23')

A Microcosm In Ninety Minutes

The week between Christmas and New Year is often filled with confusion about days of the week, arguments about when the rubbish is being collected and end of year reviews, and Kingstonian got in on the act on New Year’s Eve by neatly surmising their year in 90 succinct minutes. So in the spirit of all 2016 match reports, here are four things we’ve learnt from both Havant and Waterlooville away, and the rest of the year.

Kingstonian can product moments of breathtaking quality 
Joe Turner’s goal 20 minutes into the afternoon was an absolute stunner. Neat buildup play between Youssef Bamba and Aaron Lamont put the hosts on the back foot, but when the ball broke on the edge of the box, Turner’ left-footed half volley was in the moment he hit it. We’ve had plenty of that in 2016. Lamont has scored stunners at VCD and Hendon, Turner’s goal to knock Tonbridge out of the trophy will live long in the memory and Andre McCollin’s winner at home to Bognor was a towering header which left everyone in Kingsmeadow believing Ks could get promoted. 

At times, Ks are all sausage but no sizzle 
There’s undoubted ability in Kingstonian’s midfield. Bamba gave Havant’s left back an uncomfortable afternoon while Aaron Lamont had a superb game, creating space with imaginative flicks and cleverly finding space throughout the 90 minutes. But there’s still a nagging feeling that for all the creativity, Ks don’t create enough chances. Tom Derry was a willing runner once he replaced the injured Moss, but he didn’t have a sniff all afternoon. Unfortunately, we’ve seen this throughout the last 12 months; towards the end of last season, the mercurial Dan Bennett blew hot and cold, between Moss, McCollin and Pico, Ks should have been a freescoring force in 2016, but all too often they were left frustrated. 

The darkest defeat follows the false dawn 
There have been glimpses in 2016 of a good team; we’ve been repeatedly teased by the possibility of Ks getting it together. The end of last season saw Ks reach the precipice of the playoffs, before collapsing; over the last few months, every good fun has been halted by a painful defeat (we’re looking at you, North Leigh). And 2016 ended on the same note. The back five producted a brilliantly resolute performance: Inns and Page were superb, George Wells was at his very best, Aaron Goode offered marauding as ever, and two Rob Tolfrey saves preserved Ks lead. But then, right at the end, a ball into the box wasn’t dealt with and Matt Patterson fired home in the 6th minute of injury time. 

Ks aren’t far away from being a good side 
All year, Ks have been close to being a very good side. The run to nearly make the playoffs; the trophy run, an agonizing Leiston equalizer… it’s been a year of near misses. So Havant’s equalizer was a fitting end. Roll on 2017.

Match report by Jamie Cutteridge.

Published Wednesday 12th September 2018