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Kingstonian 2
Page (16'), Pico Gomez (70' pen)
1 Grays Athletic
Mukanya Kabobola (9')

K’s Into Top Half of Table With Win

What do you do when you’re on your way to the game but a train further down the line hits a herd of cows, causing delays that will render you lucky to get to Kingsmeadow in time for the final whistle?

Well of course, you follow events as they unfold on social media and via carefully sourced emails. Later that evening, grainy, seemingly random video footage emerges that further piece the puzzle together. So here goes.

Nine minutes in, K’s lose possession, sloppily, in midfield. Mukanya Kabobola is on to it in a flash and finishes with aplomb, low in to the bottom corner. ‘We are soooooo bad’ writes one frustrated fan.

But seven minutes later, K’s hit back. A free-kick, awarded for a high foot on the corner of the box – and not long after K’s might have had a penalty for handball - is swung in by Youssef Bamba. The Grays keeper, Callum Thomas, ‘on an open-ended loan from Charlton’ confidently calls for the ball but misjudges its flight, giving Sam Page the simple task of nodding into the empty net. It’s a less sophisticated version of his goal at Leiston last month.

The red-and-whites perk up. Joe Turner flashes a dangerous cross in. Grays respond. Lherueux Menga shoots tamely at Rob Tolfrey. Stephane Ngamvoulou waltzes through the K’s defence ‘like a knife thru butter’, but can only fire over. A good double stop from Thomas prevents K’s going in to the break ahead.

In other news, the slayed cows have been cleared off the line, and the trains are up and running once more. 285 people have made it to Norbiton.

After the interval, Kingstonian pressure mounts. Thomas makes another pair of good saves but then fluffs his lines, mispunching from a corner. K’s can’t capitalise. A good headed opportunity passes but on 70 minutes – bingo! Another handball in the box and this one is given. Pico steps up and for the second straight home game finds the corner despite the keeper going the right way. 2-1. Tom Derry is soon introduced for a ‘lively’ debut.

10 minutes later, drama. Grays haven’t offered a lot since the restart but look like they’ve equalised through Menga. The Twitter world is told. Hearts sink.

But what’s this? ‘Correction: Grays goal deleted. Goal disallowed after lengthy conference between referee and linesman.’

Yes! So what happened? Well, a shot came in from outside the box, a bit of a pea-roller truth be told, and was craftily touched by a Grays player in the direction of Menga. He finished and the goal was given, but after much touchline hashing the decision was, by all accounts, correctly reversed. Phew.

On we plough, and there is time for one more crucial Tolfrey save. He expertly tips a Joel Appiah strike on to the post. But K’s hang on for a 2-1 win, just as they did in Canvey Island the weekend before. Whether the 11 deceased cows in Cambridgeshire will care is another matter.

Match report by Rupert Cane.

Published Wednesday 12th September 2018