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Worthing 1
Parsons (33')
2 Kingstonian
Derry (70'), Mbo (73')

K’s Come From Behind to Defeat Rocks

Kingstonian recorded a fourth league win in their past five games at Worthing on Tuesday night to move up to sixth position in the Bostik Premier Division.

The topsy-turvy nature of K’s season thus far was rather epitomised on a lovely, mild evening in Bognor Regis, where Worthing are currently being forced to play their home matches because of problems with their 3G pitch.

Trailing 1-0 at the break to a team who had only picked up their first point of the season a few days earlier, the K’s fought back, found a way to win and maintained the positive momentum from Saturday’s thrashing of Harlow.

The hosts, under the control of the returning Adam Hinshelwood for the first time, nearly took the lead on three minutes when Reece Meekums crashed an effort against the top of the bar from distance.

K’s looked lively on the break and after Kane Haysman had a shot diverted over, Tom Derry went to ground under pressure from last-man Henry Watson. It looked like it would be a third red card for fouls on Derry this season, but the referee controversially waved play on. He would make an even stranger decision before the half-time whistle blew, giving K’s a corner when the ball had not even gone close to crossing the line.

By then, Worthing had deservedly taken the lead. Ben Pope’s pass found a gap in the retreating K’s defence and debutant Alex Parsons fired past Rob Tolfrey from an angle.

K’s improved markedly after the interval and nearly levelled through a fierce Alec Fiddes effort that struck the stanchion. Claudiu Vilcu then headed over and Derry had a shot well saved after he had burst into the box.

It was the no.9 who (we think) did eventually find a way to goal on 70 minutes, with plenty of help from super sub and K’s debutant Noel Mbo. Paul Rogers hoiked it forward and Mbo pressured the two Worthing centre-backs into an error of judgement, allowing the ball to bounce behind them. Derry pounced and prodded a shot past Worthing keeper Lucas Covalan. It bumbled goalwards, and a combination of Mbo and a covering defender eventually forced it over the line.

Both strikers claimed the goal was theirs on Twitter after the game but the delirious travelling support couldn’t have cared less.

There was no doubt who got the winner three minutes later. Derry turned provider and slipped in Mbo, who took the ball in his stride and emphatically slotted his finish into the bottom-left corner. The 18-year-old Gillingham loanee had announced his arrival in some style having been on the pitch for less than 10 minutes.

K’s looked relatively solid thereafter and should have extended the lead late on, but an unmarked Vilcu headed over. By the time the stadium announcer declared there would be four minutes of additional time, three had already been played. The final whistle blew to great cheers from the away end after K’s fourth come-from-behind win of the season.

It hasn’t always been convincing so far, but it bodes well when the general feeling is that there is still much more to come from this team.

Match report by Rupert Cane.

Published Wednesday 12th September 2018