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Bognor Regis Town 3
Smith (15', 66'), Lethbridge (90')
1 Kingstonian
Buchanan (44')

Nothing doing for K’s in Bognor

Kingstonian slipped back into the Bostik Premier relegation zone with a 3-1 defeat to Bognor Regis Town. On a sunny day it was far from Kingstonian’s worst performance of the season but it illustrated the gap between where Ks are compared to the teams to the sharp end of the table.

Ks’ start was fine, matching The Rocks in a cagey opening ten minutes before Shaun Lucien shot narrowly over the bar from 20 yards. But after a scare on 13 minutes when Bradley Lethbridge lobbed wide, they went behind on 15. The goalscorer was Dan Smith, on loan from Portsmouth for whom he scored in the League Cup in midweek, and Ks afforded him far too much space to convert a low Lethbridge cross from close range.

On a hot late summer’s day the game seemed to lack energy with neither side creating much for the next half hour; Greg Cundle had a long-range effort comfortably saved while Rob Tolfrey had to parry out a fierce Jimmy Muitt effort.

Quite out of the blue though Ks fashioned a fine team goal to level the scores just before half time. Tommy Brewer, again standing in at centre half, marauded forwards to the D with a fine run. He spread the ball wide to Toby Ajala who beat his man with a fine bit of skill and then laid the ball on a plate for Elliott Buchanan to convert from close range.

The game remained largely cagey after the break until Smith once again imposed his class on it on 65 minutes, curling an effort into the top corner of Tolfrey’s goal from outside the box. Players loaned to our level from League clubs can be at various stages of development but it is clear that The Rocks have a fine player in Smith.

Ten minutes from time Ks had their best chance to equalise when Buchanan’s pace saw him latch on to a long ball over the top but at a tight angle he could only screw the ball wide of Dan Lincoln’s goal.

Any hope of Ks continuing to push for an equaliser was undermined on 84 minutes when Louie Theophanous reacted with a stamp to being fouled by Tommy Block. A red card followed and will now rule him out of the first two qualifying rounds of the FA Cup, adding to Ks’ problems.

Mason Walsh fired wide and Tolfrey denied Smith his hat-trick before Bognor made it 3-1 in injury time, robbing Lucien on the edge of their own box and countering with impressive speed to set Lethbridge up to seal the three points.

Match report by Simon Grier.

Published Wednesday 12th September 2018