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Kingstonian 2
Ward-Cochrane (14'), Owen (83')
2 Wingate & Finchley
Vasiliou (23'), Kearney (74')

Wingate & Finchley win 4-2 on penalties

Corey Parchment's penalty is saved by Ben Goode.

Wingate and Finchley FA Trophy match report

match report by Taimour Lay.

In the dark days of the 1980s, K’s crowds regularly dipped into the 200s at a dilapidated Richmond Road and there were similar struggles during the Beveree groundshare that preceded the move to Kingsmeadow. In recent depressed years, we’ve become accustomed to figures that hover around 250 and, in the first campaign as nomads – at Leatherhead – numbers tended to be closer to 200 than to 300 but bounced back when we returned, temporarily, to the borough in 2018. Familiar faces appeared, new ones joined, a group of naughty teenagers emerged. K’s were in trouble but there was still a beating heart and hope.

But on Saturday, in an FA Trophy Third Qualifying Round game, the official attendance was 151, the lowest K’s attendance for any Saturday home game in the top three competitions in which the club competes (league, FA Cup and Trophy). The lowest. Ever. 

This was not the Alan Turvey Trophy. This was not the Full Members’ Cup (RIP). This was not an early round of the Surrey Senior against a suburban park side. This was not a Wednesday night. There was not the aftermath of an apocalypse. It was not snowing. Indeed, the sun shone brightly on this distant patch of south London, which rendered the vacant spaces even more glaringly obvious, the silences endless and even the cheers somewhat pathetic.

The general atmosphere matters, of course. A young K’s team, with only one win all season, is struggling for confidence and cohesion. Who or what are they playing for? The few K’s fans in attendance tried to lift the gloom and, for periods in the first half at least, there seemed to be an improvement. 

Reinvented as a strapping No9, Ben Ward-Cochrane is a (low) crowd favourite and scored a true striker’s goal in the 14th minute, latching onto an intelligent through-ball, rounding the keeper and slotting home.

But Antonis Vasiliou levelled for Wingate soon after and the match degenerated into strolling pass-ball, hoofs into the channels, waving arms and furrowed brows. When Dylan Kearney made it 2-1 midway through the second-half, and with Ward-Cochrane ankle-crocked, few expected a comeback. To K’s credit, the team sparked into life. Tyrese Owen headed a Kenny Beaney free-kick and then, in the dying moments, the referee – under the eagle eye of the FA assessor – awarded K’s a penalty for a challenge that might generously be described as innocuous. 

Former Crystal Palace and Corinthian-Casual starlet Kieron Cadogan stepped up and powered the spot-kick to the keeper’s right. The net was ready to bulge but Ben Goode’s strong left hand reached up mid-dive to divert the ball over the bar.

And so, without extra-time, it was straight to penalties. K’s disastrously missed their first two: Thomas Gogo dribbled the ball wide of the post, while Corey Parchment’s was softly directed to a grateful Goode (pictured). Sam Jackson saved one and both Kenny Beaney and Cadogan converted to make it interesting but Wingate’s Kearney grabbed the opportunity to make it 4-2, celebrating onanistically in front of the terrace, which is to say, in front of little but air and light and inanimate concrete.

Kingstonian: Sam Jackson, Declan Skura, Corey Parchment, Jack Strange, Michael Abnett, Tyrese Owen, Kwesi Ntim, Kenny Beaney, Ben Ward-Cochrane, Kieron Cadogan, Fumnaya Shomotun.

Subs: Sean Bonnett-Johnson (for Fumnaya Shomotun, 86m), Louis Collins (for Jack Strange, 94+4m), Thomas Gogo (for Ben Ward-Cochrane, 61m), Dwight Pascal, Tobi Ogundega, Iker Noguera Leon.

Wingate and Finchley: Ben Goode, Junior Savane, Loic Hernandez, Camron Gbadebo, Michael Olarewaju, Daniel Emovon, Kavan Cotter, Tyrique Clarke, Dernell Wynter, Antonis Vasiliou.

Subs: Dylan Kearney (for Antonis Vasiliou, 70m), Alkeo Bani (for Junior Savane, 90+3m), Theo Ofori, Jay Beckford, Richie Danquah, Emmanuel Yeboah, Sam Cornish.

Goal scorers: Ben Ward-Cochrane (14m, 1-0), Antonis Vasiliou (23m, 1-1), Dylan Kearney (74m, 1-2), Tyrese Owen (83m, 2-2)

Penalties (Wingate and Finchley went first): Dernell Wynter scored (1-0), Thomas Gogo shot wide, Kavan Cotter scored (2-0), Corey Parchment saved, Alkeo Bani scored (3-0), Kenny Beaney scored (3-1), Tyrique Clarke saved, Kieron Cadogan scored (3-2), Dylan Kearney scored (4-2)

Attendance: 151

Published Sunday 9th October 2022