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Lewes 3
Taylor (33' pen), Gondoh (67'), Salmon (82')
0 Kingstonian

Lewes match report

match report by Simon Grier

A Ks side well out of their depth lost comfortably to Lewes, with only the efforts of 601-game goalkeeper Rob Tolfrey keeping the margin of defeat to three. On the balance of play, Lewes could have easily matched the recent five-goal efforts of Billericay and Bishop’s Stortford against the hapless visitors.

It came as little surprise, with those aware of Ks’ recent troubles aggressively backing Lewes in on the pre-match betting markets. The loss of Tyrese Owen to injury, on top of the departed Declan Skura, was a further blow to Ks’ slim hopes.

Lewes were dominant from the off, with Tolfrey having to save from his former team-mate Ryan Gondoh in the very first minute. Joe Taylor and Deon Moore fired wide, before the latter forced Tolfrey into another good save.

Ks hadn’t laid a glove on Lewes but after half an hour, they had at least done well to withstand the home side’s dominance and hold the score to 0-0. That was undone though when Jake Eales tripped Taylor on the edge of the box, giving The Rooks a penalty. Taylor sent Tolfrey the wrong way from the spot.

Lewes didn’t relent after the interval. Almost immediately Tolfrey had to save from Tyrique Hyde, Gondoh struck the post and Danny Dudley did well to throw himself in front of Taylor’s follow-up. 

The home side continued to dominate possession with Ks barely touching the ball in the final third of the pitch. The defence was at least holding firm but any feint hope of a late smash and grab was finally extinguished on 67 minutes when Gondoh’s powerful 30-yarder caught a deflection and beat Tolfrey.

Tolfrey made a remarkable triple save on the 70 minute mark, saving twice from Hyde before tipping over from Bradley Pritchard. But he could only hold Lewes at bay for so long and when he next saved from Pritchard, Will Salmon reacted fastest to make it three.

With the game gone Ks finally threatened a couple of times right at the end but O’Shane Stewart was denied both times – first by Salmon sliding back to block his effort with goalkeeper Lewis Carey beaten, and then by Carey tipping his effort on to the bar.

But it was a miserable day for a Ks side that has played like relegation candidates for months and finally dropped into the zone itself with this defeat. Next they’ll try to cause a major cup upset against Raynes Park Vale before a new manager hopefully brings a new impetus as they take on the challenge of trying to save this beleaguered side from relegation.

Lewes: Lewis Carey, Johnville Renee, Jamie Mascott, Will Salmon, Tom Champion, Alfie Young, Bradley Pritchard, Tyrique Hyde, Deon Moore, Ryan Gondoh, Joe Taylor.

Subs: Archie Tamplin, Roman Hall, Ayo Olukoga (for Alfie Young, HT), Harvey Walker (for Deon Moore, 85m), Rhys Murrell-Williamson (for Ryan Gondoh, 81m).

Kingstonian: Rob Tolfrey, Isaiah Jones, Dwight Pascal, Jake Eales, Danny Dudley, Kwesi Ntim, O'Shane Stewart, Sean Bonnett-ohnson, Great Evans, Jacob Bancroft, Lee Lewis.

Subs: Iker Noguera Leon (for Lee Lewis, 70m), Marco Haigh (for Jacob Bancroft, 81m), Bradley Kauzeni (for Kwesi Ntim, 73m).

Goal scorers: Joe Taylor (33m pen, 1-0), Ryan Gondoh (67m, 2-0), Will Salmon (82m, 3-0)

Attendance: 751

Published Sunday 5th February 2023