Whether Saturday’s handsome victory over Folkestone Invicta proves to be something of a turning point for Kingstonian remains to be seen, but for now it should be enjoyed in isolation as one of the most convincing performances the K’s have produced in recent times.
The highlights arrived in the final third of the match as K’s responded to the sort of adversity that previously might have proved unsurmountable. First, Rob Tolfrey had to be withdrawn with concussion having initially done his utmost to soldier on. Without a sub keeper on the bench, defender Sean Francis stepped into the breach.
Then, Folkestone’s Jack Evans cancelled out Louie Theophanous’ close-range, first-half opener, finishing from a corner in much the same way our predatory striker had. There was the little our defender-goalkeeper could have done.
So 1-1 with half-an-hour to go, but, if anything, the double blow of a) having a defender in goal and b) conceding, strengthened K’s resolve, focused the players’ minds.
The hooped Brazil immediately produced the move of the match and it culminated in a second goal for Theophanous. Some fine one-touch football on the left side of the pitch created space on the right, from where David Fitzpatrick swung over a cross that the ex-Ricay man volleyed hard into the ground and past Tim Roberts, the helpless Invicta stopper.
K’s continued to press seeking a killer third, and it looked like it would come from the left boot of Elliot Buchanan, but Roberts anticipated his chipped finish and clawed it to safety.
All the while Folkestone, in poor form it must be said, struggled to create the space to test Francis. When they did, usually with crosses rather than efforts on goal, the makeshift stopper swatted the ball away with both hands, in much the same way a child tries to get a wasp out of its eyeline at a picnic.
K’s refused to sit on the lead and were rewarded with two goals in the final five minutes. From sub Greg Cundle’s low cross, Buchanan swept home the first with his right foot and celebrated in exultation. Another sub, James Daly, completed the scoring in stoppage time from close range, rounding off a wonderful afternoon’s work that renews optimism at a critical time of the season.
Kingstonian: Rob Tolfrey, Manolis Gogonas, Tyler Brown, Aaron Lamont, Tommy Brewer, Jay Gasson, David Fitzpatrick, Shaun McAuley, Elliott Buchanan, Louie Theophanous, Shaun Lucien.
Subs: Greg Cundle (for David Fitzpatrick, 67m), Sean Francis (for Rob Tolfrey, 55m), Connor Dymond, James Daly (for Louie Theophanous, 71m), Andrew Musungu.
Folkestone Invicta: Tim Roberts, Ronnie Dolan, Alfie Paxman, Matthew Newman, Callum Davies, Jack Evans, Samuel Hasler, Ian Draycott, Johan Ter Horst, Adam Yusuff, Kieron McCann.
Subs: Jerald Aboagye (for Jack Evans, 81m), Philip Starkey, Bradley Baker, Kane Rowland (for Kieron McCann, 81m), Nicholas Shaw.
Goalscorers: Louie Theophanous (39m, 1-0), Jack Evans (63m, 1-1), Louie Theophanous (65m, 2-1), Elliott Buchanan (86m, 3-1), James Daly (90m, 4-1).
Updated 20:22 - 9 Oct 2018 by Kingstonian FC