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11 months ago By Kingstonian FC

Jamie Cutteridge reports on last week's trip to Gibraltar and a match against Lynx FC

Last time Kingstonian played overseas, America were still in Vietnam and England had won the World Cup just three years before. We’re talking 1969, closer to the end of World War 2 than Live Aid. So when it emerged just three days before Ks’ pre-season friendly against Lynx FC, four morons loyal supporters scanned the internet for flights which would get them there on time. One fan went just for the day, the rest stayed a night each. This was no summer holiday, this was flip-flop-free football. Apart from one fan, who wore flip-flops.

The players’ trip was a bit more traditional, the game taking place at the end of a training game on the Gibraltar peninsular, which presumably meant they had acclimatised more than the fans who sought shade as much as football. To be honest, the territory of Gibraltar is small enough that in the few hours between landing and kick off, the hardy supporters had been up and down the rock, been terrified by monkeys and partaken in the local delicacy (Burger King). So all that was left to do was cast a cursory eye of Ks pre-season plans…

Well, we won. In a game of surprisingly-high tempo considering the temperature in the stand was well over 30°C in the stands at kick off, Ks passed the ball around neatly, opening up the hosts defence on a regular basis. Despite constant playing rotation in the searing hear, Ks had a pleasing shape and pattern of play. A pair of new wingers grabbed the goals, the first saw Manolis Goganas beat three men, sit the keeper down and nonchalantly loft it over him. A smart through ball put Evan Green through for the second. Green waited for the keeper to make his move, before calmly stroking the ball into the bottom corner in front of perhaps the most passionate onlookers – his family. If game management does exist in friendlies, Ks failed that test, playing out a poor last few minutes and being punished as the hosts grabbed a consolation through a free kick going through a hole in the wall – if the British defence in Gibraltar had been that easy to break through all those years ago, it would have been a longer queue through passport control upon landing.

So while Tolfrey was denied a European clean sheet, Ks did grab an overseas win. Was it a useful bonding and training exercise? Presumably? Did it give any indication for the season to come… probably not. But, as one Ks fan put it: “It’s the best thing I’ve ever done.” The things you do for love…

Full photo album can be found here.

Updated 20:43 - 8 Aug 2017 by Kingstonian FC

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