Flat K's Beaten by Blues
Simon Grier reports on a poor evening for the K's at the Grove
Thanks to a number of new additions the Ks squad certainly inspires more confidence than it did a few weeks ago but getting them to deliver results remains a work in progress. The momentum built up by three wins in a row was very much checked by a flat home defeat to Met Police. This time, the late introduction of Ricky Sappleton was not enough to turn the result.
The first half was largely lifeless. Headers from Kane Haysman and Tom Derry produced fairly easy saves for Met goalkeeper Luke Williams, while Rob Tolfrey was rather more tested by efforts from Luke Robertson and Ryan James. Mostly though, both teams lacked a cutting edge and it always felt as if the first goal of the game would be critical.
Thankfully for the 182 spectators – the fewest at a home league game since before Ks moved into Kingsmeadow in 1989 – the second half was a livelier affair. Quickly after the restart Jerome Federico flashed a low ball across goal just beyond the reach of Derry, before Lewis Putman capitalised on an Aaron Goode mistake to force another good Tolfrey save.
Lewis Macklin had a shot blocked for the Police and then Williams did well to palm away a Claudiu Vilcu header after some extraordinary footwork found Tom Collins the space he needed to deliver a cross.
It was the visitors who took the lead though, on 65 minutes. Luke Robertson cut in from the right and then curled the ball into the corner of Tolfrey’s goal from the edge of the box. It was a fine finish, although Craig Edwards will be frustrated that his team didn’t do more to close the Blues midfielder down. Seven minutes later it was 2-0, Macklin impressively picking out the top corner from distance.
To Ks’ credit they didn’t give up. As on Saturday, Sappleton proved a handful off the bench and 13 minutes from time was at the heart of a goalmouth scramble that ended with the ball dribbling over Williams’ line to get Ks back in contention. Haysman claimed the decisive touch to record his third goal in as many games since arriving as a dual-registration signing from Chelmsford City.
Sappleton had the best opening for an equaliser but after turning his man beautifully, could only fire over and wide. Lewis Taylor couldn’t quite climb high enough to keep his header from a Federico cross down and then in injury time Sappleton hit the target from distance but Williams was equal to it. Against tough opposition in Brackley Town, Ks will need a much better performance on Saturday.
Kingstonian: Rob Tolfrey, Paul Rodgers, Aaron Goode, Manolis Gogonas, Sam Page, Claudiu Vilcu, Jerome Federico, Lewis Taylor, Tom Derry, Tom Collins, Kane Haysman.
Subs: Toby Little, Ricky Sappleton (for Tom Collins, 67m), Charlie Taylor, Alec Fiddes (for Tom Derry, 73m), Kyle Spence (for Jerome Federico, 73m)
Metropolitan Police: Luke Williams, Sam Williams, Tom Bird, Lloyd Macklin, Olli Robinson, Jay Gasson, Luke Robertson, Sam Gallagher, Jonny Wright, Ryan James, Lewis Putman.
Subs: Jeremy Arthur (for Luke Robertson, 76m), Charlie Collins (for Jonny Wright, 76m), Rylan Myler (for Lloyd Macklin, 82m)
Goalscorers: Luke Robertson (65m, 0-1), Lloyd Macklin (72m, 0-2), Kane Haysman (77m, 1-2)