Leiston Too Good for Battling K's
A thirty yard screamer from Toby Ajala not enough as promotion chasing Leiston are ultimately too powerful.
Match report by Simon Grier.
With Leiston looking set to be sent to the new Central League in the summer's non-league reorganisation, this might be the last time that Ks play them for some while, if ever.
Beyond that though there was little to mark the game as event. Kingstonian's season is now well and truly over even though they will likely still need one more win from their remaining 11 games to secure safety. But a strong Leiston team, still harbouring playoff ambitions, meant that will have to wait for another day.
It took the visitors just two minutes to score, Leiston's top scorer Christy Finch firing a shot across Tolfrey into the far corner, from just inside the box.
The lead was almost doubled on four minutes, Tolfrey making a good save from Byron Lawrence's shot through a crowded penalty area following a corner. Two Leiston players on hand to drill the rebound home were denied by the linesman's flag.
Ks initially had an encouraging spell where it looked like they might get back into the game. They even had the ball in the net on 16 minutes when Tom Beere's shot looped into the air off a defender and Michael West knocked the ball across for Jason Williams to tap in. The linesman's flag went up though, correctly, albeit incredibly late.
A minute later Beere fed McCollin and he forced veteran Suffolk goalkeeper Marcus Garnham into a fine save and then Bury nearly had the ball in their own net when Garnham and Joe Jefford both went for a low cross. It trickled the wrong side of the post though from a Ks point of view and the pressure soon subsided, the half fizzling out.
Leiston looked the more threatening side after the break with Jake Reed firing over and Finch forcing Tolfrey to save well at his near post.
Leiston eventually added a second on 75 minutes when Byron Lawrence's cross was directed past Tolfrey by Ks defender Rob Bartley. It ought to have killed the game off but then a minute later, and quite out of nothing, substitute Toby Ajala blasted a dipping 25-yarder into Garnham's top corner, an undoubted goal of the season contender.
But it wasn't to be a platform for Ks to chase an equaliser as they struggled to create any clear-cut chances before Reed re-established the two goal cushion on 86 minutes, converting a low cross from close range.
Kingstonian: Rob Tolfrey, Manolis Gogonas, Chris Arthur, Kevin Maclaren, Rob Bartley, Sean Francis, Michael West, Tom Beere, Jason Williams, Andre McCollin, Jerry Amoo.
Subs: Greg Cundle (for Andre McCollin, 58m), Connor Hunte, Freddy Yao (for Michael West, 64m), Toby Ajala (for Chris Arthur, 62m), Victor Fundi.
Leiston: Marcus Garnham, Kyle Hammond, Seb Dunbar, Jack Ainsley, Joe Jefford, Tom Bullard, Byron Lawrence, Chris Henderson, Jake Reed, Christy Finch, Darren Mills.
Subs: Dominic Docherty (for Darren Mills, 73m), Matt Blake, Jerome Trotter, Joe Marsden (for Chris Henderson, 81m), Patrick Brothers (for Christy Finch, 73m).
Goalscorers: Christy Finch (2m, 0-1), Rob Bartley (75m og, 0-2), Toby Ajala (76m, 1-2), Jake Reed (86m, 1-3).