Fine K's Performance Gives Them Another Victory
A double from Faal and one from Ajakaiye enough to defeat Staines Town 3-1 at the Grove.
match report by Simon Grier.
After such a chaotic season it seems incredible that this late surge of form has brought Kingstonian to the brink of a top half finish but that remains achievable after an impressive 3-1 win over Staines Town.
Staines went into the game still with a hope of securing a playoff spot but also went it into it without a regular goalkeeper; Connor Hudnott had a broken bone in his hand and so centre-back Ben Martin deputised between the sticks.
Ks were the better side throughout but Martin performed admirably in the first half to keep them at bay. However he was unable to contain Ks in a rampant 15 minutes after the break in which Leigh Dynan’s side raced into a 3-0 lead. A late consolation for the Swans did little to take the gloss off a strong Ks performance.
As has frequently been the case during the recent uptick in form, Muhammadu Faal was at the heart of most of what Ks did well. Early on he had an effort deflected narrowly over and although Staines had some chances in the middle of the half it was Ks who finished the stronger.
Martin was perhaps fortunate to see a low Greg Cundle free kick rebound off the post after he appeared to think it was going comfortably wide, but he looked every inch a goalkeeper with two fine saves near the end of the half. First, he got down sharply to catch and hold a well-directed Sean Francis header after a free kick from the right and then he did even better to block a fierce Daniel Ajakaiye shot.
After the break though came one of Ks’ best spells of football of the season. On 52 minutes the deadlock was broken, Faal hitting a low shot from distance whose curl caught out Martin.
Five minutes later it was 2-0. Cundle put Faal through on goal and Martin did superbly to stick a leg out and deflect it on to the bar but Ajakaiye reacted first to head home the rebound.
And just after the hour mark Faal put the game beyond any doubt, turning in an Ajala shot from around the penalty spot.
Faal wanted a hat trick but fired narrowly wide and Joash Nembhard cleared one off the line to deny Ajakaiye. An Elliott Buchanan free kick deflected past Rob Tolfrey in the closing moments but it was very much Kingstonian’s day.
Kingstonian: Rob Tolfrey, Toby Ajala, Chris Arthur, Manolis Gogonas, Sean Francis, Dan Bowry, Daniel Ajakaiye, Greg Cundle, Muhammadu Faal, Michael West, Alex Willis.
Subs: Tom Beere (for Michael West, 81m), Leo Chambers, Jason Williams, Jerry Amoo (for Daniel Ajakaiye, 77m), Connor Hunte (for Alex Willis, 71m).
Staines Town: Ben Martin, Josh Webb, Tyrell Miller-Rodney, Bayley Brown, Joash Nembhard, Ugo Udoji, Sam Hatton, Wadah Ahmidi, Elliot Buchanan, Mohamed Bettamer, Max Worsfold.
Subs: Nathanial Olawole (for Max Worsfold, 64m), Tommy Brewer (for Wadah Ahmidi, 69m), Daniel D Brown (for Sam Hatton, 54m), Sam Woolford, Kamal McEwan.
Goalscorers: Muhammadu Faal (52m, 1-0), Daniel Ajakaiye (57m, 2-0), Muhammadu Faal (61m, 3-0), Elliot Buchanan (90m, 3-1)