Morale Boosting Late Win for K's
Goals from Shaun Lucien, Greg Cundle and Tommy Brewer lift K's to a 3-2 win over Bishop's Stortford.
Match report by Simon Grier.
Kingstonian produced by far their best 45 minutes of the season in the first half against Bishop's Stortford but after defensive frailties again let them down, it took a bad mistake from the visitors to allow Tommy Brewer to grab three deserved points in injury time.
The dissatisfaction with recent results and performances has been clear to see - even Mark Anderson declared himself on Twitter to be, "fed up and angry" with performances - but nobody could have any complaints about a fine first half display which saw Ks two to the good at the interval.
Ks dominated the ball from the off and created an opening for Greg Cundle in the tenth minute; however his first shot was blocked and the follow-up went well wide. Elliott Buchanan showed great technique with a 25-yard volley but goalkeeper Calum Kitscha was equal to it before the breakthrough came with a fine goal on 17 minutes.
Brewer was the provider with a long, diagonal ball over full-back Jordan Lawal. Shaun Lucien was there to meet it, expertly bringing it down before lobbing Kitscha to give the home side the lead. Ks are unlikely to score many better goals all season.
Ks continued the pressure with a Brewer header going narrowly over and then Kitscha keeping out a powerful Aaron Lamont effort from the edge of the box following a great run from Manolis Gagonas.
And the lead was eventually doubled in injury time, Crystal Palace loanee James Daly feeding Cundle to sidefoot past the goalkeeper.
Ks threatened again right after the break, winning possession deep in the Stortford half, but Kitscha saved well from Lamont.
Nothing seems to be straightforward for Ks at the moment though and right after that chance went begging the visitors were back in the game thanks to a goal that Leigh Dynan said after the game was "poor" to have conceded. A cross came in from the left and 43 year old Jamie Cureton beat Jay Gasson to the ball to head past Rob Tolfrey.
Suddenly Ks moved from comfortable dominance to a position of nervousness and although they continued to threaten occasionally: Kitscha tipped another Lamont effort wide and then lively debutant Reece Williams-Bowers came off the bench and forced him into another save.
But the one goal cushion proved not to be enough and on 79 minutes the visitors equalised, Cureton striking again to lash home from the edge of the box after Ks failed to clear their lines properly. Dynan believed there was a foul in the build-up but the frustration of a two-goal lead being lost was widespread among Ks fans and players alike.
Kitscha made two more saves from Lamont and Williams-Bowers but just as it looked like time would be running out for Ks they managed to salvage the win. Stortford had cleared a late free kick from their box but when their centre-backs left a cushioned back-header for each other, Brewer was still forward to latch onto it with glee and beat Kitscha one-on-one.
Dynan said after the game he, "Hope[s] now, our luck has turned." He now has a two week break to work with his players on the training ground ahead of a tough run of fixtures that will show whether that is the case.
Kingstonian: Rob Tolfrey, Manolis Gogonas, Tyler Brown, Aaron Lamont, Tommy Brewer, Jay Gasson, Greg Cundle, Shaun McAuley, Elliott Buchanan, James Daly, Shaun Lucien.
Subs: Sean Francis, Olumide Oluwatimilehin, Scott Day (for Greg Cundle, 85m), Reece Williams-Bowers (for Shaun Lucien, 62m), Connor Dymond (for Shaun McAuley, 77m).
Bishop's Stortford: [b]Calum Kitscha, Jordan Lawal, Chris Gregan, Lewis Dark, Sam Robbins, Lance Akins, Alfie Mason, Jack Thomas, Jake Gass, Jamie Cureton, Jordan Wescott.
Subs: Isaac Nkosi, Olutoyosi Olusanya (for Jordan Lawal, 77m), Ryan Charles (for Alfie Mason, 61m), Toib Adeyemi (for Lance Akins, HT), Lewis Byrne-Hewitt.
[b]Goalscorers: Shaun Lucien (16m, 1-0), Greg Cundle (45m, 2-0), Jamie Cureton (54m, 2-1), Jamie Cureton (79m, 2-2), Tommy Brewer (95m, 3-2)