Supersonic K’s fly past Concord
But for an opening day red card, Andre McCollin has had a perfect start to his Ks career and he signed off in his last game before a three match ban by proving the difference between Concord Rangers and Kingstonian.
The game was expected to have some needle following two ill-tempered encounters last season but in the end had a low-key feel to it in front of a sparse Bank Holiday crowd.
The first half hour had the air of a pre-season friendly about it with precious little action at either end. It would take something special to enliven it and that duly arrived from McCollin.
Rob Tolfrey hit a giant goal kick which caught the wind and bounced between goalkeeper and defence, and McCollin's pace saw him reach the ball before either. With the outside of his left foot, he lobbed goalkeeper Michael Jordan to bag his third goal in four games.
Just two minutes later he turned provider to put Ks well in command. Picking the ball up on the right he broke into the Concord box and picked out Goma Lambu at the far post with a perfect cross. Lambu was unlucky to see his volley rebound off the post but it fell to Matt Pattison who slammed the ball home from the edge of the area.
Concord had their best spell of the game between the second goal and half-time, spending most of the period camped in the Ks half. Ks' new-look defence proved resilient though, with Tolfrey saving from Billy Coyne and Tom Hutchinson doing well to block a close-range Nicky Cowley effort.
Tolfrey again did well after the interval to tip a Tony Stokes header onto the crossbar before McCollin settled the game on 63 minutes. This time Pattison was the provider, threading the ball through the Concord defence for McCollin to beat Jordan with a fine finish.
Craig Mullen, making his first ever league start for the club, might have made it four after Pattison had teed him up, but Jordan saved well his foot. He again came close from the resultant corner but was unable to keep his header under the crossbar.
Concord's best chance of the half fell to Reece Harris, who fired narrowly wide, but the game largely fizzled out - in contrast to last season when Ks nearly blew a 3-0 lead in a dramatic period of injury time. Ks are now unbeaten in their first four games but will have to prove that they can be as impressive without McCollin as they have been with him.