K’s leave no Stones unturned
There seems to be little love lost between Kingstonian and Wealdstone, and that their clash at Kingsmeadow should be bad-tempered was of little surprise.
What was of more surprise though was the result, as Kingstonian defended solidly to win 2-0, ending a miserable run of six consecutive defeats to the North Londoners in which they conceded some 22 goals.
The first half was especially atypical of the sides' encounters in that it was scrappy, with precious little in the way of action or entertainment. Aaron Goode dragged a twenty-yarder wide in the second minute; it was as close as Ks would come all half as they struggled to retain the ball.
The visitors were marginally better but Tom Pett fired a good chance over and saw another saved by Rob Tolfrey, while Chris Moore had a volley struck off for offside.
Thankfully, the second half saw some life breathed into the game. Ks debutant Nathan Koranteng cut in from the left and tested Rikki Banks from 20 yards before Wade Small fired wide.
For Wealdstone the perennially dangerous Richard Jolly hit the target with a vicious long-range effort which Tolfrey parried out. It was Ks who took the lead though on 65 minutes when Koranteng's shot was blocked only as far as Matt Pattison, who drove the ball past Banks from the edge of the D.
Kieron Murphy had to physically restrain Pattison from sprinting the length of the pitch to celebrate Martyn Lee-style in front of the visiting fans, who had taken a strong dislike to him after a first half scuffle for which they felt he deserved more the booking he received.
The game had increasingly developed an edge, not helped by fussy referee Russell Howes, and Matt Somner was lucky to stay on the pitch after flying in on Alex Dyer.
Eventually Ks were reduced to ten though, Adam Green picking up a second yellow card shortly after the goal for going in heavily on Scott McCubbin as he attempted to recover a miscontrolled ball. This did little calm proceedings though, and just two minutes later Sean Cronin pole-axed Koranteng and was lucky to only see yellow.
Ks re-organised to protect their lead and defended excellently with ten men. A Wealdstone player headed over from close range after a goalmouth scramble, Dyer fired well wide and Tolfrey easily dealt with a Nathan Webb effort and a couple of long range efforts.
As they pushed forward though, the Stones left themselves exposed on the counter-attack and Ks took full advantage. Andre McCollin, who had worked hard but had a quiet game in attack, positioned himself perfectly to get between the defence and scissor-kick a Bird cross. It bounced into the ground before evading Banks' dive to put Ks two to the good in spectacular fashion.
Ks might even have made it three had Banks not made a superb close-range save from Lewis Taylor following a skilful interchange with Goode. Wealdstone's bizarre early chants that Alan Dowson would be sacked in the morning will, we can safely assume, come to nothing and Ks have now firmly re-established themselves in the playoff hunt.
Report: Simon Grier