Vines batters the Rooks
Alan Dowson told The Surrey Comet last week that Ks needed a win, to break their horrendous run of form, "Even if the ball comes off someone's backside".
Yet even if a goal had come in such circumstances, it could scarcely have been luckier than the two goals Ks actually scored in their 2-1 win, both of which were controversially allowed to stand by referee David Spain.
There are many who think that goalkeepers are afforded too much protection in modern football, and that may well be the case. But that is a debate for another day, and it is hard to see how under any modern interpretation of the laws of the game either Kingstonian goal should have stood.
The first, 34 minutes into a poor game, saw Paul Vines back heavily into goalkeeper Kieron Thorp as they challenged for a high ball from Tom Bird. Thorp dropped the ball to Matt Pattison, who directed it into the empty net from the edge of the penalty box.
Lewes, themselves on a run of miserable form and far from assured of their continuing Ryman Premier status, were rightly incredulous. But they worked their way back into the game and equalised after the break through Nathan Crabb, who the Ks defence left in acres of space, with Lewis Taylor failing in a desperate bid to clear his shot off the line. Lewes generally looked the more likely side to grab a winner as the game went into its closing stages.
All of which made it even more frustrating for them when Ks won the game through another controversial goal deep into injury time. It again involved a robust challenge on Thorp which Spain deemed to be legitimate, and he caused further controversy by allowing play to continue with both the goalkeeper and Lewes right-back Lewis Hamilton lying injured in the penalty area.
Chris Breach cleared a Matt Pattison effort off the line, but only as far as Vines who headed home from the edge of the box. It was hardly the most glorious win in Ks' history, but will perhaps be just the tonic they need to end the barren run that has all but obliterated the promise which held for much of the season.
Both sides had chances through the second half to score a less controversial goal. Jack Walder had an effort for Lewes headed off the line by Kieron Murphy, Rob Tolfrey made a fine save when one-on-one with Crabb and Walder fired a free kick narrowly over. Meanwhile for Ks Wade Small produced a sharp save from Thorp and Andre McCollin fired narrowly wide.
As it was though, it was the controversial Vines strike which gave Ks the points. Now, having just about salvaged their season, they need to hope it marks a turning point in their fortunes.
Report: Simon Grier