Robins downed by McCollin treble
It was ugly, but the three points was all that mattered as Kingstonian beat Carshalton Athletic 3-1 at the Memorial Ground in a game of three penalties and an Andre McCollin hat-trick.
After two pitch inspections on the morning of the game, the pitch was as boggy and bumpy as expected (though praise must go to the host’s ground staff to even get a game going, on a weekend where nearby Sutton United had to postpone their match), and the pitch was a huge factor in a game that wasn’t for the purists. The spectre of Carshalton owner Paul Dipre hung over the game, with a section banned home fans protesting outside before the game, and manager Ian Hazel quitting his role after the game due to the current situation surrounding the club.
It was a game of few chances, but the best early opportunity fell to the host’s defender Price, who, while unsighted by his own ridiculous haircut, could only side-foot tamely at Rob Tolfrey in the Kingstonian goal. The next chance fell to Ks’ striker Ryan Moss after a bizarre ‘Cruyff’ turn and cross into his own penalty area by Carshalton midfield Tommy Bradford. Ryan Moss looked as confused as the spectators and couldn’t convert. Kingstonian’s class eventually showed however; loanee Iffy Allen bamboozled his into the penalty, and while his cross was punched away by goalkeeper Phillips, it only fell to Andre McCollin who powered a volley home.
An excellent intervention from Price prevented Moss from doubling the lead minutes later, before the referee began the great haul of penalties. Aikhionbare’s progress into the area was halted by a Matt Drage tackle, and the referee pointed to the spot where Bradford calmly side-footed home the equaliser. Parity was short-lived however as just three minutes later Phillips and McCollin challenged for a high ball, the ball was cleared and the referee awarded a penalty, much to the bemusement of all but one of the people in the ground. McCollin stepped up to restore the visitor’s lead.
Either side of half-time, McCollin came close to completing his hat-trick, but couldn’t hit the target. Chances were at a premium as the half developed and Alan Dowson threw on Daniel Sweeney and Sean Ray to preserve his side’s slender lead. McCollin then missed the best chance of the game, side-footing over with the goal gaping, but he was soon given the chance to make it three. Moss was dragged down from a set piece by McCarthy and McCollin once again made no mistake from the spot to ensure his side left with three points, while he left with the match ball.
Report: Jamie Cutteridge