There is an already familiar refrain coming from Kingstonian fans at the end of games this season...
"We'd have lost that last season." Never was this truer than on the opening day win at Canvey, but a 0-0 draw at Harrow Borough brought forth similar sentiments. A combination of poor performances, bad runs of form and stodgy opponents have haunted Ks' visits to Earlsmead over the years and after a first-half battering, Alan Dowson's side showed no sign of improving on those results this season.
But this Ks team is a different beast. A tactical note was spotted at the half, and the introduction of Andre McCollin as an extra striker swung the initiative the visitor's way, which, combined with another impressive defensive performance was enough to secure a point.
The first half was all Harrow. Winger Simeon Akinola was the star-man, tormenting Aaron Goode for 45 minutes and forcing Rob Tolfrey into all manner of saves. When Akinola finally beat Ks’ imperious stopper he hit the bar. Tolfrey also made smart stops from Rob Wolleaston and Shaun Lucien, which Marcus Moody had to clear one off the line in a half where the visitors rarely threatened.
Ks came out fighting for the second half, inspired by Dowson's half time tinkering. Samuel Page barely gave the Harrow forward line a sniff, while Goode showed huge improvement to keep Akinola quiet. Matt Pattison and Daniel Sweeney were at the heart of the midfield, always looking to create space and test German youth international Max Oberschmidt in the Harrow goal.
Tolfrey was still in the thick of the action, again denying Lucien before saving his best till last to deny Daniel Llacer. It was Kingstonian who came closest though, as McCollin found half a yard of space before smacking the ball against the angle of post and bar. A frustrating evening for both sides who will be relieved rather than overjoyed with a hard-earned point.
Report: Jamie Cutteridge