K’s suffering the Blues
Rarely can a team still in the playoffs have had so little confidence that they will stay there.
Despite a 2-0 home defeat to Billericay down Kingstonian are still clinging on to fifth place but having taken a miserable four points from a run of five games against teams well below them in the table, they now face a far tougher run of fixtures.
Some supporters are maintaining their faith in Ks’ playoff chances but they’re increasingly starting to look more like well-meaning platitudes of support than genuine predictions based upon on-field evidence. Ks were again listless in attack and sloppy in defence, barely mustering a shot on target against their Essex opponents.
Rob Tolfrey was in early action again, tipping a Ricky Sappleton header over and then saving Coskun Ekim’s effort from the resulting corner.
Charlie Knight had a great opening when he reached an Aaron Goode ball which appeared to be an overhit attempt to find Ryan Moss, but he blazed into the horrendous grandstand at the Kingston Road End – surely a contributory factor to another low turnout at the so-called ‘Cherry Red Records Stadium’.
The visitors took the lead on the half-hour mark when George Beavan teed up Ekim to blast past Tolfrey from the edge of the box. The goalkeeper had little chance but was clearly angry with a midfield who failed to close the goalscorer down.
Page headed wide just before the break but just after it the game was over as a contest. It was the fourth time in seven games that Ks’ defence was breached within five minutes of a restart and Dowson was right to be angry because the space in which Ryan Scott was left to head home was embarrassing.
Matt Drage might have given them hope shortly afterwards with a header of his own but Glenn Poole cleared off the line. Ks were extraordinarily denied a penalty on 65 minutes when a Billericay defender handled the ball on the ground after a clash with Andre McCollin, leading to them becoming even more frustrated with a match official who Dowson branded ‘ignorant’ in his post-match interview.
Moss headed over late on but The Blues easily saw the game out, with goalkeeper Billy Lumley finding the energy for some celebratory dancing at full-time – perhaps unsurprising when Ks had not forced him to make a meaningful save all game.
Dowson has talked about bringing in new players. It isn’t too late to save Ks’ season yet, and they have been fortunate that a number of rivals have been tripping up as well – but the manager will need to act fast to reverse what has been a frightening collapse in form.
Report: Simon Grier