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Kingstonian 3
Moss (19', 74'), McCollin (77')
0 East Thurrock United

Good things come in threes

Supporters had spent the morning delivering flyers in the Cambridge Estate to market the club...

"You lot decent this year?" one sceptical man asked at the front-door to his flat. The honest answer was "Yes, yes we are. Maybe."

That has a lot to do with the extravagant talents of Daniel Sweeney and Matt Pattison who are enabling Alan Dowson to move beyond a rigid 4-4-2.

After the victory over Enfield on Monday, Dowson bravely stuck with the progressive 4-2-3-1 formation that worked so well that night. That meant Andre McCollin starting on the bench.

Ryan Moss led the line alone, with Pattison, Sweeney and Dee Okojie prompting behind him, Tommy Kavanagh and Matt Somner sitting deep, and the full-backs given licence to advance.

Another striking feature of this current side is the steel and confidence of Matt Drage and Sam Page at centre-back who are not only destroyers but also bring the ball out and pass intelligently into midfield.

It all led to an opening half-hour of domination. K's opened the scoring through Moss, who spun off the wall - a free-kick routine out of the Hams play-book - to drill home into the far corner.

Former K's wingers Nathan Koranteng and Luke Wanadio were causing problems on the flanks but the Rocks were adeptly resisted by K's new-look defence.

Moss then made it two on the hour, bundling the ball over the line off a desperate defender.

McCollin made his entrance soon after as a substitute and promptly smashed a 25-yard volley into the top corner.

East Thurrock United have proved awkward and frustrating opponents for a couple of seasons. There is no doubt this was a proper test of Alan Dowson's improved side.

They passed it with some ease. A 3-0 win was an A* result. It doesn't guarantee admission to the Conference South next year but for the first time in a long while fans are leaving Kingsmeadow feeling that their team is learning lessons for the future.

Report: Taimour Lay

Published Wednesday 12th September 2018