K’s go marching on
Kingstonian maintained their impressive start to the season with a workman-like 1-0 victory over Hampton & Richmond at Kingsmeadow today courtesy of a second half header from in-form striker Ryan Moss.
When Kingstonian beat the Beavers by the same score towards the end of last season it was their first clean sheet in fourteen games. Today, it was their sixth in a row.
The first half was generally uneventful with Hampton starting the brighter and creating the first chance with Simmonds stretching to reach a cross and heading wide. A sluggish K’s side took until the thirty sixth minute to create an opening when McCollin found the side netting after a clever run. So, there was not a lot in it at half time, although Chiweshe was the busier keeper, showing good handling from a number of crosses.
Kingstonian should have been ahead within two minutes of the restart as McCollin did well to make space for a cross which fell invitingly for Pattison at the back post, but he contrived to head straight at the keeper from close range.
It did not take long for Pattison to make amends though as his clever run and cross set up Ryan, who just managed to get enough power on his header to loop it back across goal and over the despairing arm of Chiweshe.
Joel Ledgister almost levelled matters for Hampton shortly afterwards as his thunderous strike from 25 yards rattled the cross-bar. However this proved to be their best chance of the game as Hampton were effectively squeezed out by the miserly Kingstonian defence. This was typified late on as rare defensive mix up saw Moone put through in the dying seconds of the game only to see him effectively herded away from goal by three defenders.
Kingstonian almost added to their lead late on with efforts from Moss and Moody.
This result was just reward for another resolute defensive performance, albeit against one of the lower scoring teams in the league. Whilst the back four were once again very impressive, Kavavagh and Sweeney were highly effective in breaking up play in front of them whilst Moss and McCollin worked hard to defend from the front. With Kingstonian having played two days earlier, whilst Hampton had a rest due to their game being postponed, some tiredness was to be expected. However the collective effort was still there although maybe not some of the usual quality.
Before home fans get too carried away, the pessimists amongst them will have noted this start is reminiscent of the start Hampton made last season, before they experienced a dramatic slide in form and ensuing relegation battle. Those that have witnessed this run will not be worried though as they will have seen there is a good blend of quality, motivation and experience in this squad.
Report: Peter Allan