McCollin treble sinks Rooks
Kingstonian finally romped to a 4-1 victory in a match that for extended periods they had been second best. McCollin and Tolfrey were equally brilliant at either end as Lewes squandered some great chances before finally crumbling.
Having not conceded a league goal in November so far, it took only three minutes for a sleepy Kingstonian defence to do so now. Drage was penalised for an innocuous looking challenge on Crabb on the edge of the area. The resulting free kick was flicked on with Crabb managing to get on the end of it to stab past a static defence.
As the game settled down it was Lewes who started to assert themselves, clearly winning the battle in midfield. However, this is a Kingstonian side that will always retain a cutting edge. Moss duly muscled his way past Lovett who brought him down from behind in the penalty area with a rash challenge that could so easily have been punished with a red, as opposed to the yellow card he received. McCollin dispatched the resulting penalty with ease.
Shortly afterwards Casey almost extended the lead as he curled a left footed shot onto the junction of the post and cross bar. However, it was Lewes who should have gone in at half time in the lead. Both Crabb and Reece squandered great chances from inside the area, with left winger Wheeler causing havoc down the K's right.
The match was turned on its head ten minutes into the second half with a moment of sheer brilliance from McCollin, who until this moment had been more miss than hit. A long Knight corner was returned by Goode, with McCollin rising athletically to despatch a Brazilian style overhead kick past the keeper.
Three minutes later Tolfrey made an outstanding reflex save from close range to keep the lead intact, as the match moved into a much more even battle. Tommy Kavanagh limped off in the 60th minute to be replaced by Dan Sweeney as both sides struggled to assert their authority.
The defining moment of the match came in the seventy eight minute as Lovett fouled McCollin on the edge of the area to leave referee Parsons with a straight forward decision to produce a second yellow. In a bold move Lewes decided to play with three at the back and press for an equaliser. This almost paid off as Tolfrey produced his second outstanding save of the match with five minutes remaining. Banks was immediately called on to demonstrate his prowess as he skilfully denied Moss at the other end.
Lewes were leaving themselves more and more exposed at the back and they were duly punished by the rampant pairing of Moss and McCollin who added a goal apiece in the dying moments of the game, thus allowing McCollin to complete his hat-trick.
Whilst the scoreline flattered Kingstonian, it was testament to their resilience that they rode out the storm in the first half and that in the pairing of McCollin and Moss, they will always pose a meaningful goal threat.
Report: Peter Allan