K’s win at gate
On a weekend where both Doncaster Rovers and the England cricket team were robbed of likely victories by deteriorating conditions...
...it seemed as if heavy rain was the only thing that might stand in the way of a Kingstonian win against Wingate and Finchley.
3-0 up inside 25 minutes the game was over as a contest but as the rain lashed down at half-time, discussions turned to whether the game would be completed or if this was Whitehawk all over again.
Thankfully for Alan Dowson's men the pitch, of an unusually high standard for the Ryman League, held up well and Ks added a fourth in the second half to complete a 4-0 win. The fifth consecutive clean sheet is the club's best such run since the glory days of the Conference.
Ryan Moss may not have been the most heralded of Ks' new summer signings but his impact has perhaps been the biggest so far. A hat-trick in North London took him to six goals in his first five games; an impressive return even before consideration of his power and hold-up play, generally absent from the Ks front line last season.
It took just nine minutes for him to make his mark on this encounter. A neat Ks move allowed debutant left-back James Aldred to cross and Moss beat goalkeeper Bobby Smith with a confident finish.
Marc Weatherstone had a close-range header blocked by Matt Drage but his luck turned even worse in the 23rd minute. After a Ks move that quickly turned defence into attack, Weatherstone denied Andre McCollin a shooting opportunity with what appeared to be a perfect sliding tackle. Even the Ks bench were not expecting a penalty but the referee thought otherwise and McCollin beat Smith from the spot, much to the chagrin of the incredulous home team.
Wingate had only themselves to blame for conceding again two minutes later though. A diagonal long ball from Aldred cleared their defence who allowed Moss far too much time and space to beat Smith one-on-one with a powerful finish.
Much of the rest of the game centred on whether Moss would complete his hat-trick. He spun neatly off Parsons in the 37th minute to test Smith and then after the break he fired over when a Matt Pattison shot was blocked and he took a poor touch after being sent through on goal by McCollin.
Other Ks players were threatening to add to the score as well. McCollin glanced a header wide from a corner and then forced Smith into a remarkable save on the rebound after he had parried out a Pattison free kick. The goalkeeper also denied Tommy Kavanagh from a set piece before Moss eventually struck to complete his hat-trick.
An Aaron Goode cross found its way through to returning substitute Bashiru Alimi. Alimi scuffed his shot but it went only as far as Moss, who poked home from close range with The Blues protesting for an offside flag that never came.
Wingate were not without their chances in the second half either. When Tolfrey punched a corner only as far as John Christian he did well to block Christian's shot and then the follow-up from Hector Mackie. A further good save denied David Laird late in the game to ensure another clean sheet for the in-form goalkeeper as Ks secured their most comfortable win of the season so far.
Report: Simon Grier