Clinical K’s Punish Nine-Man Bury Town
Playing the bottom side in the league is no guarantee of a result - home defeats to VCD Athletic and Harrow Borough have shown that already this season - but at Ram Meadow Ks cruised past a home team whose five-year spell in the Ryman Premier seems under serious threat of coming to an end.
The hosts didn't help themselves by picking up two red cards as they lost their discipline in the second half. But Ks were professional, and the only reasonable complaint Tommy Williams might have had was that a lack of urgency saw them miss the opportunity to win by a bigger scoreline.
Ks enjoyed more of the pressure early on but failed to make a breakthrough. Pico Gomez found Elvis Hammond but he pulled the ball wide, Aaron Goode volleyed over from the edge of the box while Steve Butterworth shot straight at Alex Archer from distance.
The boggy pitch and a farcical situation where multiple matchballs were discarded for either having too much, or not enough, air in them contributed to both sides struggling to impose quality on the game.
Connor Hall shot wide for Bury but on 34 minutes Ks made the breakthrough. Butterworth found the overlapping Goode, and although his cross was cut out he picked out Josh Casey with the second attempt. Casey's fierce shot cannoned down off the underside of the bar but the linesman flagged for a goal, rendering it academic that Jake Kempton beat Archer to the rebound to slide it home. Tolfrey's only meaningful save of the half came from a Jordan Patrick effort.
Just four minutes after the interval Ks doubled their lead. Butterworth was again involved, this time whipping a free kick on to the head of Adam Doyle. The defender, in for the injured Alan Inns, beat Archer with a fine downward header.
If Bury had any chance of getting something from the game it was surely gone on the hour mark when John Sands picked up a second yellow card for a late slide tackle on Gomez. Hall came close on 70 minutes but frustration boiled over for the home side and just a minute later they were down to nine, John Kennedy seeing a straight red for wiping out Dan Sweeney.
On 79 minutes Ks took advantage of the space, Dylan Casey surging forward from left-back to finish off a move involving his namesake Josh and Kempton. The precise finish off the left-hand post gave Archer no chance.
Ks should maybe have added to the goal tally but often failed to find the right ball in the final third, despite the opposition's decimated ranks. The most clear-cut chance fell to Sam Page after a cross from substitute Alex Addai but with the goal at his mercy he headed wide.
The only other negative for Ks was a late injury to Butterworth, who unfortunately hobbled off having enjoyed his best game yet for Ks. The forthcoming visits to East Thurrock and Hendon will be far sterner tests for Ks, but a rare such comfortable victory will at least serve as a major boost to their confidence.
Match report by Simon Grier.