Ten Man K’s Hit Five Past Enfield Town
The Tommy Williams era began in style for Kingstonian as they ran out 5-2 winners over Enfield Town despite playing with ten men for 80 minutes. The new K’s manager must have been having second thoughts about his summer decision 13 minutes in as last season’s runners up went a goal and a man down to an Enfield side who only just stayed up a few months previously.
It was Matt Drage’s lunge that put Ks in trouble. After Elvis Hammond miscontrolled when through on goal, Enfield broke quickly and as Drage tracked back he dove in with both feet, getting the ball but also giving the referee a decision to make - a decision that stunned the crowd as he flashed red just minutes into a new season. Kingstonian were punished three minutes later by the impressive Corey Whiteley. Rob Tolfrey rushed out of his goal to sweep up a long ball, but was beaten to it by a town striker, Tolfrey saved the first effort but the rebound fell to Whiteley whose lob was inch perfect. Whiteley then tested Tolfrey again from distance before Ks hit back.
Tommy Kavanagh, on his return to Ks, knocked a corner short to the near post, Andre McCollin only needed two touches – his first created some space, his second blasted the ball high into the top corner – equalising in some style. Tolfrey then again denied Whiteley but as the rebound fell Neil Cousins with the goal gaping the striker's shot was wild enough have cleared even the loftiest pole vault height in the athletic’s stadium. Minutes later the diminutive Nathan McDonald in the Enfield goal got enough on a Hammond shot to deflect it onto the post before Kingstonian took the lead by repeating the trick. Another short corner came to Daniel Sweeney, and while his shot lacked power, it fell to Hammond who turned the ball home to send Ks into half time ahead.
The lead didn’t last long into the second half. George Borg had sent his team onto the pitch after less than five minutes of the interval and it took his side only three minutes to equalise, and again Whiteley was the man. An innocuous cross found Whiteley with too much space beyond the back post, giving him time to curl a lovely goal past Rob Tolfrey to level matters.
The game settled for the next 25 minutes before three late K’s goal settled it. A 70th minute ball towards the edge of the Enfield area seemed to present no trouble to the home defence, but Stanley Muguo slid the ball past his onrushing keeper with an attempt to clear.
Four minutes later Kavanagh’s perfect through ball found Hammond who fired the ball through the keeper to double his side’s advantage and cap an impressive, two-goal, debut. The cherry on the icing on the cake came from Nathan Pinney. The striker twisted and turned his way past a legion of defenders, beating them almost at will before putting the ball on a plate for fellow substitute Tyrone Berry just six yards out to spark the first team-crowd bundle of the season among a delirious travelling support and give Williams a satisfying start to his return to Kingsmeadow.
Match report by Jamie Cutteridge.