Three Important Goals Win Three Important Points
Since the pyramid was restructured a decade ago, and play-offs introduced to keep the Isthmian season alive beyond winter, there have rarely been so many teams so closely packed together in the race for a top-five position come the Spring. It bears out the pattern of the season as a whole – three superb teams in Maidstone, Hendon and Margate – and then, frankly, the rest, of whom the best has yet to emerge.
From Enfield in Town in 5th to K's in 13th there were, at kick-off, just 4 points of difference. After this routine 3-0 win over Peacehaven, the gap remained the same but K's stayed in touch – with a game in hand. And with Dulwich Hamlet's catastrophic form [they've lost 4 of the last 7, drawing three], there may well be 4th position up for grabs too.
If this all sounds confused and chaotic, that's because it is.
Gary Ekins' patented “Predicted Final Table” on footballwebpages.co.uk suggests 75 points will be enough to reach the play-offs but his mad algorithm – like a supercomputer that can't factor in unquantifiables like momentum, history, fate, destiny and Steve Butterworth – also absurdly predicts Met Police will finish 5th.
The best thing for K's to do is get their heads down win football matches. Peacehaven were ideal opponents, being one of the few teams in the league with nothing to play for at either end of the table.
Top scorer Pelayo Pico Gomez opened the scoring in the first period, volleying home a cross from Welling-loanee winger Malachi Hudson.
Hudson, galloping inside from the left, was superb all afternoon and set up Gomez's second after the interval, slaloming two tackles before finding the perfect pass.
At 2-0, K's began to relax, with the afternoon only marred by some tackling that meant Dan Sweeney and Josh Casey were withdrawn with injuries as a result.
Hudson helped create the third, shooting from outside the box to facilitate Charlie Penny's rebound tap-in. In a season of patchy home form, this was just what was needed.
Match report by Taimour Lay.