Page Turns Peacehaven Match in Kingstonian’s Favour
In a famous interview not long before his death, the playwright Dennis Potter tried to describe the experience of the present at its most intense, how everyday things were being elevated to their Platonic ideals, the most perfect exemplar of themselves. “Instead of saying ‘Oh, that's nice blossom’, last week looking at it through the window, I see it is the whitest, frothiest, blossomest blossom that there ever could be, and I can see it. Things are both more trivial than they ever were, and more important than they ever were, and the difference between the trivial and the important doesn't seem to matter.”
The Wednesday night trip to Peacehaven & Telscombe somehow contrived to be the most non-league of non-league games, the purest example of the game – beautifully so. Not out of a hipster reification of the bad into ironic good but simply, if we look closely enough, the “blossomest blossom that there ever could be”.
A crowd of 125, wan floodlights casting shadows instead of light, two teams knocking the ball more in hope than expectation, wild fouls and weak refereeing, lulls and languors, frantic activity and occasional skill, 10 away fans behind the goal barracking a reasonably competent goalkeeper who finally succumbed to the pressure and cleared a ball into touch…
Each phase followed non-league form.
A goalless first-half, then a calamitous error by the Peacehaven No 4, a cynical presence throughout, who attempted a backpass but only succeeded in gifting the ball to Andre McCollin who advanced into the box and struck calmly past the keeper.
The equaliser from James Fraser on the hour was, in the context of the game, an extraordinary piece of daring, lifting the ball delicately over Rob Tolfrey when faced with a box packed with defenders charging in to block.
In a season of one too many draws, it was clear Tommy Williams wanted the win. Alex Addai’s introduction immediately added pace and trickery to the attack. Allied with Elvis Hammond’s fine hold-up play and Josh Casey’s forays down the left, K’s suddenly looked a force again.
Addai it was who drew a foul with 15 minutes left, a tackle so brutal we could hear bones knocking from 40 yards away. McCollin whipped the ball in, Alan Inns headed on across the line and there, at the backpost, was Sam Page who, from 1 yard out, leathered the ball so hard and high, we feared it would end up in the English Channel, if not in Dieppe. Fortunately, it lifted up into the roof of the net. 2-1 to K’s.
What followed was rearguard defence and corner-time-draining antics until the final whistle. As former press secretary Ali Kazemi commented at the end: “That’s the most fun I’ve had at K’s in ages.” Indeed, against all odds, it was glorious and no one who was present would rather have been anywhere else.
Match report by Taimour Lay.