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Leiston 0
2 Kingstonian
Pico Gomez (54'), Dean (59')

K’s Into Semi-Finals at Foggy Leiston

We had thought long and hard about going to the Alan Turvey Memorial Trophy sponsored by Robert Dyas formerly known as the Ryman League and the Isthmian League Cup Quarter Final at Leiston. The original game on January 6th had been postponed because of a waterlogged pitch and the weather in the lead up to this has been pretty cold.

However, four of us decided to make the trip to Suffolk spurred on by Alan Inns' promise of a pint. Tweets had been sent to Leiston, no need for an inspection they said.

Looking at the temperature of -1 gave us that resigned feeling that it would be called off as we arrived. We also drove through some patches of fog. What quickly became clear was that none of us had any real idea how fog works. Is higher or lower ground more affected?

We made it to Victory Rd at 7.26pm to see the Kingstonian players unloading the coach, they had been delayed but at least they weren’t getting back on it. Taimour used all of his negotiating skills to get us a £3 discount on the entrance fee and a Murray mint each. We walked through the turnstiles and then we saw it. The pitch. It looked frozen. We all thought it was a matter of time before we were heading home, but all the locals assured us the referee had said the pitch was perfect.

Ks named a strong side with Hogg, Bonnett-Johnson, O’Leary and Dean coming in for Page, Goode, Smith and Hudson from Saturdays win at Burgess Hill. Leiston started the stronger missing a straightforward chance.

After a good warm up in the bar at half-time we emerged for the second half to see Andre McCollin launch a shot straight from the kick off that only just went narrowly wide. Leiston then had a one on one that Tolfs saved superbly to his right. He really is a fantastic ‘keeper.

Then we were ahead, some nice link-up play saw Bonnett-Johnson in oceans of space on the right and he managed to put a ball into the danger area for Pico to head into the right corner. A beautiful celebration and fist pump for the travelling four. Then 5 minutes later we went 2-0 up when Peter Dean hit a rasping shot into the right hand near post. The travelling fans sung, “We’re going to Turveyley”

Then it happened, within the space of the next ten minutes you couldn’t really see. The fog had seriously rolled in. It got to a point where we couldn’t see past our back line, and you had to work out how close they had just gone by the noises of the 70 locals. Leiston campaigned for an abandonment, but the referee and assistants seemed to be determined to see it through.

The game petered out as both sides seemed to accept the score and referee blew up dead on 90 minutes. The players came over and it wasn’t quite as weird as I had feared. Innsy invited us into the bar, but better sense prevailed and we made our way to the car, but there will be #tinswithinns on Saturday.

Next up: either Wingate or Enfield at home in our first league cup semi-final since 1997.

Original concept written by Neil Baker, and edited by Taimour Lay.

Published Wednesday 12th September 2018