K’s Extend Unbeaten Run to Five
When the entire club is preoccupied with the existential question of where it will be playing in two years' time, it can be hard to concentrate on matters as trivial as games of football. But, amidst the concern about off-field matters, Ks have quietly put together a neat run of five games unbeaten.
The victory over Canvey Island was reasonably comfortable, although less so then it might have been, at least until Tambeson Eyong was sent off twenty minutes from time. Suddenly, third place is only four points away.
The return of Pico Gomez from injury was an immediate boon for Ks and he fired narrowly over in just the fourth minute. He menaced Canvey throughout the game but perhaps not as much as the mercurial Dan Bennett. The winger fired wide from distance early on but would soon be causing The Gulls far more worries - despite shrugging off a late challenge that Ashley Dumas was lucky to only be booked for.
Ks' breakthrough came on 29 minutes. Steve Sheehan - well-remembered by Ks fans for past roles in seeing Andre McCollin and Malachi Hudson dismissed - was robbed by Dylan Casey. Gomez finely controlled his cross before picking out the top corner with an impressively short backlift for such a powerful shot.
The advantage was doubled on 37 minutes. Bennett's wizardry in the box had the defence kicking at thin air as he shimmied through to the corner of the six yard box. When he chipped across goal to give Dan Sweeney a simple headed finish he almost seemed to be putting the beleaguered defence out of their misery.
From there it really should have been simple, but Ks managed to make it far less so. Just before the break they allowed Martin Tuohy far too much space and the prolific striker, who as usual finds himself near the top of the Ryman goalscoring charts, powered past Tolfrey.
Ks mostly controlled the second half, but with the lead at only a single goal hearts remained firmly in mouths. Pessimists might have expected the late sucker-punch, and that might well have come if Alan Inns hadn't bravely thrown himself in front of a Tuohy shot in a panicked injury time.
Chances to seal the game before then were squandered. A Sweeney effort had been cleared off the line by Lawrence Yiga, and Gomez headed over the bar. Bennett again cut the defence apart and teed up Casey, but his over-excited finish skewed high and wide.
Even after Eyong was given his marching orders - retaliating after being fouled by Gomez - Ks were still unable to kill the game off. Bennett had the best chance after more quick-footed work in the Canvey box but Conor Gough made a fine save with his leg. Ks held on for the win nonetheless though and at least the result was one less thing to worry about.
Match report by Simon Grier.