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Kingstonian 1
Bennett (73')
2 Farnborough
Emmerson (65'), Joseph-Whittingham (95')

Floored by Farnborough

The bottom third of the Ryman League has done little to cover itself in glory this year, and, until Monday night, Ks remained unbeaten against them all. Some games had been dour draws like Saturday's at Brentwood or the dismal performance at Needham Market; others had seen Ks swat aside their struggling foes with ease.

Defeat though, had never been on the cards and an on-paper easy run-in had mostly given Ks fans confidence of a successful playoff push despite languishing just outside the top five for most of the past few months.

Despite still being in the relegation zone though, Farnborough are not playing like it. Fourth in the form guide and now beaten just twice in the past ten, they've got every chance of avoiding adding a second relegation for their on-pitch shortcomings to the one they'll already be getting for something or other to do with money.

And what's more, they came up with two cracking goals to see off Ks. On 65 minutes they felt robbed when Dennis Oli was, harshly it appeared, booked for diving after going down in the box. So Keith Emmerson responded by immediately beating two men and curling past Rob Tolfrey from 25 yards.

Tommy Williams acted by going to something resembling the W-M formation. It probably shouldn't have worked, but then it did, when Dan Bennett finished off a flowing move by calmly converting a low Joe Turner cross.

Ks pushed for the winner but it wouldn't arrive. The best two chances saw Bennett perhaps caught in two minds whether to go for goal or cut back for Andre McCollin when he got on the end of a deep Mitch Pinnock cross, and Melvin Minter keep out a fierce McCollin drive.

But there were two sides desperate for a win and it was Farnborough who got it in sublime style. A late corner broke to Dean Joseph-Whittington in the corner of the box near the byline, and he somehow curled it into Tolfrey's net from the tightest of angles.
It came in the fifth minute of four minutes' stoppage time and probably led to dancing on the streets of Dulwich and Enfield, while Graham Poll shuffled his three yellow cards and thought, "It can happen to anyone." It would be pointless to be churlish though when Farnborough scored such a fine winner.

Promotion is now out of Ks' hands though, and two fine recent wins over the league's best being mixed with three failures against its worst leave no-one quite knowing what to think.

Match report by Simon Grier.

Published Wednesday 12th September 2018