Five Things We Learned From Lewes Away
If recent trends in football writing have told us anything, it’s that any moron can write a match report, but making a list of things we learnt/noticed/heard someone say during the second half, is a much finer art. With that in mind, here are five things we thought during Kingstonian’s 2-1 at Lewes.
LEWES AREN’T THAT BAD
Considering Ks were travelling to the team bottom of the league with only one Ryman win to their name this season, they were met with much firmer resistance than expected. In fact, during the first half the hosts were much the better side, knocking the ball around nicely and pressing high up the field to disrupt Ks. It was neat passing that created space for Harry Muggeridge to beat Tolfrey from the edge of the area to open the scoring. They remained on top for the most of the half, forcing two outstanding saves from Tolfrey just to keep Ks within touching distance.
EVEN WHEN WE’RE NOT CLICKING, WE STILL LOOK LIKE SCORING
The second half saw a bit of an improvement from Ks, but still lacked the fluency the side have shown in recent weeks. Despite this, it only took a moment of magic down the Ks left to create a golden opportunity. George Wells produced a brilliant run, linking up well with Malachi Hudson and finding space inside the area. His cross was perfect but Daniel Bennett somehow contrived to clear the ball out of the Lewes penalty area from two yards out with the goal gaping. It was one of the oddest misses in recent Ks history.
It’s fair to say that Ricky Sappleton hasn’t had the most consistent start to his Ks career, suffering a couple of injuries and struggling to get regular game time, but he made a match-changing, game-winning and possibly season-defining difference at the Dripping Pan. His two goals in the last five minutes after coming off the bench earned Kingstonian all three points. His first header was textbook Sappleton, steaming into a Dan Bennett corner and powering a header past the keeper and two defenders on the line. His second was the kind of goal you like to see strikers score. Bennett ran across the face of the Lewes area, his shot forced a good save but when the rebound landed at Sappleton’s feet he made no mistake, slamming the ball high into the net.
THIS TEAM IS IMMENSELY LIKEABLE
Ks had no right to win this game. Even when Sappleton equalised, most fans would have taken a point, but when things weren’t clicking in the first half Ks’ effort never wavered; when the side began to get frustrated in the second half, they kept going. The delight on the whole team’s faces when Sappleton notched the winner was a joy to see. They were delighted for themselves and delighted for the struggling striker.
WINNING GAMES YOU SHOULDN’T WIN IS THE BEST
If we’re honest, no one is really sure what happened when the ball went in. Drinks went everywhere. Limbs flew everywhere. One fan almost dragged Alan Inns over the advertising hoarding. Rob Tolfrey ran the length of the field to join the celebrations. Fans spilled all over the end behind the goal. Tommy Williams and Graham Harper re-enacted ‘the lift’ from Dirty Dancing. There is nothing, nothing, like a last minute winner.
Match report by Jamie Cutteridge.