Kingstonian Substitutes Provide Spark
It was the long harsh winter of 2007. Benazir Bhutto’s assassination led to riots in Pakistan. Leona Lewis earned two months at number one with “Bleeding Love”. A nation rejoiced after the birth of Oscar Branning in Eastenders.
And, last but not least, Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson made five bids for Leicester City winger Ricky Sappleton, the final one reportedly over £500,000. City said no and by 2008 Sappleton was on loan at Bournemouth before injury and peripatetic circlings led him down the leagues.
Eight years isn’t that long ago. Sappleton isn’t old. He’s scored 20-plus goals in the Ryman for Billericay in the last two seasons. He will score goals for K’s.
But after a stop-start opening to his career in red and white, Sappleton finally got off the mark at VCD Athletic – a header direct from a corner and a one-on-one put us two goals up in the second-half. He was only on the pitch following Pico Gomez’s withdrawal at the break. And, for the first time, Sappleton looked like he was even enjoying things.
But, then, who doesn’t like a Tuesday night away game? Bringing out only the sad and the lonely (aka the midweek away support), these have become Tommy Williams’ speciality in the last 14 months.
Suitably inspired, the K’s fans finally sappened upon a Ricky song. “Sapps. Sappy Days. Sapp-Attack. Thursday, Friday, Sappaday. What’s Sappening? … hang on, Woah Nana Sapps!” (Don’t worry, you’ll hear it soon.)
When Eden Hazard body-double Aaron Hopkinson made it 3-0 with his first touch near the end, K’s soared to 8th in the table. A dodgy start to the season could suddenly be a decent one – if we beat Farnborough in the FA Cup of course…
As for Fergie, he signed Manucho from Petro Atletico instead. The Angolan played one game and scored no goals.
Match report by Taimour Lay.