K’s Blown Out of the FA Cup by VCD Athletic
One of the proudest moments in the history of Kingstonian Football Club came on 27 January 2001, gallantly coming oh-so-close to beating Bristol City in the fourth round proper.
Yet since that run, which brought the club some of its best moments, the FA Cup has in more recent years brought some of its worst.
And make no mistake, this result was one of the very worst, perhaps on a par with the infamous debacle at Brockenhurst.
Other bad FA Cup results were at least in some way excusable even if each was galling in its own way - Ramsgate and Poole were teams in form, even if they were below us in the pyramid. Dunstable were at our level. Eastbourne Town needed injury time to find a winner.
This result though, a 4-1 thrashing against a team yet to either win a game or a score a goal in the division below us, can have no such excuses behind it.
Kingstonian were not in any way unlucky. They did not miss many chances and nor was the referee a factor. They were simply outplayed, by a team who needed a replay to get past county league opposition in the last round.
VCD goalkeeper Niklas Freund, son of ex-Germany international Steffen, was an affable character who quickly made himself popular with the Ks fans behind his goal.
But although we're now a lot more familiar with his sense of humour and slightly more familiar with the German language (he seemed particularly alarmed when one Ks fan mistakenly claimed to have nine rabbits), we're none the wiser as to what he's like as a goalkeeper. For beyond picking an extraordinary 25-yard thunderbolt from Aaron Lamont out of his net, which at 2-1 briefly gave Ks hope of a comeback, he barely had another save to make all game.
The first half was especially quiet for Freund, who enjoyed seeing his teammates score twice in quick succession midway through the half. Joseph Bruce opened their account by looping a header over Rob Tolfrey direct from a long throw and then Jamie Guy converted a neat cross-field pass three minutes later.
Sean Bonnett-Johnson replaced Ola Sogbanmu at half time and Lamont quickly struck to make a game of it. Ks had a spell of decent possession and won a few corners but the only clear-cut chance fell to Ryan Moss, who took the ball past Freund but found the angle too tight to convert on his left foot.
But Ks fashioned little and the game was killed off when Guy again beat Tolfrey eleven minutes from time. Alan Inns and Jason Stripp finally produced a couple of easy saves from Freund late on but in injury time Guy completed his hat-trick and the humiliation was complete.
Match report by Simon Grier.