We’ll Meet Again...
If it wasn’t obvious already then Wednesday’s fans’ meeting to discuss Kingstonian’s off-field future laid bare the importance of cup runs to the club’s financial health.
It was therefore of no small relief to Ks that they fought to live another day in the FA Trophy, although they will face a tough replay at Longmead against Steve McKimm’s Tonbridge Angels.
Ks, now recovering from a miserable October with three wins in a row, made a strong start to the game but were unable to beat Canadian goalkeeper Tony di Barnardo.
Di Barnardo dived well to parry out a Ryan Moss shot struck low and hard from the edge of the box, was relieved to see a Moss header crash back off the bar and when he was finally beaten, by Joe Turner, the referee ruled the effort out for a handball by Moss in the build-up.
It was not one-way traffic though. Despite a let off when Rob Tolfrey made a reflex save from Luke Blewden, a slack moment of defending on 38 minutes allowed Nathan Elder to tee up Tommy Whitnell with far too much time and space in the box. He beat Tolfrey to give the visitors the half-time lead.
Ks came out strongly after the break though and were quickly level. Ryan Moss broke powerfully down the right and his low cross was perfect for Turner to slam in from close range.
Tolfrey maintained the Ks lead with a fine save from Damian Scannall but it was Ks who looked more dangerous in the closing stages, with Youssuf Bamba particularly menacing. Despite a succession of corners though Ks could not fashion the clear-cut chance they required and suffered a further blow when Aaron Goode was carried off with what appeared to be a knee injury.
A red card for Angels’ Luke Allen, for a second bookable offence, came too late to make any difference to the game and the two sides will face off again in midweek for the right to play North Leigh in the next round.
Match report by Simon Grier.