Calm, Confident, Clinical K’s Soundly Defeat Harrow
K’s are calm. K’s are confident. K’s are clinical.
Barely three weeks have passed since we scraped past injury-hit, eighth-tier Lewes in the FA Trophy. How times have changed.
Tommy Williams’s side have followed up a trio of dispiriting home defeats with three straight away wins in the league, as well as a road-trip Trophy triumph at Tonbridge.
So would the real K’s lady please stand up?
This latest sequence of positive results – six unbeaten including five wins – comes on the back of four consecutive defeats. Remember we started 2016/17 with no victories in four, then two wins in a row, then a solitary success in six, then two wins in a row. Much like the year more broadly, it’s really quite hard to know what to make of it all. Are K’s good?
Here, at Harrow, blimey-we-have-not-been-here-for-like-a-year-Harrow, they were mostly very good.
The first half was a bit of a non-event as both teams felt each other out, so to speak. There was a lot of (unrelated) falling over, and plenty of ‘channel hitting’ too, but clear chances proved as easy to come by as the no-mark Tube stations in Earlsmead’s vicinity. (Youssef Bamba found this out to his cost, dropped for turning up late having ignored the number one rule: if you’re going to Earlsmead, factor in at least an extra half-an-hour to your journey.)
Rob Tolfrey did do one good quick-off-his-line sprawl-save, but that was about as close as either side came. Our keeper’s opposite number, Luke Williams, was booked for dissent, his expletive-ridden exclamation at the awarding of a corner rightly acted upon by the referee.
So to the second half, where K’s played with greater assurance in possession. Lee O’Leary and Sean Bonnett-Johnson made the midfield minefield their own, and some of the football was genuinely very pleasing on the eye, not the least the build-up to our opener on 51 minutes.
Aaron Lamont carried the ball to the left touchline and drew a couple of red-shirted opponents towards him. Joe Turner was alert to the situation and darted round the back of them, giving Lamont a chance to slip him in. Turner’s deliveries are increasingly relevant and this one was no exception, low and hard and in to the kind of space Ryan Moss lives for. His volley on the stretch easily beat Williams.
Six minutes later, K’s doubled up. Toyosi Olusanya, in for the tardy Bamba, was too skillful and quick for the even tardier Shaun Preddie, whose crunching challenge brought him down inside the box. Moss side-footed his penalty down the middle.
Turner deserved a goal after another fine performance and nearly got one with a shot that flew over, but he did have one more assist up his sleeve, whipping in a free-kick from the right that Moss again converted on the volley. It marked a first Kingstonian treble since Dan Bennett’s against Met Police in August 2015.
K’s fans and players could relax, Moss was rested for the final 15, and the Harrow cauldron’s drumbeat died a sad and slow death.
The consensus was it was too early to sing Jingle Bells.
But what fun it was to see the nibbly Harrow keeper dismissed in the final seconds! Having enquired if those behind the goal had ‘ever played football’ in the first half (his overenthusiastic reaction to a conceded throw-in prompting the debate), he later asked if we had ever been to Northampton when we enquired if he was Harrow’s glovesman for their recent Cup thrashing there. Northampton!
As one supporter put it: ‘Sixfields, six goals’.
Back to the red card incident. Bamba broke clear, Williams came out and thwarted him, but couldn’t hold the ball. It ran to Bonnett-Johnson who flicked it over the keeper before being unceremoniously brought down. Another penalty, and another yellow card for the mouthy Williams, who trudged off gloveless and wearing the number 10 shirt, stripped of his usual attire as well as his dignity.
Substitute Tom Derry smuggled his penalty under Lewis Driver, Harrow’s stand-in stopper of choice (all their subs having been made). It was his first goal for the club and a great end to the perfect away day, but if recent history has told us anything, let’s proceed with caution…
Match report by Rupert Cane.