K’s Into Top Eight With Powerful Second Half Performance
Occasionally, football looks like one of the easier planetary pursuits. Knock the ball around, create space, cause problems and walk away comfortable 3-0 winners against an AFC Sudbury team who came into the game ahead of you in the table. This is a fairly specific example of when football looks easy, but for the second half of Kingstonian’s win over Sudbury, it certainly looked like an early-Autumnal stroll.
The first half was fairly uneventful. Who am I kidding: it was woefully boring. Both teams were perfectly happy knocking the ball around while causing minimal threat to the opposition goal. Ks’ best moments came through Norman Lamont’s driving runs, but some impressive defending blocked each and every one of his efforts. The other end, the main cause for concern was the health of Rob Tolfrey, who twice received treatment, but managed to stay on the field and smartly kept out Chris Parker’s shot with his legs before Jordan Blackwell fired over.
Kingstonian came out for the second half a different, more impressive side. Lamont continued to drive the side forward, and after evading a number of challenges, his shot was palmed away by genuine, if slightly more rotund, Ryman legend Marcus Garnham in the Sudbury goal. Unfortunately for Garnham and co, they never truly sorted themselves out and when the ball fell to Pico at the edge of the area, he calmly sidefooted the ball into the bottom corner, past the still-recovering Garnham.
With momentum flowing, Kingstonian briefly pushed on to kill the game. Garnham saved well from a Joe Turner header after a brilliant Ryan Moss cross and Pico could only hit the post after some brilliant work from newfound midfield-supremo Sean Bonnett-Johnson. But as the second half wore on, Ks began to sit ever-deeper, encouraging the visitors to push on. However the back four looked as comfortable as they have all season, only looking troubled by one particularly satisfying scramble following a corner.
Eventually, Ks reasserted control. The lively Youssef Bamba’s early cross was brilliant, and Alan Inns, still up top following a corner, rose over Moss to head past Garnham and double the lead. Bamba could have had one of his own following a mazy run, but Garnham palmed his powerful shot over the bar. It was left to Joe Turner to finish the job, bringing the ball down, charging clear of the defense and firing high past Garnham.
Look, in the wider context of Kingstonian, there’s a lot of uncertainty: we don’t where our long term future lies; we don’t know where our short term future lies and the forum is awake with discussions about the viability of community ownership, but on Saturday, for 90 minutes, Ks put in their most complete performance of the season. Maybe, just maybe, everything is going to be ok.
Match report by Jamie Cutteridge.