Much Improved K’s But Same Result
Ends of eras are pretty easy to identify: the last Viceroy of India; Michael Portillo losing his seat in May 1997; Burgess Hill away. But the beginning of a new era is often less auspicious, as things move into place, people get used to their new clothes and the residue from what has gone before continues to be shaken off. And so proved the start of the Craig Edwards era. Parachuted in with six games to save Kingstonian from relegation, the non-league mainstay’s first game in charge was an improvement of the previous few games, but the bad luck stink wasn’t quite washed out of the socks yet as Ks fell to a 2-1 defeat to Jimmy Bullard’s Leatherhead.
It’s funny how geography impacts the way you view a manager’s brand of football. After being in charge of Billericay for years, the collective wisdom was that Ks would become more organised and tough to break down. For 60 minutes, they were.
There weren’t loads of chances in the first half, hardly a surprise for a game between 20th and 21st in the table. Ks dominated possession, but seemed to stall whenever they reached the final third, while the back four, boosted by the return of George Wells looked their most solid for weeks, only troubled by a Charlie Moone header going wide.. So far, so Edwards.
Ks’ second half got off to a more lively start, and just after the hour mark ‘the chance’ arrived. Joe Turner’s corner was flicked on by Lee O’Leary and fell to Ryan Moss, unmarked, six yards out. This was it.
It wasn’t. Unaware of how much time he had, Moss’ header was comfortably saved by Louis Wells who immediately launched the ball upfield for Leatherhead to counter. They won a corner from which Jerry Nnamani’s header went over Rob Tolfrey, off the underside of the bar before spinning over the line. After a good start to the game, Ks looked shell shocked and before they could recover, the lethal blow was struck. A through ball looked harmless as Luke Moore was offside, but as the Ks backline switched off, Nana Boakye-Yiadom burst through, rounded Tolfrey and rolled the ball home.
For a few minutes, all those all doubts crept in for Ks. They looked doomed. But out of nowhere, hope appeared, and it made the defeat hurt all the more. Substitute Pico Gomez’s header came back off the bar and Ryan Moss bundled home. A few minutes to go… there was a chance. Pico found some space but could only shoot wide from an angle. Moss’ overhead kick was straight at Wells.
That was it. Defeat. The start of the Craig Edwards era. If the new boss can pick up a win against Burgess Hill, there’s still a chance, and for the first time in a while, against Leatherhead there was a feeling that Ks could win a game. But they need to start winning soon.
Match report by Jamie Cutteridge.