Crazy Eights at Victory Road
Football is chaos. Random, glorious chaos. Before Kingstonian's long, long trip to Leiston, manager Tommy Williams, when asked whether his side could strike a blow to Leiston's 100% record replied, "Why not us?" After a humbling 4-1 defeat at VCD the week before, Williams' response hardly inspired confidence, but he summed up the ridiculous nature of football - why not? Saturday afternoon at Leiston was beautifully chaotic.
The Ryman League is the ultimate test of structure versus chaos. League leaders Leiston had a plan. They knocked it out from the back, no matter what pressure they were under; determined to wear down the visitors' resistance. Ks approach was more chaotic: a brand new central midfield partnership of Sean Bonnett-Johnson and Michael Onovwigun following last week's omnishambles. It worked. SBJ and 'Michael' were both superb, working really to hard and supplying good service for the front four.
Onovwigun marked his debut with two first half goals, the first a tap in after the ball bounced around the area (chaos), but the second was a moment of beauty. Picking the ball up 20 yards out, his touchless shimmy sent three defenders flying and gave him time to pick his spot, and curl the ball into the top corner. Nick Eyre in the home goal didn't move.
Leiston surrounded Onovwigun's double with three goals of their own. Joe Jefford opened the scoring, poking home after Tolfrey spilled a free kick. The diminutive Byron Lawrence, who pulled the strings all afternoon, equalised after Michael's brace with a howitzer to beat Tolfrey from the edge of the box. Leiston got their noses in front just before half time as Matt Blake smartly sidefooted home after a flowing counter attack.
Everyone knew what was going to happen in the second half. The league leaders, having survived Ks' first half scrap would assert control and stroll to a comfortable victory. Nope. We got chaos instead. Ryan Moss got it started, taking his cue from his strike partner by prodding the ball away from Eyre before firing in from a tight angle. Sam Page kept it going. Joe Turner's ball into the box was high and airy, Eyre misread and Page half-volley from near the byline was cool, calm and collected. A rare non-chaotic moment to give Ks a chaotic 4-3 lead.
And of course, chaos struck near the end. Onovwigun appeared to be fouled on the edge of the Ks area, but as the referee looked set to blow, 'Michael' grabbed the shirt of his assailant, allowing the referee to change his mind and award the spot kick. Lawrence sent Tolfrey the wrong way to level it up.
Blake spurned two glorious late chances to win it for the hosts, as Tolfey's woodwork was rattled twice but 4-4 it remained. The most chaotic scoreline in football. Tactics be damned, long live the season of chaos.
Match report by Jamie Cutteridge.