K’s Defeat Shoreham with Penalties
Faced with a choice of schedule, Craig Edwards chose Friday Night Football over Sunday Afternoon Ennui in the FA Cup First Qualifying Round. It paid off as a healthy-ish (by nomad standards) post-work crowd of 218 filed into Fetcham Grove under the lights to witness a 3-2 win.
Bostik South side Shoreham came into the game pointless and with only one league goal to their name all season. If the Friday Night idea was to create a more lively atmosphere, the biggest danger was quiet complacency in the terraces, especially after K’s took an early lead.
Alex Fiddes, having his best game to date since arriving from the Segunda B in Spain, whipped in a low cross from the right, and his opposite winger, new signing Kane Haysman (from less glamorous Chelmsford), came off the left-flank to guide the ball in from the near the penalty spot in the 8th minute.
K’s fans settled down for an easy night, focused on winding up Shoreham centre-back Ryan Woodford, notorious for a short fuse after three red cards in three games for his former club Horsham.
Alas, after crude gestures and the brief sight of Woodford’s spandex thong, the magic of the Cup intervened to make the night far more interesting than home fans ever really wanted. First, Evan Archibald capitalised on a Toby Little error to equalise. Then, in the 41st, Rob Tolfrey parried a shot and Mark Goldson followed up to put the away team 2-1 up. Three men behind the goal clapped.
Suddenly memories of VCD Athletic last year started to flood back. An early cup exit to appalling opposition has sadly become a K’s routine since the mid 2000s. It was time for the fabled Friday Night Effect: and it came through a dozen roars for a penalty on the stroke of half-time. A clumsy challenge on Tom Derry in the box was duly punished and Lewis Taylor converted.
Shoreham, to their credit, emerged for the second-half in search of another goal and it took 15 minutes for K’s to gain a foothold. Haysman showed flashes of between-the-lines ingenuity, Manu Goganas bossed the midfield, while Claudiu Vilcu (a Romanian Third Division champion in 2010) held the backline together with a head on a stick.
Yet it wasn’t until the 72nd minute that the match was settled. Another rash foul and another Taylor penalty made it 3-2. We don't create much but function over fun may well get us through the winter.
So K’s are through to Monday’s draw and are, once again, just 5 wins from the Third Round proper where a home draw against Chelsea almost certainly awaits. Maybe they’ll let us play it at Kingsmeadow.
Match report by Taimour Lay.