Another Fruitless Away Trip
It was a shock to discover on the journey home from this idyllic corner of Essex that Brightlingsea Regent’s manager of eight years, James Webster, resigned immediately after guiding his team to a 2-0 victory over Craig Edwards’s Kingstonian.
Webster oversaw three promotions during his considerable time at Regent, and that meant a maiden trip to North Road for K’s and a healthy band of travelling supporters.
Such was the apparent impact of the fixture, it was all too much for Edwards, too. He followed Webster in handing in his notice, but did at least sleep on it before calling time on his half-year spell in Surrey.
It was one of mostly highs, with the away wins at Merstham and Billericay standouts, the former the climax of an inspired escape from relegation.
This season had already packed in enough ups and downs to make Hugh Hefner proud, with the defeat to Brightlingsea rounding off a neat run of wins and losses in the previous 12 games. We won three, we lost three. Then we won three, and then we lost three.
Against Regent – whose ground was excellent, with six stands and a good clubhouse – K’s lacked the requisite quality in the final third. That was, perhaps, the most frustrating element of Edwards’ management, especially this season.
And defensively things weren’t great, either, on this fourth consecutive Tuesday night away game from the moment Aaron Goode inadvertently powered a header past Rob Tolfrey from close range. The team buckled instantly, as they had at Burgess and Harrow, and conceded a second to Aaron Condon. He took a long diagonal out of the night sky, cut inside and fired into Tolfrey’s left-hand corner.
K’s efforts mostly went high (Kane Haysman), wide (Noel Mbo) or handsome (most of the rest). Brightlingsea’s headgear-wearing keeper, Sam Cowler, looked shaky early on but was not sufficiently tested thereafter to know if he was any good. Much the same could be said about K’s right now. Interesting times lie ahead.
Match report by Rupert Cane.