Heavy defeat for K’s at the Green Elephant Stadium
For 90 seconds at Burgess Hill, Kingstonian sat atop of league. In the end, Burgess Hill won 5-1. After encouraging wins over Harlow, Worthing and Tonbridge, Ks went into the game in Sussex with a degree of confidence, but a lackluster defensive showing and some poor luck with the woodwork consigned them to a heavy defeat.
After both sides had snatched at half chances early on, Ks took the lead that, thanks to an early kick off, briefly put them top of the Bostik. A long throw found its way to Goode in the area, and while his contact wasn’t particularly clean, it squirmed its way through the keeper and over the line. It was very much up for debate as to whether Kane Haysman’s touch came before or after said line crossing.
The lead didn’t last long. A poor touch Manu Gogonas gave The Hillians the chance to counter, and while Rob Tolfrey came out to block the initial effort, Brandon Diau coolly slipped it past the out-of-position Tolfs, off the post and into the net from 25 yards. Despite the equalizer, Ks still had the best of the play. Tom Derry’s curling effort deflected off the bar and over before the host’s keeper James Shaw had to tip Manu’s wild lob onto the bar and over.
The game turned just before the break, however. A cross into the Kingstonian box didn’t look too dangerous, but Toby Little’s air kick presented Pat Harding with a simple tap in at the back post. Sadly, worse was to follow. Early in the second half, Ks somehow left 6'6" (at least) Diau unmarked from a corner, leaving him to nod the ball through Haysman’s legs to double the lead. Diau, who has spent much of his career at centre back, completed his hat trick minutes later, finishing well after the ball deflected into his path.
Ks briefly threated to rally as Haysman hit the post following a slick passing move, but Diau turned provider to close the scoring, teeing up Aaron Smith-Joseph to complete the scoring and end a forgettable night for Craig Edwards’ men.
Match report by Jamie Cutteridge.