Sapps Provides a Catalyst
In an age where manager’s quotes and predictions are treated like headline news rather than pre-match fluff, Kingstonian manager Craig Edwards’ midweek comments proved to be incredibly prescient as two late Kingstonian goals rescued a 3-2 win over 10-man Lowestoft. After saying midweek that he wanted to add to his side to give a spark of creativity and that Ricky Sappleton is “someone who would take his chances”, it was two new signings who burned brightly going forward, but Sapps who came on to make the difference.
If Sappleton had the impact late on, Ks encouraging first half came courtesy of two debutants, winger Jerome Federico and number 10 Tom Collins, the best Ks player named after a cocktail since Chuck Martini. Federico was a threat down the right throughout and Collins linked the play brilliantly, taking up intelligent positions and forcing ex-K Ben Dudzinski into three superb saves in the Lowestoft goal.
It was Ks who made the early running, and while they didn’t create any clear-cut chances, a powerful Tom Derry run through two defenders on the edge of the area forced one of them, Dean Leacock, to bring him, drawing a red card from the ref. Ks sought to make their man advantage count, but soon Kane Haysman headed over from a corner, a superb free kick Ollie Humphrey gave the Trawler Boys the lead, curling the ball over the wall and beyond Rob Tolfrey’s dive. Ks responded immediately; Federico beat a man and put the ball across the box and while Haysman’s first effort was blocked, he improvised brilliantly, back heeling the ball past Dudzinski to restore parity. It was Dudzinski who was to have the next word though, incredibly parrying Collins’ powerful effort onto the bar, after the midfielder’s weaving run. Collins tried his luck soon after, but once again Dudzinski saved well down low to see his side into half time level.
After an encouraging first half, Ks got off to a dreadful start to the second half. Jake Reed looked dangerous all afternoon and won his side a penalty after colliding with Aaron Goode in the area just three minutes after the break. The striker got up to dispatch a brilliant penalty past Tolfrey, high into the top corner. And while Ks dominated possession for the next half an hour, it was a lot of huff and puff with minimal threat as once again Dudzinski kept out Ks’ best effort, a fine shot from Tom Collins, once again.
With 15 minutes to go, Collins was withdrawn; cometh the hour, cometh the Sapps. It took just two minutes for the big man to make his presence felt. Another brilliant Federico cross found Sappleton at the back post, and while his header could only hit the woodwork, it bounced down to Lewis Taylor whose shots dropped in off the bar for his fifth of the season. Two minutes later, Sappleton had the final word. Federico’s cross was deep, very deep. The backpedalling striker did well just to get his head on it, but somehow, from a tight angle, leaning backwards, at just the perfect moment, Sappleton produced a stunning header, looping the ball over Dudzinski, over everyone and into the far post for the wining goal. We should probably all start paying attention to what Craig has to say.
Match report by Jamie Cutteridge.