Fiddes Thunderbolt Wins It For K’s
Few phrases are more gratingly over-used than 'patience is a virtue', but there's a reason this particular idiom gets used with such regularity. Sometimes you just have to wait for the good stuff.
K's fans have been waiting to see the best of Alec Fiddes, and after weeks of steady improvement, in Saturday's clash with Wingate & Finchley, he delivered a masterclass.
There were only four minutes on the clock when K's No.7 expertly brought down a long, angled pass to the right wing, before effortlessly tucking the ball inside to Tom Collins. K’s No.10 quickly squared for Sam Alderson to scramble home, marking his first start for the club with his first goal.
There was no time to pause for breathe, as minutes later former K Ahmet Rifat saw a header cleared off the line at the other end, with the game swinging one way then the other in a first half that was typically chaotic, given it took place in the midst of Storm Brian.
K’s had a golden opportunity to double their lead when visiting keeper Shane Gore could only punch a corner as far as Sam Page, whose lightning reflexes resulted in a powerful header towards goal. In an attempt to divert the ball past the defender waiting on the line, Kane Haysman raised a thigh, but nudged the ball around the post.
Wingate then equalised when Rifat chested down in a crowded penalty area, before prodding a bobbling, volleyed shot across the leaf-strewn turf and past Rob Tolfrey into the bottom corner.
With the Blues now well on top with half-time approaching, Tommy Tejan-Sie rattled the bar with a rocket of a shot that would likely have reached Crawley had it not been for the woodwork.
There was still time for one more moment of Fiddes magic before the interval. Some nimble footwork put Wingate No.1 Gore on his backside, but, also off-balance, the half-Spanish schemer was unable to hit the target with the goal gaping.
If the first half was entertainingly open, the second was…well, not.
The two teams largely managed to keep one another at arms’ length, and perhaps the most dramatic moment of the regulation 45 minutes came when Manolis Gogonas casually looped a header over Tolfrey and, thankfully, his own crossbar.
Fortunately for K’s, there was something special to come in the second minute of added time.
With Tom Derry fouled 30 yards from goal, Collins dinked the resultant free-kick ‘into the mixer’. The ball span up off Derry, and fell into the path of the waiting Fiddes. This was his moment.
In a flash, the right winger lashed a bending, dipping volley past Gore and just inside the lefthand post. Bedlam ensued - not only behind the goal, but also among the assembled Kingston Young Carers in the main stand and among the Ks' players, who rushed to celebrate with the family of recently-departed Ks' legend John McCormack.
It was a moment that suggest, despite the troubles of recent weeks, there should be plenty to look forward to in the months to come - not least the small matter of Friday Night Football in the FA Trophy against Thurrock with a new manager in charge.
Match report by James Maw.