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Leatherhead 2
Nash (6'), Arthur (39')
0 Kingstonian

Tanners defeat lacklustre K’s

Who needs flashy watches, wide-screen TVs or sweaters from your nan when you've got the best Christmas present imaginable? Andre McCollin!

The striker and K’s cult hero is back for his third spell, having netted a staggering 73 goals in 132 matches across his previous two stints.

However, frustratingly for K's, despite this near-Biblical return, redemption will have to wait.

After a frenetic first five minutes during which both teams looked to get the ball forward at break-neck speed, our gracious landlords Leatherhead took an early lead when Liam Nash turned and brilliantly volleyed past Rob Tolfrey.

The tide would generally continue to flow in the hosts' favour for the duration of the first half, although K's still fashioned two good chances of their own. First, the returning McCollin rose to meet a left-wing cross, but headed just over from six yards. Then Dennis Oli was unable to get any more than the brush of a thigh on the end of another dangerous ball into the box, with Tanners keeper Zaki Oualah gathering comfortably.
Moments later it was 2-0.

Tom Derry - returning to rub salt into the wounds of his former loved ones like a handsome yet fiendish bad boy in a depressing festive episode of Eastenders - crossed for fellow Tanners new boy Chris Arthur to superbly volley home on 38 minutes. Suddenly, K’s were left with a mountain to climb.

Leigh Dynan mixed things up by replacing Aristide Bassele with Alec Fiddes at the interval. The sub initially looked lively but K's were unable to wrestle back control of the match.

Our loyal legion of travelling fans attempted to muster some festive cheer with a hearty rendition of 'the Twelve K's Of Christmas', and they were almost rewarded with a moment of slapstick hilarity better than anything Mrs Brown's Boys or French and Saunders will offer over the Christmas period.

Oualah was almost left red-faced when, having momentarily taken his eye off a back pass and allowed the ball to squirm under his foot, he was forced to scramble goalwards to prevent the ultimate indignity for any keeper.

The Tanners stopper again momentarily had his heart in his mouth when an overhit/ambitious cross/shot from near the halfway line caught the Leatherhead No.1 off guard and bounced behind off the top of the crossbar.

In truth any third goal always looked more likely to come at the other end, with the best chance of the second half falling to Leatherhead's Jerry Nnamani, whose powerful header was excellently palmed away by Rob Tolfrey.

Merry Christmas? Bah humbug.

Match report by James Maw.

Published Wednesday 12th September 2018