Gallant K’s Fall Just Short
If the sudden resignation of Craig Edwards created a sense of worry at Kingstonian it was not particularly apparent on the pitch as a spirited and somewhat unlucky side went down 2-1 to Lowestoft.
The game was controversial in itself - the longest trip of the season, to England's most easterly point, hastily rearranged with only a small number of Ks fans able to make it.
Kim Harris took interim charge of the side, for which the club was rightly grateful. In some senses he was the perfect man for a crisis - a club man, and one who in his spell as first team manager over a decade ago nearly always fielded disciplined and well-organised sides.
The first half was certainly evidence of that. Although Jacek Zielonka struck the crossbar with a free kick early on, Ks were rarely again troubled by the hosts. Harvey Hodd fired over on 35 minutes while Ks' best chances fell to Paul Rodgers, who fired over after Tom Derry had flicked on a long throw, and Mitchal Gough who found some space but fired straight at ex-Ks man Ben Dudzinski.
The game's crucial moment came deep into first half stoppage time, when a high foot from Rodgers caught Travis Cole in the penalty area. The referee pointed to the spot, a decision Ks felt was deeply harsh, and Jake Reed sent Rob Tolfrey the wrong way to give Lowestoft the lead.
Ks came out after the break with a purpose though. Noel Mbo had a header saved and couldn't quite get a connection on another good chance, the dangerous Tom Collins fired over and then Ks came closest of all when Derry headed against the bar. Unfortunately for Ks Lowestoft immediately broke on the counter-attack and Zielonka squared to leave Reed with an easy finish.
Ks still weren't done though and 13 minutes from time Gough powered home a header from a Collins free kick to pull the score back to 2-1. Ks kept the pressure up in the final period of the game but were unable to find a breakthrough against a Lowestoft side who were themselves disciplined and well-organised, Alec Fiddes coming closest but firing narrowly over.
The players collapsed on the field at the end, exhausted and clearly disappointed after an effort that deserved at least a point. The game did show though that while Edwards may have gone life goes on at Kingstonian and the new manager will inherit a squad that despite four defeats in a row are still only two points outside the playoffs.
Match report by Simon Grier.