Swans Repeatedly Peck Holes in K’s Defences
If the stale Burgess draw brought K’s back down to earth following the epic win on Planet Tamplin, everyone of a red-and-white hooped persuasion must have wished the ground would swallow them up at Staines on Saturday.
It was a chastening experience, from start to finish. A risky challenge from Paul Rodgers could have resulted in an early penalty for the home side, who were then denied on two occasions by the diving Rob Tolfrey.
Shooting at the end of a driving run from midfield, Lewis Taylor’s effort flew into the netting behind the goal and not the more significant piece attached to the goalposts. That was during our best spell of the opening 45 minutes. The brief respite was soon punctured by Staines’s opener.
It stemmed from farce. A Staines player took a swan dive in the middle of the park. The referee laughed off his claims for a free-kick. The ball ran loose and was then kicked at the referee, rebounding kindly into Taylor’s path. He slipped Tom Derry in, but our striker was crowded out before he could get his shot away.
The ball was cleared in the direction of the dugouts. Aaron Goode missed a tackle and sustained what looked like a serious shoulder injury in the process. Play went on. A cross came in. Mo Bettamer clinically converted.
Staines were good value for their lead, and with half-time approaching, Craig Edwards would have been grateful the deficit was just one. But then some shambolic defending allowed Max Worsfold an easy goal from close range, and any hopes of a comeback were extinguished with the final kick of the half, Elliot Buchanan picking out the bottom corner with a crisp 20-yarder.
The introduction of Ricky Sappleton at half-time breathed some life into K’s. A couple of decent enough chances came and went, Derry and Donovan Simmonds denied after fine hold-up play from the big striker.
It looked like the game would rather peter out, but just as in the first half the hosts scored twice late on. Jonathan Hippolyte and Tom Collins, both introduced shortly before, got the goals, the latter a spectacular long-range effort that summed up Staines’s day. They look a fine team. For K’s, the hope must be that this apathetic performance riddled with defensive mistakes is a one-off.
Match report by Rupert Cane.