K’s Disappoint away to Tooting and Mitcham
This second league defeat in Leigh Dynan’s reign means K’s have lost 9 of the opening 18 fixtures in the Bostik Prem. That is not playoff form. Hopes raised by the win at Hendon and creditable displays in the Trophy may not survive the unforgiving Step 3 winter.
A bad first-half was partially rectified in a livelier second but the damage had been done. Tooting, looking down at the one relegation spot as Worthing revive, played with a decent pattern but little quality. They looked unlikely to score until Marvin Elliott inexplicably headed into his own net in the 24th minute. He had risen unchallenged at the near post but instead of clearing the crossed ball, facing his own goal, he powered it into the top corner.
Four minutes later, Peter Wedgeworth’s speculative effort from distance met the sliding attempted block of a K’s player and looped high over Rob Tolfrey (picture the trajectory of the Paul Parker deflection in the 1990 World Cup semi-final).
Dynan made two half-time substitutions, introducing Andrew Musungu at left-back, presumably to add greater penetration in support of the hitherto becalmed Jerry Amoo ahead of him. More surprisingly, midfielder Taylor Miles came on for striker Reece Grant as K’s went to 4-5-1 (or, more generously, 4-3-3) to redress the imbalance in midfield.
In the driving rain, K’s certainly improved, with Alec Fiddes as usual looking dangerous. Elliott began to dominate and find promising positions in the final third before he thumped home the goal of the game from 20 yards, a sweetly struck volley from a high cleared ball. With half-an-hour to play, the momentum had seemingly turned. Suddenly Manu Goganas forced his way to the byline and forced the ball across at speed. A stretching Fiddes couldn't quite direct his effort into the net.
But then more defensive calamity ensued. Just five minutes later a straight ball down the middle bamboozled the K’s backline and Mike Dixon worked the space to finish.
Still K’s plugged away. Young striker Daniel Ajakaiye, signed on a contract from Whyteleafe, came on to raid down the right and burst clear with 7 minutes remaining to set up Tom Derry, who met a cross at the near post to make it 3-2.
But Tooting tightened up to ultimately see the result out.
Match report by Taimour Lay.