Rupert Cane reports on a trip to the Dorset seaside
No wonder Weymouth was abuzz on Saturday afternoon. Not only was the annual Sea Festival enticing visitors to the Dorset coast, but Leigh Dynan’s new-look Kingstonian were in town for a glamour pre-season friendly.
Nothing says the start of another campaign like blue skies, arid pitches and a phalanx of trialists looking to impress. But to K’s credit, the squad already looks settled, and here a few of our summer signings played in
red and white yellow and blue for the first time.
They included star striker Elliot Buchanan, who displayed an ability to find space in dangerous areas, and Tommy Brewer, filling in at centre-back. Elsewhere, Josh Webb was competent in both full-back positions and Reece Williams-Bowers looked lively off the bench.
They supplemented those members of the class of 2017/18 still around: Rob Tolfrey, Andrew Musungu, and Freddy Yao, introduced earlier than planned for Martin Allen’s son, Charlie, who picked up an injury.
And then there were those, like the England team, coming home. Muhammadu Faal, the most entertaining thing about the end of last term. Louie Theophanous, who offered winter respite. And Aaron Lamont! Deployed in the heart of a middle three, this was a different role for Norman from his 16/17 spot out wide, but one that he looks just as capable of threatening from.
K’s wisely mixed personnel and shape with four weeks until the big kick-off. Buchanan, Theophanous and Faal interchanged with freedom, looking spritely if not razor sharp.
Weymouth had wasted good chances before opening the scoring with a long-ranger on 38 minutes. After the break, K’s tested (sub) keeper and defence regularly. William-Bowers was denied by a goalline clearance but not sub Aaron McCullum, whose header off the post just about crossed the line. Lloyd Thomas, in Weymouth’s goal, did not cover himself in glory on both occasions.
It looked like it would finish 1-1, but a stunning strike from Abdulai Baggie put the Terras back in front with two minutes remaining, and they sealed the victory on 90 as K’s overcommitted.
Match report by Rupert Cane.