K's move to second for Christmas
The final game of the year brought an entertaining win, raucous scenes of festive fun and a feeling that K’s can stay on the up in 2019.
Think back 12 months and we were stuck in the Leatherhead bog, looking darkly down at the one relegation place and wondering where the future could possibly lie.
Now there’s a whole new team, ambitious signings unrivalled since the investment of 1997 and, perhaps most importantly, crowds are edging in the right direction (ie. not down), old faces mingling with the new.
Oh, and we have a shiny website, courtesy of Gary Ekins.
An attendance of 631 on Saturday of course reflected that this was an away “derby” at Corinthian-Casuals but it showed the potential for both clubs to attract support in the borough.
K’s were impressive throughout and took the lead when James Daly connected with a low cross which the Casuals defence should not have allowed to reach the backpost.
It took a goal-line block from former K’s youth defender Jack Strange to prevent the lead doubling as chance after chance went begging.
After the break, Daly had a fine strike disallowed for offside, Elliott Buchanan also hit the back of the net before being denied by the linesman’s flag and Casuals goalkeeper James Bracken made a series of stops, while also deftly fielding terrace questions about his finances.
Eventually, the pressure told when substitute Alfie Doughty’s wicked delivery across the face was turned in by Strange for an own goal in the 81st minute.
Just as the game appeared settled, Casuals grabbed one back, Gabriel Odunaike accepting a Christmas present from the K’s defence with 7 minutes remaining. A long hoof bamboozled both centre-backs and somehow made it through to the Casuals forward who finished past Rob Tolfrey.
But K’s saw the match out, allowing fans to indulge their favourite annual song:
“Jingle Bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way, Oh what fun it is to watch Kingstonian win away!”
Corinthian-Casuals: Danny Bracken, Juevan Spencer, Hakeem Adelakun, Jack Strange, Reece Hannigan, Coskum Ekim, Hamilton Antonio, Mu Maan, Gabriel Odunaike, Warren Mfula, Maxwell Oldham.
Subs: Callum McAllister, Reyon Dillon (for Mu Maan, 83m), Jack Tucker (for Juevan Spencer, HT), Aidan Brown (for Warren Mfula, 83m), Callum Phillip.
Kingstonian: Rob Tolfrey, Sean Clohessy, Jay Gasson, Ben Dempsey, Dean Inman, Tommy Brewer, James Daly, Shaun McAuley, Elliott Buchanan, Delano Sam-Yorke, Louie Theophanous.
Subs: Aaron Lamont (for Elliott Buchanan, 90m), Temi Eweka, Alfie Doughty (for Louie Theophanous, 71m), Tyler Brown, Manolis Gogonas (for Sean Clohessy, 27m).
Goalscorers: James Daly (37m, 0-1), Jack Strange (81m og, 0-2), Gabriel Odunaike (83m, 1-2)