The Brennan era begins with a draw
Match report by Taimour Lay
The day started badly. The train passed through Norbiton station and far too many people wombled off for an FA Cup game, their vacant/guilty stares barely registering my red and white scarf. But the mood improved as I got on the 418 outside Banquet Records when the bus driver suddenly, delightfully, unexpectedly bellowed “Up the K’s!” I placed my oyster on the reader, waited for the beep, lifted my head, made eye contact and said, with all sincerity and an emotional croak in the voice: “Thanks”.
I didn’t know this bus driver. I’d never seen his face. I can’t swear that he’s ever even been to Kingstonian. But he knew the scarf, he knew we existed and he also knew an exhortation that has only been in social media currency since Dan Bennett started using it ahead of the more traditional “Come on you K’s!” or “COYK’s” circa 2015.
People in Kingston do, occasionally, still care about us. Plus the whole of the back page of the Comet was dedicated to Dean Brennan’s new era. Maybe we truly are, as the manager said after the game, a “sleeping giant”.
Now, how to awaken? Amid Irish flags and whiskey and balloons, Brennan’s first match in charge began perfectly. Rhys Murrell-Williamson, back on loan from Woking, chipped an early cross and it sailed over the keeper into the far corner from the edge of the box. Luck? Intention? After six straight losses, no one cared.
With Tommy Brewer filling in admirably at left-back, no recognised left-winger and Louie Theophanous soon off injured, there was a makeshift feel to this 4-3-3 and in-form Carshalton gradually took hold of the game. They eventually equalised on the half-hour through Harry Ottaway, another strange, loopy finish ending in the net.
The second-half was something of a non-event - young Nathan Minhas toiling upfront alone, people wondering where Scott Day was, Danny Pappoe getting the odd cheer/jeer - until Ottaway was fouled in the box by Scott Davies. KGF held its breath for the bitter winner but Rob Tolfrey made a good save to his right from Omar Koroma’s tame-ish pen and a draw was pretty much in the bag.
Kingstonian: Rob Tolfrey, Tommy Brewer, Sean Clohessy, Scott Davies, Dean Inman, Jay Gasson, Rhys Murrell-Williamson, Aaron Lamont, Delano Sam-Yorke, Louie Theophanous, Shaun McAuley.
Subs: Manolis Gogonas, Andrew Musungu (for Aaron Lamont, 71m), Nathan Minhas (for Louie Theophanous, 34m), Chace Jacquart, Josh Kyte.
Carshalton Athletic: Patrick Ohman, Bobby Price, Paris Hamilton-Downes, Luke Read, Danny Dudley, Jordan Cheadle, Tommy Bradford, Ola Sogbanmu, Harry Ottaway, Ricky Korboa, Christie Pattisson.
Subs: Billy Bishop, Daniel Pappoe (for Bobby Price, HT), Taofiq Olomowewe (for Jordan Cheadle, 82m), Michael Dixon, Omar Koroma (for Christie Pattisson, 68m).
Goal scorers: Rhys Murrell-Williamson (8m, 1-0), Harry Ottaway (27m, 1-1)
NB: Omar Koroma penalty saved by Rob Tolfrey, 75m.