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Lewes 3
Coppola (18'), Pope (30', 67')
0 Kingstonian

Lewes match report

match report by Simon Grier

Kingstonian slumped to a 3-0 defeat away to out-of-form Lewes on another miserable day for the club, with the only small crumb of comfort coming from the fact that most of the dwindling number of teams still below Ks in the league also lost.

The run of 12 league games without a win has now topped the 11-game slump that saw Tommy Williams sacked, as well as any of the runs during the doomed 2004/05 season when Ks finished 13 points adrift at the foot of the table. Answers on a postcard as to whether there has ever before been such a long winless run in the club's history.

It was also the 14th straight game that Ks have failed in win in the month of March, the last being the 4-1 win over Hampton on 26 March 2016.

With four of Dean Brennan's signings leaving the club there was yet more change on the playing front, and under 18s were drafted in to (almost) make up the numbers on the substitutes bench. AFC Wimbledon loanee Alfie Egan became the 58th man to don the red and white hoops during this season of complete chaos at the club.

But another new-look team, Kim Harris returning as caretaker manager, and a huge Ks following to the popular away game all made little difference in a game where Ks were second-best throughout.

The game opened quietly but the Rooks went ahead on 18 minutes when Ben Pope played Charlie Coppola through on goal. Coppola had an immense amount of space and although Rob Tolfrey blocked his initial effort with his leg, he was easily able to convert the rebound.

One goal would probably have been enough but Lewes put the game beyond any doubt on the half-hour mark. Delano Sam-Yorke, in an unfamiliar role on the right wing, brought Coppola down in the box as he tracked back; Pope sent Tolfrey the wrong way from the spot.

Pope came close twice more before the break before eventually getting on the scoresheet again midway through the second half when he converted a low Coppola cross from close range.

Tolfrey made a good late save to prevent a rout but Ks barely threatened all game, though Sam-Yorke should have scored a consolation goal in stoppage time only to hit the bar from close range.

Non-league football always has the capacity to surprise but on the evidence of the last few weeks it seems unlikely that Ks will add to the 42 point total they've been stuck on for over a month. Instead, their fate now seems to rest on how many of their rivals can get past that tally in the closing weeks of the season.

Lewes: Lewis Carey, Thomas Day, Charles Banya, Michael Dome-Bemwin, Frankie Chappell, Stacey Freeman, Harry Reed, James Hammond, Ben Pope, Kieron Pamment, Charlie Coppola.

Subs: Olajuwon Adeyemo (for Harry Reed, 90m), Callum Overton (for Charlie Coppola, 90m), Dayshonne Golding (for Kieron Pamment, 78m), Luke Blewden, Omarr Lawson.

Kingstonian: Rob Tolfrey, Dan Spence, Tom Bird, Dean Inman, Ismail Yakubu, Aaron Lamont, Delano Sam-Yorke, Shaun McAuley, Louie Theophanous, Nathan Minhas, Alfie Egan.

Subs: Chace Jacquart, Jay Hawkins, Owen Coleman (for Ismail Yakubu, 82m), Archie Drewett.

Goal scorers: Charlie Coppola (18m, 1-0), Ben Pope (30m pen, 2-0), Ben Pope (67m)

Attendance: 812

Published Sunday 24th March 2019