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Whitehawk 1
Hallard (89')
1 Kingstonian
Buchanan (63')

Hawks Come Back Late to Claim Point

Match report by Taimour Lay

In 2013, an in-form, promotion-chasing K’s team travelled to Whitehawk. Matt Pattison scored a deflected volley. The ground was dark and cold. Whitehawk had money but no fans. We had fans but no money. It was going to be a satisfying win. And then, with only 10 minutes remaining, the floodlights went out. Allegations were made, insults exchanged, the night grew colder. But, after a number of electricians were supposedly called, the match was abandoned.

At the rearranged game, we (inevitably lost) but fans got their own back by turning up in miners’ helmets in an effort to shine a light on Isthmian unfairness.

What a change 5 years makes. Whitehawk have become rather likeable, with a new set of lively fans (just the right side of the dreaded Dulwich hipster line) filling out the strange Withdean-era green seats behind the goals. They also had an all-former-K’s centre-back partnership in Matt Drage and Aaron Goode, plus James “last Act of Craig Edwards’ tenure” Fraser and Jason “quite good in meaningless end-of-season games” Williams further forward.

And there was no need for floodlights on glorious Autumn day. K’s were, on the whole, the better side. Shaun McAuley sprayed the ball around. Palace loanee James Daly floated as a No10. Shaun Lucien had one of his more threatening days. And new winger David Fitzpatrick boasted skill and directness from the right.

The stand-out moment of the first period was Elliott Buchanan's rasping left-foot drive which struck the bar from distance. It took until the second-half for the breakthrough, however. A long throw from Mano Gogonas found Buchanan who first headed it, then reacted quickest to an ensuing ricochet, hitting a first-time shot with fine technique into the bottom corner. Louie Theophanous, sitting with the fans, raced down to celebrate with his team-mate, perhaps in homage to the Brewer-bundle two weeks ago.

Thirty minutes remained. This was Whitehawk’s cue to gather some momentum. With Tommy Brewer having gone off injured at half-time, K’s looked a bit more nervy at the back, particularly from crosses. And eventually a corner was headed in by Reece Hallard in the 89th minute, with three defenders close by but failing to react and Rob Tolfrey planted on his line.

It could have been worse. Drage had a shot cleared off the line in the last action of the match.

K's now face two tough home matches to test the recent mini-revival.

Whitehawk: Melvin Minter, Fintan Walsh, Harry Shooman, Brannon O'Neill, Aaron Goode, Matt Drage, Lucas Rodrigues, Henry Muggeridge, Jason Williams, James Fraser, Ky Marsh-Brown.

Subs: Lewis Broughton, Ashley Mutongerwa, Reece Hallard (for Brannon O'Neill, 68m), Kwai Marsh-Brown (for James Fraser, 68m), Anesu Sisimayi (for Fintan Walsh, 81m).

Kingstonian: Rob Tolfrey, Manolis Gogonas, Tyler Brown, Aaron Lamont, Tommy Brewer, Jay Gasson, David Fitzpatrick, Shaun McAuley, Elliott Buchanan, James Daly, Shaun Lucien.

Subs: Scott Day (for James Daly, 70m), Sean Francis (for Tommy Brewer, HT), Connor Dymond, Greg Cundle (for David Fitzgerald, 59m).

Goalscorers: Elliott Buchanan (63m, 1-0), Reece Hallard (88m, 1-1)

Attendance: 404

Published Sunday 30th September 2018