Brightlingsea Regent report
match report by Jamie Cutteridge
Sometimes football is beautiful; the passing is crisp, the goals are spectacular, the sun shines and you go home happy, feeling lucky to have seen such a performance. Other times you go to Essex, it rains sideways and you grind out a 2-0 win. Kingstonian’s win at Brightlingsea Regent definitely fell into the latter category.
It’s fair to say it wasn’t a classic. While the first half was fairly even in blustery conditions, Kingstonian did create the better chances. The second half entered the realms of farce as a torrential downpour combined with the wind picking up speed led to conditions less than conducive to flowing football. The early exchanges were tight, as Ks were frustrated and resorted to shots from distance, both Tom Kavanagh and Dan Hector. As the half wore on, it was Hector who asked the biggest questions of the Brightlingsea backline. An excellent run and pass slipped in Louie Theophanous but his shot was well saved by Charlie Turner in the host’s goal, but minutes before half time, it was another run from Hector that started the move which put Ks in front. The winger’s pull back found Kavanagh, whose shot was powerful, if not necessarily goalbound. Fortunately, rather than finding the net, it found Dan Bennett’s midriff, which took all the sting out of the shot, but also deflected the ball away from Turner’s despairing dive to give Ks the lead. A classic of the “he’ll claim it but he knew very little about it” genre.
The second half had more rain than chances, with Kingstonian’s late second goal being a real exception in abysmal conditions. Earlier in the half, before stage one of the apocalypse began, a fine Reece Hall run and shot drew a good low save from Turner, but, for the most part, that was it. Then, with two minutes left to go, a long ball forward got stuck in the wind, and as Turner came to collect it, he misjudged the flight, collided with Hall, sending him sprawling to the ground, leaving Bennett with a chance to lob the ball home, an invitation he took with typical Bennett aplomb, a curious mix of a silly goal with a lovely, Bennett-esque, finish. Injury time saw Rob Tolfrey called into action for the only time all afternoon, tipping a header around his near post to ensure he had to do some work for his clean sheet, perhaps the only clean thing in sight on this particular Essex afternoon.
Brightlingsea Regent: Charlie Turner, Fahad Nazor, Morisi Gelashvili, Jake Turner, Pip Boyland, Matt Cripps, Jordan Barnett, Warren Thomas, Billy Hunt, George Bugg, Reece Dobson.
Subs: Jacob Hutchinson (for George Bugg, 79m), Romario Dunne (for Jordan Barnett, 79m), Jake Gould, Josh Gould.
Subs: Youssef Bamba (for Dan Bennett, 89m), Dan Thompson, Calum Davies, Gus Sow (for Dan Hector, 80m), Harry Osborne.
Goal scorers: Dan Bennett (40m, 0-1), Dan Bennett (88m, 0-2)