Haringey Borough match report
match report by Rupert Cane, photos by Simon Roe
An apocalyptic evening in industrial north London was the unlikely setting for a result and performance that might just have ignited Kingstonian’s season.
The rain never relented, and nor did K’s, backing up moments of quality in possession with a mighty collective effort to keep the high-flying hosts out at bay and secure a second win of the season.
It wasn’t always pretty, but how could it have been on a swamped synthetic surface that stood up to the downpour impressively. Any passes not played to feet zipped into the distance, and it is a credit to both teams they remained committed to keeping the ball on the deck throughout.
It was no surprise Hayden Bird made changes to the side that started what he described as a ‘pathetic’ defeat at Worthing on Saturday. Both full-backs changed and with Simon Cooper unavailable, there was a first start of the season in central defence for assistant manager Tutu Henriques. He and Ollie Cook led by example at the back.
K’s were sprightly going forward and mustered the first opening, Louie Theophanous seeing his snapshot blocked behind. From the corner, the ball was cleared only as far as Dan Bennett, 20 yards out. His sizzling strike was destined for the tip corner until the backpedalling Valery Pajetet tipped it over the bar.
Reece Hall called Pajetet into another good save with a low drive that was the climax of a neat Kingstonian move, the type of which Bird wants to see his side produce with more regularity. And then with 35 minutes played, K’s struck.
A centrally-located free-kick a good 30 yards out was nudged sideways towards Theophanous. With two yellow shirts closing him down, the striker tried his luck. The shot was hit hard, and heading well off target, but fortune was smiling on K’s as it landed at the feet of Jerry Puemo, one of those recalled to the side. The Cameroonian’s first touch was immaculate, and he had the finish to match, too, picking out the bottom right corner with finesse.
K’s were worthy leaders at the halfway mark, and almost doubled the lead in the opening exchanges of the second period, Theophanous firing low and hard from a tight angle and denied only by the frame of the goal.
Unsurprisingly Haringey, who were yet to drop a point at home, began to up the ante, and a sustained spell of pressure midway through the half contained one excellent chance to equalise. Thankfully, a guided shot from close range thumped against the bar and away to safety.
A fantastic away following remained loud and proud, encouraged to do so by Bird and those substitutes warming up in front of them. The camaraderie between those on the pitch and in the stands was a welcome sight after what has been, frankly, a torrid 2019 for K’s.
The players dug deep, dealing with cross after cross, and restricting the hosts to long-range efforts at the Coles Park Stadium. On the break, one jinking Bennett run created a shooting chance for Theophanous, who this time was kept out by the feet of Pajetet.
Over six minutes of stoppage time were navigated as proceedings got feistier. K’s were prepared to scrap until the end and display the kind of mettle that has been so sorely lacking in recent times.
The final whistle finally blew to great scenes of celebration from Bird and the travelling support, who recognised a huge effort, a crucial three points, and a welcome confidence boost ahead of the big FA Cup fixture with Weston-super-Mare on Saturday.
Haringey Borough: Valery Pajetat, Callum Ismail, Stelios Demetriou, Jorge Djassi-Sambu, Konstantinos Alexandrou, Lionel Stone, Michael Ademiluyi, Georgios Aresti, Chidubern Onokwai, Romoluwa Akinola, Anthos Solomou.
Subs: Scott Durojaiye (for Jorge Djassi-Sambu, 79m), Dimitrios Froxylias (for Michael Ademiluyi, 64m), Scott Mitchell (for Konstantinos Alexandrou, 46m), Salvyn Kisitu, Pablo Casillas Carro.
Subs: Calum Davies, Dan Thompson (for Louie Theophanous, 90m), Ben Harrison (for Kenny Beaney, 90m), Sean Clohessy, Lewis Pearch.
Goal scorer: Jerry Puemo (36m, 1-0)