Lewes match report
Match report by James Maw, photographs by Simon Roe
Kingstonian came from behind to secure their first home league win of the season against a Lewes side that had won four of their previous five matches.
K's had already won at King George's Field in the FA Cup (2-0 vs Walton Casuals, 3-0 vs March Town United), the Surrey Senior Cup (5-1 vs Knaphill) and the FA Trophy (4-2 vs Corinthian Casuals) this term, but had not secured three points on their own patch since April's 2-1 win over Enfield.
In fact, if you factor in Corinthian Casuals' nine home league games without a win, it had been 16 matches since the points had gone to the home side at Tolworth’s finest football arena.
And when Charlie Coppola turned in Dayshonne Golding's cross to give Lewes an early 1-0 lead, it looked like that run would continue.
But K's responded well to falling behind. Louie Theophanous saw a shot blocked after a trademark mazy run across the edge of the opposition area, with Reece Hall denied at the near post by Rooks keeper Nathan Stroomberg-Clarke seconds later.
But Lewes couldn't hold out for long. Another Theophanous run on 32 minutes could only be stopped by some overly-physical defending, the ball ran loose to Tom Kavanagh, who rifled a left-footed strike in at the keeper's near post.
By now K's were in full swing, and could have gone in ahead at the interval had it not been for Stroomberg-Clarke, who first beat away a poweful Theophanous strike, then did superbly to tip a deflected effort from our No.9 over the crossbar.
Lewes attacked with a bit more gusto early in the second half, with Alex Malins coming closest by heading just wide from a free-kick swung in across goal from the right flank.
K's were then denied a penalty when Theophanous appeared to be bundled over in the box, but the striker soon had the last laugh when dragging a shot across Stroomberg-Clarke and into the back of the net after some nimble footwork from Hall.
It was soon 3-1 when Dan Hector surged forward from the right and dinked the ball over the keeper's shoulder. A first home league win of the season, and the first time K's had come from behind to win since last December's 4-1 win over Bognor Regis Town.
The turnaround made it five straight wins for Hayden Bird's side, which was perhaps reflected in the fact the crowd of 387 was our biggest for a home fixture since the final game at Kingsmeadow, bar those against clubs with whom we were at the time sharing a ground.
"Strangely I don't think we were at our best," manager Hayden Bird said after the match. "Strategically I think there was a bit of work to be done with what we did with the ball - I thought it was a bit loose. But nonetheless I think it was a pretty comprehensive victory."
Bird will be hoping for more of the same against Enfield Town at King George's Field on Wednesday evening.
Subs: Harry Osborne, Dan Thompson, Calum Davies (for Louie Theophanous, 88m), Dan Bennett (for Reece Hall, 78m), Youssef Bamba (for Dan Hector, 88m).
Lewes: Nathan Stroomberg-Clarke, Jay Thomas, Stefan Ilic, Michael Dome-Bemwin, Frankie Chappell, Alex Malins, Dayshonne Golding, Tegan Freeman, Peter Gregory, Charlie Coppola, Jordy Mongoy.
Subs: Kayne Diedrick-Roberts (for Stefan Ilic, 74m), Dylan Gifford, James Hammond, Emmanuel Yeboah, Nicolas d'Arienzo (for Peter Gregory, 90m+2)
Goal scorers: Charlie Coppola (11m, 0-1), Tom Kavanagh (32m, 1-1), Louie Theophanous (60m, 2-1), Dan Hector (66m, 3-1)