A tale of two halves against the Hammers
match report by Jamie Cutteridge
Kingstonian continued their pre-season campaign with the addition of some much-welcomed familiar faces – fans in the ground and Ollie Cook in the defence! Hayden Bird’s side celebrated with a dominant four-goal first half performance, setting up a 4-1 win at Cobham FC.
The return of Cook, more than 7 months since his last appearance, saw Ks move to a back three, while the return of supporters (apart from the few who sneaked into Colliers Wood) allowed first-time glimpses of new signings Kadell Daniel, Corie Andrews, Tom Richards and Jake Hutchings.
Andrews was the star of the first half, scoring twice and linking up well with returning-K Elliot Buchanan up front, who also got on the scoresheet. Some fine interplay between the pair opened the scoring; Omar Lawson drove forward with the ball, finding Buchanan who took just one touch to lay the ball off to Andrews, giving the ex-Palace man enough time to find the bottom corner from the edge of the area.
The lead was soon doubled. Tom Richards powerful strike from 25 yards beat the keeper but smashed against the bar, but Lawson was first the react, prodding the ball home. Richards was once again crucial as Buchanan got in on the act, as the frontman neatly flicked home his ex-Dorking teammate’s cross. Richard’s opposite wing back Harry Osborne provided the ball in for the fourth as the Cobham defence failed to clear, allowing Andrews to smash the ball home from the edge of the six yard box to double his tally and extend Ks lead to four before the break.
The second half was much less eventful. Ollie Cook marked his return to action by handling the ball in the area, giving Cobham a chance from the penalty spot which they took with aplomb. Gus Sow and Simon Cooper both picked up late knocks which took some of the glean off that first half showing, as the second half petered out with its usual raft of substitutions.
So what did we learn? Lawson, Richards and Andrews particularly dazzled as Ks new front line continued to impress with 13 goals in 4 pre-season games to date. Gus Sow’s energy remains as reliable as ever, and Ollie Cook came through 60 minutes with everything in touch except his understanding of the hand ball. And for the fans? It was good to be back.
Subs: Tom Kavanagh (for Kadell Daniel, 64m), Ben Harrison (for Tom Richards, 58m), Michael Kamara (for Harry Osborne, 64m), Lewis Pearch (for Simon Cooper, 71m), Jerry Puemp, Juevan Spencer (for Ollie Cook, 58m), Jay Bradley (for Gus Sow, 75m), Tom Howard, Mason Whitnell (for Rob Tolfrey, 75m).