K's crushed by Cray
match report by Jamie Cutteridge
It was, to put it bluntly, a pretty disastrous start to the Isthmian League season for Kignstonian. After an enjoyable, hope-filled previous season and some excited summer signings, hope were high as Hayden Bird’s side headed to Cray Wanderers. But they had to leave Bromley with their tails between their leagues after a chastening 5-1 defeat.
Ks’ pain began as early as the 8th minute when the always-threatening Joe Taylor, turned Simon Cooper brilliantly before curling the ball into the top corner from the edge of the area. Ks slowly got themselves back into the game after this unpleasant early surprise, and were able to force Cray goalkeeper Lewis Carey into a number of saves, with Andre Coker and Kadell Daniel both threatening from wide positions. However, the Wands always looked dangerous going forward and in the 39th minute Jason Banton doubled the lead with a 20 yarder having been given the freedom of Kent to tee up his shot. Hope momentarily reared it’s head when the ball appeared to trickle wide, but it had in fact snuck through the side of the net and the goal was awarded.
Any hope Ks had of a second half comeback were extinguished with a disastrous third Wands' goal in the 51st minute. Frustratingly it came from a Ks corner, but after committing too many men forward, Kingstonian were left vulnerable to the break and when the ball eventually arrived at the feet of former-Ks man Rhys Murrell-Williamson, he was left with a simple tap-in to put his name on to the scoresheet. Things got even worse in the 59th minute when Freddie Parker's free kick was deflected past Rob Tolfrey and the score was 4-0.
Kingstonian got one back when Elliott Buchanan squared the ball to lively substitute Corie Andrews to score in the 75th minute, but Joe Taylor added his second in the 81st minute with another fine turn and finish.. Nine minutes later the referee put Kingstonian out of their misery, leaving much for Kingstonian manager Hayden Bird to think about before Tuesday's visit to Horsham for an FA Cup First Qualifying Round tie.