Ambers grab a point deeeeeeep into added time
Late heartbreak meant Kingstonian had to settle for one point instead of all three against visiting Cheshunt, writes James Barrett-Sterling.
Team news: Boss Hayden Bird made three changes from last Wednesday as Kenny Beaney, Juevan Spencer and Jason Banton all returned to the starting line-up. Simon Cooper and Rhys Murrell-Williamson dropped to the bench, but Teo Kurtaran missed out.
The game began at a high tempo and Cheshunt not shy about showing their physical side - Adam Crowther tangled with Daniel Ajakaiye on four minutes but the referee, instead of giving the foul, allowed the striker's toe poked effort to eventually roll wide of the target.
Both sides were eager to get forward but Ks were looking the more likely to score and they duly obliged on 14 minutes - Spencer found Nyren Clunis in acres of space down the right and his smashed cross was neatly flicked in at the near post by Kershaney Samuels. It was the midfielder's first goal for the club since joining in the summer.
The visitors were now conceding free kicks with regularity, one of which almost cost them dearly as Ollie Cook was dragged down by Crowther a yard outside the box, but Jason Banton saw his strike cannon back off the crossbar.
Sadly Declan Skura suffered an injury via another robust challenge shortly afterwards, being replaced by Jerry Puemo, but the referee still kept his cards in his pocket, while Joe Re tried to impudently chip Rob Tolfrey from just inside the Ks half with an effort that just about got to the keeper inside his area.
Cheshunt created a couple of chances before the break but both Jack Thomas and Amadou Kassarate shot wide from 18 yards, while Cook bravely blocked a close-range effort following a melee inside the Ks six-yard area.
But Ajakaiye had another run on goal just before the break, breaking beyond the visitors' back-line, but he slipped just as he guided the ball past the on-rushing George Marsh and it rolled wide of the target.
HALF-TIME: 1 - 0
The start of the second-half was rather quiet, although Re was cautioned for clattering Gus Sow on 51 minutes, but Ks missed several good chances to extend their lead.
A lovely move on 56 minutes ended with a measured cross by Ajakaiye that picked out an unmarked Samuels, but he conspired to head wide of the post from six yards - the linesman's flag would've spared his blushes however.
And Marsh had to be at his acrobatic best to tip a 45-yard Beaney free kick over the bar after the quick-thinking midfielder had spotted the visiting goalkeeper a bit far off his line.
Then, on 67 minutes, another Beaney free kick, this time swung in from the right-had side, was met by Spencer's diving header but the ball flew millimetres wide of the upright.
So that profligacy, despite the Ks defence mostly keeping an uninspired Cheshunt forward line in check, meant the visitors were still only one goal behind as the game went into added time. If it had been a boxing match then no doubt Ks would've taken victory on points but, as we all know, football "is a funny old game" and there was a late sting in this tale.
A 94th minute corner for Cheshunt was nodded down by Crowther and Taylor McKenzie bravely put his head amongst the boots to loop a header inside the far corner to ensure his side left with a point.
Victory would've taken Ks back to the top of the Isthmian Premier League but, as it stands, this first league draw of the season keeps the club third and one point behind current leaders Enfield Town.
Next up: We travel to Folkestone Invicta on Saturday 23rd October (3pm KO) before hosting Horsham on Wednesday 27th October (7.45pm KO).
Kingstonian: Rob Tolfrey, Juevan Spencer, Bryant Akono Bilongo, Declan Skura, Ollie Cook, Kenny Beaney, Nyren Clunis, Gus Sow, Daniel Ajakaiye, Jason Banton, Kershaney Samuels.
Subs: Rhys Murrell-Williamson, Jerry Puemo (for Declan Skura, 21m), Simon Cooper, Aaron Lamont (for Kershaney Samuels, 61m), Jay Barton (for Daniel Ajakaiye, 64m)
Cheshunt: George Marsh, Ola Williams, Enock Ekongo, Amadou Kassarate, Adam Crowther, Taylor McKenzie, Jack Thomas, Joe Re, Ken Charles, Taylor Miles, Zac Newton.
Subs: Chevron McLean, Mo Camara (for Ken Charles, 77m), Nordibek Bobomurodov (for Taylor Miles, 86m), Zubayr Bodie (for Jack Thomas, HT), Charlie Taylor.
Goal scorers: Kershaney Samuels (14m, 1-0), Taylor McKenzie (90+4m, 1-1)