Elliott Returns to Give K's The Win
match report by Philip Murphy
Elliott Buchanan made an instant impact following a loan spell at Farnborough to fire Kingstonian into third place in the Isthmian Premier League. The in-form striker showed K’s fans what they’ve been missing with a 68th winner to take his personal tally to seven goals in six games and 10 for the season.
Horsham’s night got off to the worst possible start when they were forced to draft ex-Corinthian-Casual Danny Dudley into the line-up following injury to Will Miles in the warm-up.
For K’s, Jerry Puemo replaced the injured Ollie Cook at the heart of the defence, while Elliott Buchanan and Aaron Lamont came in for Daniel Ajakaiye and Kershaney Samuels respectively.
In a first half of few chances Kingstonian saw half-hearted appeals for a penalty turned away when Bryant Akono Bilongo went down in the box. Rhys Murrell-Williamson almost got a toe on the end of a Jason Banton cross, but it was the defences who dominated a dull opening period.
The second half began in more lively fashion with Dudley firing over from mid-range for the visitors.
K’s looked the brighter of the two sides and after 52 minutes Murrell-Williamson had the first meaningful opportunity of the game. The Hoops winger drove from the right and cut inside but Sam Howes saved comfortably in the Horsham goal.
On the hour mark, two balls on the pitch threatened to disrupt a K’s attack following a miscued Howes clearance.
Keen to keep the game flowing, referee, Jack Bloxham darted towards the stray ball and sprayed a 40-yard pass off the pitch with Kenny Beaney-like finesse, much to the delight of the supporters behind the goal. Murrell-Williamson, bedazzled by the ref’s skills, misfired and Horsham were off the hook.
It was however Murrell-Williamson, so often the main threat for K’s on the night, who played a key role in the defining moment of the game. With just over 20 minutes left on the clock, the influential wide man found space on the right and slid Buchanan through one-on-one with Howes. The experienced striker bore down on goal and coolly tucked the ball between the keeper’s legs.
Minutes later the visitors had an opportunity to equalise but Brivio’s header from a Richards corner looped over Tolfrey’s goal.
In truth K’s looked comfortable and the introduction of the pacey Ajakaiye and Clunis stretched tiring Horsham legs, with a second Kingstonian goal looking more likely than a Horsham equaliser.
In the dying moments Clunis raced in on goal but saw his effort smartly saved by Howes. Moments later Akono Bilongo blazed over from a good position after a driving run down the left.
Buchanan's goal was to prove the difference however as K’s held on to secure a workmanlike three points and a much-coveted clean sheet.
Horsham’s search for a first league win since August continues. Manager Dominic di Paola poured fuel on the flames as he kept his players on the Tolworth turf for a post-match dressing down.
Next up for K’s is Saturday’s trip to East Thurrock United in the FA Trophy.
Kingstonian: Rob Tolfrey, Juevan Spencer, Bryant Akono Bilongo, Simon Cooper, Jerry Puemo, Kenny Beaney, Aaron Lamont, Gus Sow, Elliott Buchanan, Jason Banton, Rhys Murrell-Williamson.
Subs: Kershaney Samuels (for Aaron Lamont, 87m), Daniel Ajakaiye (for Jason Banton, 81m), Nyren Clunis (for Rhys Murrell-Williamson, 73m), Jay Barton, Jonathon Gjoshe.
Horsham: Sam Howes, Steve Metcalf, Harvey Sparks, Charlie Hester-Cook, Jack Brivio, Danny Dudley, Lee Harding, Tom Kavanagh, Eddie Dsane, Charlie Harris, Tom Richards.
Subs: Cameron Black (for Charlie Hester-Cook, 73m), Lucas Rodrigues (for Tom Kavanagh, 79m), Will Miles, Shamir Fenelon (for Steve Metcalf, 67m), Jimmy Punter.
Goal scorer: Elliott Buchanan (68m, 1-0)