Brightlingsea Regent report
match report by Phil Murphy
Dig deep, stand tall, ride your luck. Name your pick of what it took, but K’s did it. Somehow. It wasn’t vintage K’s, it wasn’t pretty at times, but fortunes continue to turn under Simon Lane. Keane Anderson grabbed the all important goal as a 1-0 win over Brightlingsea Regent made it 10 points from 4 games. 7 of those points have come against the relegation battlers. K’s are finding breathing room at the bottom of the table.
In midweek the hosts appointed David Limber as manager for the season remainder and the R’s looked rejuvenated in front of a vocal backing at North Road. There was no place in the squad for former K’s man Jason Banton, who may be on the lookout for a 25th club if rumours are to be believed.
Brightlingsea showed few signs of missing the blue-ticked maestro and started on the front foot, forcing a sequence of corners. K’s were up to the task however and kept the hosts honest with the pace of Bancroft and Kayani proving a handful on the break.
In a half full of Isthmian endeavour but lacking in quality K’s broke the deadlock with a rare moment of magic on the stroke of half-time. Goather-Braithwaite slipped Kayani through, but rather than taking the obvious next step of firing at goal, Kayani squared to Anderson who buried from close range to cap off a superb team move.
Half-Time: Brightlingsea Regent 0-1 Kingstonian
With the second half just three minutes old, Lane’s men had a golden chance to add breathing room when Anderson played Bancroft through on goal. With just the keeper to beat, his effort bobbled off the post and ran free.
Following that golden opportunity it was mostly Regent on top, with Zack Littlejohn’s header somehow scrambled off the line on the hour mark, before Tevan Allen tested Rob Tolfrey from range.
K’s retained a threat in behind, with MacAllister firing over from a good position and a Kayani header falling just the wrong side of the post from a teasing Anderson cross.
Hoops chances were however respite in a half of Regent ascendance. In recent weeks though, Kingstonian, led by Drage and Dudley, now appear to enjoy defending. A Dudley-Pascal back-post collision, a no-look header to Tolfrey from Drage and an unapologetic hoof from Abnett all earned the approval of the visiting fans.
Six minutes of added time prolonged the pressure. In that agonising period a Regent effort deflected over the bar, Dudley made a last-ditch clearance, before, finally, the game concluded in the safe and familiar hands of Rob Tolfrey, who claimed back-to-back Isthmian League clean sheets for the first time since August 2021.
Lane’s men held on for another massive three points. The upturn in form, coupled with favourable results elsewhere, gives K’s a nine-point cushion from the relegation zone.
A different proposition awaits on Tuesday night, when K's travel to title-contenders Hornchurch who haven’t lost at home to Kingstonian since 1984.
Brightlingsea Regent: Charlie Turner, Henry Day, Jermaine Anderson, Charlie Durling, Jake Thompson, Zack Littlejohn, Dominic Locke, Tevan Allen, Tom Richardson, Connor Barnby, Samuel Jeremiah.
Subs: Luke Skinner (for Samuel Jeremiah, 83m), Luke Woodward (for Dominic Locke, 62m), Bradley Russell (for Connor Barnby, 76m), Byron Heath.
Kingstonian: Rob Tolfrey, Dwight Pascal, Michael Abnett, Danny Dudley, Matt Drage, Ibrahim Bangura, Imran Kayani, Darnell Goather-Braithwaite, Keane Anderson, Benj Purcell, Jacob Bancroft.
Subs: Sean Bonnett-Johnson, Charlie Greenwood (for Darnell Goather-Bratihwaite, 81m), Alex MacAllister (for Jacob Bancroft, 63m), Lee Lewis (for Ibrahim Bangura, 74m), Iker Noguera Leon.
Goal scorer: Keane Anderson (43m, 0-1)