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Brightlingsea Regent 2-4 Kingstonian

Elliott Buchanan

K's move into the play-off zone with a game that started well, went sour and finished very sweet.

Halfway through the second half, spectators in Brightlingsea could have been forgiven for wondering quite how the home team hadn't put their visitors away - despite leading 2-1, they had seen a penalty saved late in the first half and a glorious chance missed early in the second stanza. However, not for the first time this season, Kingstonian dug very deep and scored three times in an eight minute spell to take all the spoils.

Ollie Cook got the fun underway in the third minute when his curling shot went past a crowd of players and settled into the net, and, for a while, the men in yellow were in the ascendancy and looked good value for their lead. But then they allowed the home side into the game, and when Zack Littlejohn equalised in the 40th minute, it was deserved. Things almost immediate got worse for the K's when Jerry Puemo conceded a penalty in the 44th minute, but Valter Cachicote da Rocha's effort was well saved by Kingstonian's debutant goalkeeper Serine Sanneh.

Whatever was said by Kingstonian manager Hayden Bird at half time must have been thoroughly ignored by the team as Brightlingsea were well on top once again and it was no surprise when Aaron Blair's 52nd minute hit the underside of the bar and crossed the line to give the R's the lead. The home side could have easily gone further ahead later in the half when they hit the side netting with the goal gaping after a defensive miscommunication, but the way the game was going, it didn't feel that it would be a turning point. However, arguably, it was.

Suddenly, in the 72nd minute, Kingstonian woke up, full-back Rhys Murrell-Williamson did well down the left, crossed the ball, it bounced around a bit, the decisive man was Daniel Ajakaiye, who buried the ball into the net.

As the late and lamented Jimmy Greaves liked to say to the late and equally lamented Ian St John, football is a funny old game. Kingstonian hit the front for good in the 75th minute when Elliott Buchanan finished off some good work from Jason Banton, and then five minutes later, the two Kingstonian forwards teamed beautifully, with Daniel Ajakaiye's run and cross from the right being converted by Elliott Buchanan.

Another welcome win, therefore, for Kingstonian, with a fierce task coming up this Monday when they visit Carshalton Athletic at Colston Avenue for a 7.45pm kick-off.

Published Saturday 8th January 2022