For the first time this season, I think Kingstonian got a win that they deserved. It came perilously late, five minutes into a minimum three minutes of added time (emphasis on word “minimum”, peeps), but overall it was a class above the vast majority of the fare that has been served so far this season.
The first half of this match against Bishop’s Stortford saw much that was to be admired in a K’s team, it was a set of players approaching what we thought we were getting when we signed them, and it was good. Shaun McAuley, now with both nose and rib knitted back together and sans facemask, ran the game for the 79 minutes he was on the field, and his supporting cast around him all stepped up to the mark. We saw the Aaron Lamont we knew we had before his move to Truro, the two young lads from Crystal Palace are good players with great attitudes, we had two wingers in Shaun Lucien and Greg Cundle who worked their socks off, the defence mostly looked solid. We led at the break 2-0 thanks to lovely moves, runs and finishes by Shaun and Greg and we deserved it.
Kingstonian being Kingstonian, though, things did unravel in the second half. We had our usual injury misfortune when Shaun Lucien was forced off, but we saw Reece Williams-Bowers on the field for the K’s for the first time in a competitive match, and that was a sight that was fun to watch. Our defence, though, no matter who is in it, has this tendency to switch off at inopportune moments, and it happened again in the second half. Credit, though, deservedly goes to the Bishop’s Stortford team, who upped their game, and, in Jamie Cureton, possess a 43 year old player who still oozes class. Two goals from the former Norwich man gave our opponents parity with eleven minutes to go and I will admit to waiting for the next mistake to happen that would condemn Kingstonian to another defeat and another bad mood for the rest of the weekend.
Whether it was good fortune or even better persistence, I don’t know and frankly don’t care, but Tommy Brewer, who has been mostly excellent for us since his move from Staines, popped up in the middle of a goalmouth stramash and scored a massively important 95th minute goal. Whilst it’s frustrating that we couldn’t keep our concentration for a full match, let’s be honest here, it’s the first time that we’ve managed to do it for a whole half and then we had the balls, for want of a better phrase, to finish the job off. The upside to the game certainly outranks any low side, but at the same time we shouldn’t ignore the low side.
There were two low sides for me, one I’ve touched on in that we have this habit of switching off at bad moments with individual errors costing us very badly (how do you stop them, though. I have genuinely no idea), the second being that in Elliott Buchanan we have a player who is obviously top class, yet we don’t seem to be using him correctly, certainly on Saturday and in other games we do not seem to give him the service that he needs, and it’s frustrating to see him get frustrated during a game. Still, there was much to like on Saturday and the hope is that this good result and improved performance is not a blip but a sign of better times to come.
There certainly looked to be a better attitude among the whole squad on Saturday, the guys looked something like a team for the first time in ages, so maybe last week’s defeat to Hastings was a belated wake-up call (though in retrospect that defeat wasn’t so bad, because a) Hastings are a good team, b) it was the FA Cup and going out of that always hurts badly and I always react very negatively indeed to FA Cup exits and c) we created enough to win the game comfortably in the second half and didn’t put any of them away). Again we found a goalkeeper in top form, but this time we managed to tuck three chances away.
I’m in two minds as to whether this enforced two week break is a good thing. On one hand, we’ve just had a good performance and excellent result and we could do with another game to keep the ball rolling, so to speak, but thinking about it, a break is probably a good thing. As has been explained in previous blogs, our injury list this season has been silly, it’s not an excuse as we should not have been losing matches in the manner that we have lost them, but looking to the right of me in the press box there was a row of injured and suspended players and they’re all good players. Having a fortnight with no competitive football will surely be a benefit to us as we await for the likes of Leo Chambers, Andrew Musungu, et al, to get fit again. Shaun McAuley definitely showed us what we’ve been missing on Saturday.
And a fortnight with no football will benefit me as the last few weeks have been pretty close to exhausting. Looking at one or two comments from one individual on the forum recently (and boy, does this guy like to comment), I feel I’ve been criticised because he’s run out of people to criticise. Well, I suppose I should join the club as I feel his comments have been grossly unfair, as have a lot of his comments. It’s a common thing generally for people to be nasty to volunteers who try to do the best they can, but that doesn’t mean that the nastiness doesn’t hurt. One person last season called me a walrus, which hurt greatly, but then I thought that it’s better to be the whole walrus rather than just its arsehole. This time it was this particular commentator having a pop for me daring to announce that a game had been called off. The type of announcement I’ve made ever since I started looking after the website, why suddenly this is bad form, I have no idea (and won’t change how I do things, by the way). I once got accused by someone else of being a drunken highly-paid club official, I don’t drink alcohol (it’s not a principle, I just don’t like the taste) and I don’t get paid (rightly so, I’m not good enough to get paid!). Never got an apology for that one, I wouldn’t accept it now in the very unlikely event that it arrives. I don’t reply on the forum any more because it’s not worth it, in fact I don’t really understand why I look at the darn thing (and this weekend it’s been supporters who say that they are all united having unlimited pops and insults at each other, so go figure.), but if I did to this one then the reply would have been x-rated (and therefore my fault for throwing toys out of the pram).
So, let’s get a few things straight. I’ve seen enough in the way of politics and politicking at non league football clubs to know when it’s plainly obvious that some people have some kind of ambition or ulterior motive, no matter how trivial it is, the kind that has nothing to do with what happens on the pitch. My ambition is to win games. Yes, I have a good position at the football club, one that I hope that I have earned, but I am always 100% willing to step aside if somebody better comes along to do what I do. Because it will be for the good of the football club. I have severe limitations in my ability to do things and I make frequent cock ups, and at times I think it shows, but I always give my best even though sometimes it’s not that good. I’m sorry if that’s not good enough. I would love to make more announcements about certain issues, but if I’m not told about them then I can’t print them, I have to assume that there are good and correct reasons for them to not be announced. I don’t sit around not caring when results don’t go our way – “ok, I don’t care, I’m Kingstonian microphone man so everything is fine, happy happy joy joy,” this is just bull. It hurts big time when K’s lose, this season has hurt big time, caused some sleepless nights and made me wonder what the hell I’m doing committing so much of my soul to this particular devil. Really unintelligent, badly thought through and astonishingly ignorant comments from anonymous keyboard warriors actually don’t help the mood and go some way to spoiling the mindset – these people usually are impervious to proper explanation about things anyway and really rather unwilling to talk in person, which is strange because I don’t recall ripping anybody’s head off and using their skull as a vase – I may be busy most of the time at King George’s Field, but really not unapproachable. Honest.
In conclusion – I want to have fun, I do the best I can at all times (even though the quality frequently is found lacking), I want Kingstonian to win football matches, I want to applaud Kingstonian players and managers off the field after a fine performance (irrespective of result), I am happy to move aside if the directors want me to in the event of someone more professional coming in to do what I do and in the mean time I will continue to do what I can to help, but I do regret not having the energy any more to do more for the club like I used to (for I still harbour ambitions for us to have successful youth and reserve teams, it’s just that I don’t feel able to do anything positive about it).
So now we have two weeks before our visit to Whitehawk. No doubt that there will be badly aimed jokes and chants about floodlights (it’s too long ago, move on with your lives, for crying out loud), but I’m going to concentrate on getting behind the team and willing them to win. Saturday showed me finally that we do have players that I want to get behind and will to win, and for that alone, I do feel a little better. Now to try and sleep…sweet dreams, everyone.