Fun and annoying all rolled into one…

…that’s possibly a description that the wife might say of me, but in this case Kingstonian’s home game against Margate ticked those boxes after a 3-3 draw on Saturday at King George’s Field.

That’s now three draws out of three, and, depending on your mood, we’re both winless and unbeaten at the same time after three games. In games one and two, our defence was outstanding, only gave up one goal (and that was a stunner), but going forward, well if your top goal scorer is a Wingate and Finchley defender, then you know things haven’t gone completely to plan. In game three, Louie Theophanous got a massively deserved hat-trick, whilst defensively we managed to look rather shaky, so while one bit went some way to fixing itself, the other bit came a little bit undone.

For most of the first half, we were second to most things, and Margate did deserve to lead when Kudus Oyenuga headed home almost unmarked early in the half. It took a long time for the K’s to get their act together and it was a little bit of a surprise when the Margate goalkeeper and one of his defenders had a communication meltdown, which allowed Louie to pass the ball into an empty net. There was a delay in announcing the goal as for some reason I was convinced that there was a foul on someone somewhere, natural Kingstonian negativity I suppose. By the time we got used to the idea of being on level terms again, Margate re-took the lead; K’s fell asleep almost en bloc, Oyenuga clipped the ball towards goal, there was a deflection off from a K’s defender and the ball ballooned in slow motion over Rob Tolfrey and went into the net.

As the chairman, president and dictator of the Dubious Goals Panel at King George’s Field (Kingstonian branch), it is my job ultimately to decide who has scored. Quite often I need assistance from the people near to me, frequently nobody got a darn clue so best guesses are sometimes made. This particular second goal from Margate involved an executive decision on my part – you see, I detest announcing own goals, I don’t care whether it’s us or them that are the beneficiaries. Sometimes it’s painfully obvious, like it was for our goal at Wingate and Finchley last week, but I will try my very best to not award an own goal, in any case I will not announce the own goalscorer, he will be depressed and embarrassed enough as it is without some idiot in a tie with a microphone sticking the pin in even further…

I heard a couple of mumbles to my left of “that’s an own goal” when I did the announcement – I don’t understand the desperation of some people to have goals given as own goals, but that doesn’t matter to me, I have this policy and will be sticking to it.

The half ended spectacularly with Louie scoring from distance in first half stoppage time, and, from being a dour contest that Margate were deservedly leading by a single goal, the game burst into life in the last four minutes of the half with three goals. It was a manic ending to a half that left me feeling mentally out of breath – when a goal goes in, I’ve got to identify the scorer, write it down on my team sheet, announce it (hoping it’s right), then go to the correct page on the interweb and input the goal on to the Footballwebpages system, this automatically tells Twitter, the league website, our website and probably a few other places besides…I have on very rare occasions actually missed a goal doing all this (usually when the interweb decides not to co-operate), but the end of that half just reminded me of the scene in Monty Python’s Life of Brian when the Roman commander knocks on the door of the safe house for the second time in minutes, the old man answers and says “you haven’t given us time to hide yet…”

The second half started superbly for us when Louie scored a peach of a free kick from outside the area. The celebration, one those Cantona-esque “are you not entertained?” poses, was equally as glorious, as I’ve said before, a happy and confident Louie is a dangerous Louie, and all the better for us for it. So, from being 0-1 down and looking a little frazzled and forlorn, we were suddenly 3-2 up. Now that Louie has started finding the net, it’s the turn for the others to join in, but Saturday wasn’t the day for this to happen. One or two fine chances went by the wayside, one was a tremendous save by Jon Miles from Fabio Saraiva’s shot, and in a sense it was no surprise when the equaliser came. Jerry Puemo has been outstanding in the first three games, unfortunately this time he conceded a penalty that Oyenuga dispatched to complete his own hat-trick. I’ve seen a couple of comments asking who gets the match ball, the simple answer is “neither” unless they pay for it…we’re not a blinkin’ charity, you know.

All that was left was a stramash caused by a heavy tackle by a Margate midfielder on Kenny Beaney, views about that tackle ranged from “not a foul” to “immediate red card” and anything in between, and then another fine save from Jon Miles, this time denying Louie a fourth goal. A fun game, definitely, six goals, action packed, but at the same time annoyed that we’ve drawn another game that we could have won. As I suggested in my programme notes for this game, to be annoyed at drawing is, in a strange way, progress for the K’s. We’re playing some good stuff, we just haven’t put a good attacking performance and a good defensive performance into the same game yet. We’ll do that soon.

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