This is an unusual feeling, we’re nearly at the end of November and here we are, just a single point out of the play-off zone. Confidence in the team and management is increasing, expectations are going up, belief in the men in those red and white hoops is escalating. Maybe the hankies should out to contend with the nosebleeds that will inevitably accompany our high position in the table.
We did manage to win an away game, and typically I had to miss the 1-0 victory over Burgess Hill Town, so I still haven’t managed to see us win away this season. Apparently it was a fairly ugly win, but this is hardly a bad thing, it’s about time we won a few games whilst not playing too well.
The following game, away to Leatherhead, I don’t remember too much of that one – I had one of my anxiety attacks, at least I think that’s what it might have been, there have been a few of those this season (I certainly had one in Worthing and have had two or three at King George’s Field), and this was a good one. It was oh-so-easy to forget about the game and go home but this was a match I needed to see. As regular readers will know, Fetcham Grove is an old haunt of mine from what feels like many moons ago and it is a favourite ground as well.
Kingstonian completely dominated the match, well the first five minutes of it… Our goal was a beauty, started with a sweet pass from Tommy Brewer, finished off with an even sweeter strike from Alfie Doughty. All looked very good indeed. All until the sixth minute, that is. Leatherhead scored with their first attack and proceeded to be the better team throughout the game. Their winner early in the second half was expected and deserved and they were worthy winners.
It had me scratching my head as to why the Tanners were so low down in the table, even taking into account the fact that they had another good FA Cup run and had games in hand. I thought Leatherhead on the night were excellent, though I also thought that we made it a bit easy for them.
One thing that always gets me wound up, and this is something that has happened for many years at K’s, is that we have this habit of launching high balls into the box against a tall defence. We fed Leatherhead’s defence all night – high cross into box, headed away; high long pass to the edge of the area, headed away; repeat; repeat; rinse; repeat. A frustrating night, though it confirmed once again that we’re rubbish at Fetcham Grove. Leatherhead’s subsequent big win over Enfield Town arguably means that the Tanners are going quickly in the right direction.
Rosey and I had discussions about whether to miss the following home game against Margate as I clearly wasn’t right after the Leatherhead game. But we went to the game, and I’m pleased we did. I’m getting used to the press box area now, a sense of normality is beginning to show, but don’t mistake that for actually liking it. What I do like, though, is watching the team play, especially at King George’s Field. We’ve achieved results recently in very different ways, be it late winners or big clumpings – this one was in the late winner category and it came in a game that was very much a game of two halves. First half – not very good to watch, not much happened, teams cancelled each other out, let’s move on, please. Second half – a very good game, still even but both teams upped the ante considerably looking for goals.
Muhammadu Faal grabbed the first goal with a beauty of a shot from an acute angle, I can’t remember if it went across or through the goalkeeper but it doesn’t matter, it was a rifle shot. Margate’s equaliser, though not unexpected, was disappointing as they took advantage of a fault we haven’t been able to shake off all season and that is the infuriating inability to clear our lines defensively at times – if in doubt, kick it out is the old phrase. Mo Faal was instrumental again for our winner as his pass (apparently a lovely one but I couldn’t see it thanks to a window sill) was weighted perfectly for Louie Theophanous to score, again from a fairly acute angle. There’s arguments for announcing an own goal, but I hate doing that so seeing as I’m the sole member of the Kingstonian Dubious Goal Committee, I had no problem giving it to Louie.
So, it’s three away games coming up in quick succession. We’ll win tonight against Wingate and Finchley, I reckon, but only because I’m not able to go… Seriously, though, regardless of their league position over the years, they are never easy opponents and won’t be tonight. I’m unsure about being able to go to Enfield Town on Saturday, so if we manage to get four to six points out of those two games then there’s a serious case of thinking there’s a pattern here. Maybe I ought to be banned from the visit to Knaphill next week…