Kingstonian and Bedford Town serve up a treat

To use journalistic-speak, this was a pulsating cup tie. The K’s and the Eagles slugged it out for more than ninety minutes, the result always in doubt, both teams giving everything to try and win the game. It was an excellent positive advert for non-league football.

Kingstonian, the home team, had by far the majority of the possession, sometimes they camped in the opposition half. Bedford Town, the visitors from a lower division, did not play like they were from a lower division – defensively they were brilliant, the back four and the goalkeeper outstanding, and they were perfectly capable of springing forward and causing our defenders no end of angst. Quite how it remained scoreless going into second half injury time was a mystery.

There was much controversy as well, the main cause of anger being when a Bedford player blatantly handballed inside the penalty area during the first half, only to win a free kick as the referee had ruled that he was pushed into the ball by Shaun McAuley. I am, of course, biased, but I didn’t see the push. Most of the home support, as biased as I am, didn’t see it either. I think it took our guys a while to get over the perceived injustice, but I think they did eventually and they got back into their stride within about ten minutes. The referee, although he didn’t give me the air of confidence throughout the match, will have been closest to the incident, he will have had a far better view than I will have done.

The game almost had the same script, K’s pressing incessantly, Bedford very dangerous on the break, there was no clue as to who would win this game, the fear was that Bedford’s counter attack would do us in and we would lose 0-1.

And then along came second half injury time. People have a misconception about what goes up on the board that denotes how many minutes are to be played. The number three went up on the board, we scored in the second of those minutes thanks to Elliott Buchanan finally beating the Eagles’ wall of defiance. Much celebrations, relief even, surely we had done it? Nobody told Bedford Town, as in the fifth minute of injury time they equalised after a stramash in the penalty area. There was anger that the goal came in the fifth minute of three, we were well over time and the game should not have been going on.

This is where the misconception kicks in – this is precisely why we match day announcers include, or should include, the words “a minimum of” in our announcement regarding the minutes left. Whilst I agree that I was unhappy that the game was still continuing into the fifth minute, there was plenty of celebration time plus an injury in those three minutes, maybe this is where the other two minutes came from.

People very rarely take into account that there may be added time to the added time, when they hear the announcements of how many minutes are to be played, almost as if there’s one of those infuriating moments in television when the hosts say: “And the person leaving the kitchen is……………………………………………………………” <waiting for minutes on end> “………………..Derek!” Whoever, in this case, Derek is. “The referee has indicated that there will be……….<gap where announcer actually says “a minimum of” but is ignored by everyone it seems>…….three minutes of added time.”

Oh well, the positive is that we are in the hat for the Second Qualifying Round, the draw for which is made soon after I decide to press the blue “Publish” button on this here WordPress thingy. We didn’t lose, we played very well, we tried everything and a bit more, and we have another go tomorrow night at the New Eyrie. A bit more good fortune and we would have won comfortably, a bit more poor fortune and Bedford Town would have won the game, it’s one of those things, just a brilliant game that had no winner in the end.

I won’t make it to Bedford for the replay, whilst the back is up for it, the spirit and the stamina isn’t, so I will anxiously watch the interweb. The physio on the back has turned out to be a one-off, it’s simply a case of a tightened set of muscles, so nothing serious even if it a right pain in the…well…back. Which in itself is a relief, and it has begun to improve at last.

Well, the draw should be out within the next hour or so, I don’t care who we get drawn against, and anyway we can’t worry about it until after Tuesday night – hopefully we will get to worry about it!

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