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Kingstonian 3-1 Walton Casuals

K's maintained their 100% home record to return to the top of the table after battling back from a goal down to run out comfortable winners against struggling Walton Casuals.

In the week preceding this fixture Casuals had parted company with ex K's manager Kim Harris, but the K's connections didn't finish there, with six of Walton's starting eleven having previously donned the hooped shirts.

Whether buoyed by the introduction of a new manager - former Kingstonian player Luke Dowling - or that extra bit of incentive when playing against a former side, Casuals found themselves a goal to the good at half time courtesy of a Nana Badu strike following some slack K's defending.

K's had started brightly enough, Dean Lodge almost being rewarded for some early enterprise when a cross shot flashed just wide of the post, but Paul Smith in the Casuals goal remained untroubled until the interval.

The only ex K to have played under current manager Alan Dowson was Craig Lewington, who was sent off half an hour into Dowson's reign and released soon after. In the space of just a few second half minutes Lewington showed that, while his dimensions may have greatened, some things never change. A rash challenge on Dean Lodge was followed almost immediately by a cynical foul on the same player, leaving him crumpled in a heap against the advertising hoardings and requiring treatment.

Jason Turley battles former K's players Craig Lewington and Scott Harris
Photo: Stephen Baird

What one would imagine to be a stinging half time team talk from Dowson seemed to invigorate K's and it took just a few minutes to draw level. An under hit back pass from John Ambrose was pounced upon by the ever alert Bobby Traynor, who toe poked the ball around 'keeper Smith before passing the ball into an empty net.

Bobby Traynor rounds the goalkeeper for the opening goal
Photo: Chris Hatton - Kingstonian FC

And less than ten minutes later K's eased into the driving seat, James Rose netting his first of the season with a superb header following an equally superb run and cross from Dean Lodge, who was electric all afternoon.

James Rose heads in for the second goal
Photo: Stephen Baird

K's should have had the chance to extend their lead from the penalty spot when Wes Goggin was clearly checked inside the box, but the offence went unpunished.

K's looked in control, but with only a one goal cushion they were only ever one mistake away from being pegged back and indeed almost were. Confusion in the K's box left Ambrose with a great chance to grab a scantly deserved equaliser and atone for his earlier mistake, but he could only kick the air when well placed.

With just six minutes remaining Sankoh (on for Rose) ended the game as a contest when his belter from just outside the box span down from the crossbar and over the line.

There are bigger challenges to be overcome this season, but five wins from the first six games gives some optimism that this current K's team can rise to those challenges under the masterful guidance of Dowson, Hams & Tyler.

Wes Goggin in striking pose
Photo: Stephen Baird

Ten years ago, almost to the day, K's came back from a goal down against another Walton side to go top of the league. That season ended with a Championship in the bag, the same again this year would go down very nicely.

Saturday 15th September 2007
(Walton Casuals H)
Alan Dowson interview
[WMA file - 5:22 - 1,293Kb]

Sat 15th Sep 2007
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Isthmian League Division One South
Traynor, Rose, Sankoh
Walton Casuals1
1Luke Garrard
2Aaron Goode
3Liam Cockerill
4Simon Sobihy
5Gavin Cartwright
6Simon Huckle
7Dean Lodge14
8Wes Goggin
9Bobby Traynor
10James Rose12
11Jason Turley
12Saheed Sankoh10
14Danny Summers7
15Tommy Moorhouse
16Nick Rundell
17Luke Naughton
Match Report By
Simon Murray