Honours even as K’s held by Herne Bay in entertaining one all draw
By Eli Haidari
23rd Feb 2023 | Local Sport
Kingstonian were forced to settle for a point on Wednesday night as Alex MacAllister's second half opener was cancelled out by a Herne Bay screamer in an end-to-end 1-1 draw.
Herne Bay's visit to Imperial Fields posed as the first of three promising fixtures for Simon Lane's side against opposition below the K's in the Isthmian League standings, and spirits were high heading into the contest following a morale-boosting 4-2 win away to Bognor Regis on Saturday.
However, with ambitions of their own, Herne Bay started strongly making it clear to the K's Wednesday night would be no routine fixture.
Daniel Ogunleye and Jack Parter played a neat one two on the edge of the Kingstonian box with 10 minutes on the clock and bar a heavy final ball, Herne Bay's number 14 would have found himself through on goal.
A corner was flashed wide minutes later by Bay skipper Laurence Harvery with Kingstonian yet to kick into gear.
A bursting run from Harun Hamid just before the half-hour mark gave the K's faithful something to cheer about as the number six skipped past a few challenged before slipping through Imran Kayani whose shot was smothered by Jordan Perrin and out for a corner.
Danny Dudley failed to connect with a promising ball towards the back post as Kingstonian continued to search for the opener before the half-time whistle, however Herne Bay were left wondering how they did not grab the game's first goal as Rob Tolfrey was called into action three times before the end of the first half.
After finding space in the middle of the park, Rory Smith drove at the K's defence and found Ogunleye down the left-hand side but Tolfrey did brilliantly to close down the angle and then again as the ball fell to Smith inside the Kingstonian penalty area.
The K's stopper was alert once more to tip Ogunleye's effort over ,who had cut in from the left, before the hosts sent in a dangerous freekick into the Herne Bay Box which was routinely gathered by Perrin as referee Daryll David brought a goalless 45 to a close.
Nervy moments for both teams early in the second half presented chances. First, a teasing delivery from Kayani was misjudged by Perrin, but Kingstonian were unable to convert the loose ball in the box. A mix-up from the K's back four then presented Smith with a chance through on goal but Tolfrey was equal to the danger and turned the ball behind for a corner.
K's continued to push and on the 59th minute, the deadlock was broken.
After finding himself in space down the left-hand side Kayani's attempted lob looked to be going well wide but substitute Keane Anderson did brilliantly to keep play alive and send a fizzing ball back into the box which was bundled home by MacAllister to ignite jubilant celebrations.
There were opportunities for Kingstonian to double their lead as Hamid delayed his final ball a touch too late after another surging run as Perrin darted off his line to narrow the angle for K's goal scorer MacAllister.
A swerving freekick from Herne Bay had the home side sweating momentarily but Tolfrey looked confident as the ball narrowly dipped over.
The ever-busy Hamid continued to trouble the Herne Bay midfield and Perrin failed to claim the midfielder's shot but was saved by the offside flag as Kayani looked to pounce.
A moment of magic provided a sucker punch for the K's in the 79th minute as Marcel Barrington connected with a ball over the top first time to fire a fantastic strike past the helpless Tolfrey.
With ten minutes left on the clock, a frantic finale was to follow with both sides in desperate search of a winner.
An uncharacteristic Tolfrey fumble from a long ball left K's fans with their hearts in their mouths as the defence scrambled the ball off the line before Kayani was saved by the offside flag as the winger miscued his effort after a pin point ball over the top.
The Bay glanced a header wide deep into injury time but as the final whistle blew, both sides were made to settle for a goal apiece in what was a thoroughly entertaining encounter at Imperial Fields on Wednesday night.
Attention now turns to a massive six-pointer on Saturday afternoon as the K's prepare to host Bowers and Pitsea, kick-off at 3pm.