Spencer Knight set to leave Kingstonian as 10-man K’s slump to defeat against Margate
By Eli Haidari
2nd Feb 2023 | Local Sport
Wednesday night marked a drab affair for the K's as Spencer Knight's men succumbed to a 2-0 defeat against a spirited Margate side. Shortly after the full-time whistle, the club announced that Knight would be stepping down from the dugout for 'personal reasons' but will remain in the role until a new appointment is found.
The highlight of the evening for Kingstonian arguably happened prior to kick off as keeper Rob Tolfrey was acknowledged for his remarkable 600th appearance for the club, unfortunately for the veteran, his teammates were unable to inspire a win to mark the occasion.
It was evident only two places separated the sides heading into the contest as a cagey 45 minutes was played out.
Margate looked the likelier of the teams to open the scoring as a fierce corner whipped in from Ben Greenhalgh inside seven minutes eluded everyone and clipped the top of the bar on its way over for a goal kick.
The Gate skipper looked composed in the middle of the park and sent another warning sign moments later as a bursting run down the right was followed by a teasing ball into the box just missed by the outstretched leg of Phil Roberts.
The K's responded with some nice football played down the flanks including a bursting run from Isaiah Jones but were ultimately unable to muster any chance of note as Margate pushed on, seeking a goal before half time.
Nathan Wood showed quick feet to beat a couple of K's challenges as the ball went out for a corner and a dangerous ball in could only be headed back across the face of goal as Jonathan Bolland brought the opening 45 to a close.
The start of the second half mirrored that of the first as both teams struggled to break each other down, but a lapse of concentration from Jake Eales on the hour mark led to the K's centre half brining down Freddy Barton in the box after a smart one-two with Harrison Hatfull.
Despite the efforts of the Kingstonian faithful to put off Greenhalgh, Margate's number 11 kept his composure and sent his spot kick into the bottom right corner sending Tolfrey the other way.
One nearly became two moments later as Jones misjudged a Margate ball into the box with it falling kindly to Wood, but the wingers' effort was saved well by the ever- reliable Tolfrey.
A lack of conviction in the final third continued to trouble the home side as they pushed for an equaliser and with five minutes to play of normal time, Wood found himself through on goal and calmly slotted home to put the game to bed.
A disappointing night was topped off with the K's finishing the final 5 minutes with 10 men after Dwight Pascal was shown a second yellow after getting into a scuffle with Emmanuel after a late tackle on the defender.
There was still time for Tolfrey to add another remarkable save to his collection deep into injury time as the 600 – capped stopper denied Wood from point blank range.
Kingstonian, who will now begin a managerial search to replace the departing Knight, turn their attention to an away trip to Lewes on Saturday, hoping to end a four-game winless streak in the league.
Spencer Knight on his departure
Speaking to the K's faithful on the club's site, Knight said: "It is with regret that I must stand down from the position of First Team Manager at Kingstonian Football Club.
"A fantastic opportunity has arisen in my day job to take up a role overseas and it is one that, after long consideration with my family, we have decided to accept.
"I will be taking up this role in March which, of course, will make my job at Kingstonian untenable.
"However, I have offered to continue to manage the team whilst the Club look to recruit and appoint a new manager, and the offer has been accepted.
"After taking over earlier in the season in less-than-ideal circumstances, we have continued to try to rebuild the squad after the turbulence at the club in the close season.
"I believe that we have helped develop some of the young talent in the squad and I have particularly enjoyed seeing them improve every week.
"Results overall have not been as good as we would all have liked, but I would urge the supporters to stick with the players and the new manager, whilst bearing in mind that the current league position is very much in line with the playing budget available.
"This is a very competitive division, and any success is fiercely contested.
"I have loved my time in charge of this prestigious and historic football club and am proud of the work that we have done, as well as being convinced that with more time we would have seen further improvement.
"I would especially like to thank Lee O'Leary for initially asking me to join him at the club; John, George and the rest of the board for backing me as much as possible in my time in charge; and my brilliant staff: Lee, Emiraldo, James and Ophelie, as well as club stalwarts Jamie and Paul for all their help and support.
"Up the K's!"