Kingstonian 2, East Thurrock United 5
SAM Higgins netted a hat-trick, his fourth of the season, but was elipsed to the Ryman premier Golden Boot by Wealdstone’s Richard Jolly, who grabbed the goal he needed against Concord to finish with 41 goals, one ahead of Higgins reports the Thurrock Enquirer.
This was a highly entertaining clash, played out in the most part in a drizzle, but the excellent pitch at Kingsmeadow allowed both sides to play some fluent football.
After some tentative probing at both ends, it was the home side that seized the initiative, scoring after 16 minutes when neat interplay between Sam Clayton, who had earlier been booked for diving, and Bobby Traynor, on the edge of the box prised an opening which Traynor stepped through and he rifled a low shot past Jamie Riley.
The lead lasted just a minute, Rocks going forward from the restart and Sam Collins chased down what appeared to be a lost cause and laid a lovely pass into the path of Higgins who finished with a low side-foot shot.
Higgins’ second came on 34 minutes went neat interplay with Kye Ruel gave him the chance to clip the ball over keeper Jake Whincup.
That ended the first half scoring, but we didn’t have to wait ong for a goal in the second half. On 48 minutes March Gorbell had two attempts with headers as the ball bounced about from a corner and eventually
it fell for Ben Wood, whose shot took a deflection on its way into the net.
Rocks were playing some lovely football by this time, sweeping the ball about the pitch with relish and it was no real surprise when they grabbed a fourth just after the hour when Ruel’s pace got him to a throughball just before the onrushing Whincup and he nicked it past the keeper, rounded him and slid the ball into an empty net.
Kingstonian kept going and were rewarded with Traynor’s second goal on 70 minutes when a deft flick from sub Allan Tait played him in, where he showed good body strength to hold off a defender, before sliding the ball past Riley.
The game’s final goal came seven minutes from the end when more good passing ended with a cutback into the path of Higgins who smashed the ball home from the edge of the six yard box.