Kingstonian will have to do things the hard way
Ks midfielder Matt Pattison admitted they would have to do things the hard way after a last minute Darren Blewitt goal broke Kingstonian hearts as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Ryman Division One North Brentwood Town at Kingsmeadow.
Blewitt headed a last-minute equaliser for the Essex side on Saturday to make it 2-2 at the close of a thrilling third round qualifying tie.
But Ks manager Alan Dowson remained upbeat about progressing to the opening round for the first time since 2005.
“I think they think they're through,” said Dowson of the raucous Brentwood celebrations after the final whistle.
“I don't. I think we’ll win at their place. We’ve got the players to do it.
“It will be tough... apparently it’s not a nice place to go compared to Kingsmeadow but we’re not bothered about that. They're favourites to win the game now, of course they are, but cups aren’t decided like that.”
Midfielder Matt Pattison said that there were no anxieties in the dressing room about a replay: “We’re extremely disappointed. We weren’t under any pressure, there were three minutes left, they didn’t look like causing us a problem. But we’ll just have to do it the hard way.”
Twice Ks went ahead and twice Brentwood responded.
Substitute Craig Mullen scored the opener in the 52nd minute, racing on to a bouncing pass before flicking the ball over the backtracking defender’s head – a shout of “Gascoigne! Euro '96!” was heard from the John Smith’s stand – and curling a shot into the far corner.
Both goalkeeper and defender got something to the ball, but it slowly dropped into the far corner.
Brentwood have one of the form strikers in non-league and it was Alex Read who equalised six minutes later, lofting a chip over Rob Tolfrey for his ninth goal in five games.
Tom Hutchinson restored Ks advantage soon after with a bullet header from a Matt Pattison cross and as the game stretched the home side looked likely to finish Brentwood off.
Andre McCollin squandered two one-on-ones and as the match entered its final minute, Brentwood made a final push. A cross from the left was flapped at by Tolfrey, leaving Blewitt with an easy header into the net.
Pattison, arguably the most talented passer at the club since Geoff Pitcher, was Ks creative fulcrum again on Saturday.
“If I play central midfield I have to be a lot more disciplined but coming in off the right I can roam,” he said.
“I’m enjoying it a lot more. The team’s doing a lot better – better passing, better movement – and that helps.”
After Tuesday's replay, Ks return to league action next Saturday at Thurrock.