Ks keep third consecutive cleansheet to beat Wingate & Finchley
9:45am Monday 20th February 2012 in Sport
A three week break enforced by the recent cold snap did not curtail Kingstonian's resurgent run of form, as they ran out 2-0 winners away to Wingate and Finchley, writes Simon Grier.
Both goals came in the first half of a game where chances were at a premium.
But boss Alan Dowson was pleased with his side's professional performance, particularly given the strong wind and heavy showers that afflicted North London.
"I'm delighted. I thought we adapted well to the conditions and did a professional job. It was very hard to play football," he said. "We're up against it with injuries at the moment, but the lads who have come into the team are doing well. It was a good performance, nothing spectacular and we're not getting carried away, but it's a good three points earned."
Ks had looked second best in the opening stages, as the home side passed the ball well and had the visitors on the back foot.
Goalkeeper Rob Tolfrey was relieved to see an early header narrowly clear his crossbar before making a superb save from David Laird.
The breakthrough for Ks came in the 27th minute. Hard-working youngster Stuart Duff, retaining his place as lone striker ahead of Bobby Traynor, chased what appeared to be a lost cause into the Wingate box.
He won the ball and was tripped for a penalty, with Bashiru Alimi coolly wrong-footed the goalkeeper from 12 yards.
Before half-time, Ks were two ahead. Defender Aaron Goode's optimistic 25-yard drive caught a wicked deflection to give the goalkeeper no chance.
And the home side's misery was compounded two minutes later when captain Marc Weatherstone had a goal ruled out for offside.
Ks were fortunate to find themselves 2-0 up, but defended well in the second half to maintain the lead.
The home side's Tony Burke struck the crossbar with a free kick but they had few other chances of note.
It is the first time since Ks' return to the Ryman Premier that they have kept three consecutive clean sheets, and Dowson was full of praise for his defence and goalkeeper.
"The two centre-halves were much better, I thought Ian Gayle was outstanding and Tolfrey kicked well and made a save where he kept us in it early in the game," he added.
The biggest blow to Ks was a knee injury to Duff. He was stretchered off and although the injury is not thought to be as serious as originally feared, he is a major doubt for tonight's game against Margate.
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