Spurs enjoy big night at Ks
At 7.05pm triallist Andre McCollin was sprinting down the street to Kingsmeadow, desperate to make it on time for his chance to play a Premier League team.
A group of Ks fans at Norbiton station had to send the striker in the right direction.
He was always likely to make a late contribution, rewarding the club with an 84th minute penalty that raised the hopes of a deserved draw against a Tottenham Hotspur team featuring £1 million man John Bostock.
Former Croydon Athletic player McCollin may not even make the Ks squad this season.
If so, he’ll regret the chance he missed soon after to equalise, swinging wildly at a volley with the goal gaping.
It meant Spurs ran out 2-1 winners in front of an 865-strong crowd on a night that, as Ks manager Alan Dowson had promised, brought some measure of profile and excitement back to the club.
In fact, McCollin need not have raced anxiously to the ground: kick-off was delayed until 8.05pm, so long were the queues at the turnstiles. With Ks offering free tickets to Under-16s all season, the board are hoping this will become a regular problem.
This was more than a Spurs youth team.
‘Many of these players will be in the reserves and in and around the first-team this season,’ said Les Ferdinand, former England international and now coach at White Hart Lane.
'There's great quality here. Look at Bostock. It's great to bring them down tonight.'
And up in the main stand their new assistant manager, Steffen Freund, took his seat with a large notebook and dossier for a serious examination of the club’s potential.
That includes captain Ryan Mason, an accomplished passer who dictated play in midfield for large spells.
It was Mason who opened the scoring for Spurs, finishing from 20 yards after a run inside the full-back in the 50th minute.
It was 2-0 10 minutes later when Jack Barthram was gifted a goal by a defensive error.
But Kingstonian were creating chances. Mercurial bad-boy Dean Lodge was prepared to run at Premier League defenders, hitting the post in the first-half and also setting up Craig Mullen with a point-blank chance which the Ks striker hit straight at the keeper.
In the second half, Alan Tait, formerly a Spurs youth player, linked the play well and it was growing pressure that led to McCollin bursting through at the end.
His shot dinked over the keeper was falling short of the line when Sam Clayton was held back seeking to convert. McCollin then stepped up to calmly to place the ball in the corner of the net.