by Martin Mork
Kent first 2
Kingston first 1
Yaniek Monrose’s equaliser forced Kent into extra time in their cup tie but Kingston could not hold off the home side in the last half hour and eventually went down 2-1.
Kingston fought all the way for a semi-final place, giving Kent, who play two leagues above, a stiff test.
But after 115 minutes a defensive slip from Kingston put a Kent striker through on goal, where he made no mistake.
On a windy day in Kent, the home side started best, winning several early corners. And their pressure paid of when they took the lead 10 minutes into the game from a set piece.
Kingston stayed in the game largely thanks to keeper Kieran Sanderson who kept Kent at bay to go into halftime only a single goal adrift.
After half time the game turned into an end-to-end affair and the introduction of Monrose proved the difference. His energy and determination paid off for the Kingston equaliser.
Terry Mireku and Gareth Chendlik played a lovely one-two and sent the ball to Monrose who thumped the ball into the corner of the net.
Extra time beckoned. Sanderson again made two great saves to prevent Kent from scoring early. Then Mireku rounded Kent’s goalkeeper but could not get enough power on his shot to see it over the line.
Five minutes from time Kent got the decisive goal to see them through to the semi finals in the South Eastern Conference Cup.
Kingston’s captain Sam Gordon was disappointed with the loss, but pleased with his team mates’ performance in tough conditions.
“We know on another day that we could have progressed,” he said.
Kingston are now focusing on the league, where they are two points behind the league leaders with a game in hand.
“The team played well as a whole. This disappointment has only made us more hungry to win the league.”