Outstanding Ks clip Robins' wings
Opening salvo: Kingstonian midfielder Matt Pattison on route to scoring the opening goal at Carshalton Athletic
Boss Alan Dowson labelled his side's 3-1 Ryman Premier League win at struggling Carshalton Athletic on Saturday as outstanding.
Captain Aaron Goode led from the back to help secure the vital three points, scoring with a second-half header that put his side 2-0 up after Matt Pattison had given Ks the lead before the break.
Nathan Koranteng, 20, added the third before the Robins got a consolation goal in the the final quarter of the game.
Goode, who is rumoured to have attracted league scouts to Kingsmeadow, was a typically progressive presence on the right-hand side of defence on a day when fit-again Tom Bird also excelled over the half-way line.
Raiding forward has been the defender's trademark for some time.
“I like playing right-back," said Goode.
"You get the ball a lot. I like to come out and play and it gives you the opportunity to do that," he added before hailing the recent return of Dagenham & Redbridge loanee Ian Gayle, who looks set to solve Ks’ long-running centre-back conundrum.
“He’s a very good player. He has pace, he heads well, and he talks a lot on the pitch… he’s young and has that bit of energy about him.”
Dowson agreed Gayle could prove key between now and May.
“He was immense today, our best player in my opinion,” said the manager, who also brought striker Paul Vines back to the club this week in a clear sign that promotion is now the target.
The snow might have finally melted but a ripped-up Colston Avenue surface posed a challenge to a Ks team looking to pass the ball.
Once again it was Andre McCollin and Matt Pattison who provided the penetration to open up stubborn defending.
McCollin’s perfectly weighted pass in the 36th minute, lofted beyond the Carshalton centre-back, set Pattison through on goal.
The midfielder calmly took two touches before slotting the ball across goalkeeper Nick Hamann.
It was 2-0 shortly after the break, Goode heading home at the back post from two yards out.
Goode revealed afterwards he is relishing taking the captain’s armband this season.
“The players depend on you and it’s a personal thing also for me because I’m club captain and Kingstonian are a big club,” said the 24-year-old.
“Every morning before a game, I wake up with a positive attitude about it.”
While the former QPR youth player said he still has the ambition to play professionally, he stressed that non-league is a special place to learn the trade.
“We’re like a big family here. Everyone respects each other. I don’t get a big head about anything.
"A lot of pro clubs do come and watch non-league players. Players are possibly hungrier in non-league. It’s a privilege to play professionally."
Lower down you have to fight for results – bad pitches, bad referees - and if you ever got the chance to play pro you’d grab it with both hands and maybe appreciate it more.”
Goode, who works for a removals company, agreed that football acts as a release after a tough working week.
“I don’t mind working and playing football. If you don't get home till midnight [from an away game] and have to work the next morning, that’s fine because you just want to play.”
On the hour it was 3-0, Nathan Koranteng racing on to a Lewis Taylor pass.
“For 75 minutes we were outstanding on a bobbly pitch,” said Dowson, who dedicated the win to supporter and club volunteer Gary Brown who died last week.
“But we got sloppy in the last 15 minutes.”
Indeed, after Ola Sogbanmu scored from a free header in the 74th minute, the Robins threatened an unlikely comeback and will regret Ryan Gardiner’s late miss from 10 yards out.
The win puts K’s seventh, poised just outside the play-off places and only three points away from second spot.
They travel to Dulwich Hamlet on Tuesday for an Isthmian League Cup quarter-final before facing play-off rivals Bognor Regis next Saturday at Nyewood Lane.