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Ks win battle of Gander Green Lane
A fine second-half finish from Josh Casey gave Kingstonian a 1-0 win at Sutton United on Tuesday night in a match that proved this south London rivalry only deepens by the year.
While there was ticker tape, toilet roll and lusty singing in the cold air, all of which belied a crowd of just 246, a shocking pre-match incident threatened to overheat the derby atmosphere.
At 7.40pm Sutton United’s back-up goalkeeper and coach, Wayne Shaw, was seen leaping from the pitch over the advertising hoardings to confront the Ks away support, having taken offence at a remark over his weight.
A Sutton official promised an internal investigation into the extraordinary scenes and it cost Shaw his job on Thursday.
A place in the third round of the Surrey Senior Cup was at stake, but in reality the encounter was always an end in itself. The cup's prestige has diminished but still provided the sides with the chance of a first contest since November 2010.
Ks were aiming to improve on a poor record at Gander Green Lane, while the home side, sitting one division above in the Conference South, put out their strongest side. Since the 1970s, few K’s-Sutton fixtures have failed to ignite.
United will look back on missed chances in the opening period but as the second-half wore on, the K’s midfield gained a foothold and the impressive Casey, pushed into a more advanced role after Andre McCollin was forced off with injury, was finally put clean through by a delightful chipped pass by Tommy Kavanagh.
Casey duly converted with the outside of his left-foot to give K’s only their tenth ever win at the Lane.
“Brilliant,” said manager Alan Dowson.
“I don’t often say that, I’m hard to please but the work-rate was phenomenal. They were outstanding.”
Dowson was also full of praise for Casey, an accountant signed in November from Bashley who can also play left-back and in front of the back four.
“He was the best player on the pitch in my opinion," he added.
"He’s hit the bar a couple of times in recent weeks and rattled away from there.
"He’s only a little lad, he does everything right, you never get any hassle from him over money or anything. He trains with a smile on his face.”
K’s return to league action next Saturday at home to Cray Wanderers before a top-of- -the-table test against Wealdstone on Monday night.
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