Kingstonian made their return to the Royal Borough of Kingston with a respectable 0-0 draw against a Crystal Palace XI on Tuesday night, in front of an impressive attendance of 425, writes Michael Cox.

After leaving their Kingsmeadow ground at the end of 2016/17, and spending last season playing in Leatherhead, K’s are now groundsharing with Corinthian-Casuals, who are also competing in the Isthmian Premier League this season.

Crystal Palace’s team lacked household names, but it was a strong side drawn mainly from their highly-rated under-23 team, and K’s were on the back foot in the opening stages, with Palace centre-back Ryan Innis heading against the crossbar from a corner during a period of sustained pressure from the away side.

But Leigh Dynan’s side steadily grew into the contest.

Centre-forward Elliot Buchanan – Kingstonian’s most eye-catching summer recruit, having topped the Isthmian goalscoring charts last season with 39 goals for Staines Town – was the home side’s most dangerous player in the first half.

First he raced into the left-hand channel and forced Eagles goalkeeper Dion Henry to block with his chest, and later unleashed a 25-yard dipping effort that required a full-length save.

Buchanan also had the ball in the net midway through the first half, although he was denied by an offside flag.

Kingstonian dominated the second half. Midfielder Tommy Brewer, another recruit from Staines, saw a right-footed shot well saved, while Louie Theophanous, who has re-joined K’s after an impressive loan stint last season, saw an effort deflected wide. In torrential rain during the closing stages, centre-back Jay Gasson saw a header tipped over.

K’s manager Dynan is hopeful of a playoffs push this season, and the club’s recruitment has certainly been impressive.

Along with Buchanan and Theophanous, two established forwards at this level, Dynan has moved to sign former fans’ favourites Shaun McAuley and Aaron Lamont after a season away from the club.

Last season’s Player of the Year Manolis Gogonas has also rejoined after initially announcing his departure.

Kingstonian start their league campaign at home to Brightlingsea Regent on Saturday, 3pm.