A 95th minute winner from Tommy Brewer gave Kingstonian a precious 3-2 win on Saturday.

The 26-year-old defender gleefully scored his first goal for the club after a defensive mix-up from Bishop’s Storford gifted him a one-on-one in the dying stages.

It’s been a long time coming for Brewer who only arrived in the summer from Staines but has family history with K’s.

“I was brought up in Hampton, my grandad was a K’s fan and my dad used to take me down in the Conference years [late 1990’s when I was 7 or 8 years old]. He was mates with keeper Adrian Blake so we’d go and watch him too on occasion. I remember a game at Kingsmeadow against Yeovil Town and being up on my dad’s shoulders and the green of the Yeovil’s kit! I then played at Kingsmeadow a few times for other clubs but always wanted to play for K’s. I like to stay local and be part of the community.”

His celebrations with the fans at the close were a mix of joy and relief after the team’s early season struggles. But Brewer says that promotion is still the plan.

“When I arrived, it was about getting in the playoffs minimum. I’ve played in this league. The depth we’ve got in the squad, I’ve never had that before. There’s no excuse not to reach the playoffs this year. That brings the pressure too. But it’s not been fair on the gaffer [Leigh Dynan] to be honest. It’s down to us to perform. It’s not about a game-plan as such. We’ve got the players. We just need to go out and do it.”

K’s had dominated from the off against mid-table Stortford. When the breakthrough came on 17 minutes, Brewer was the provider with a long, diagonal ball over full-back Jordan Lawal. Shaun Lucien was there to meet it, expertly bringing it down before lobbing Calum Kitscha.

The pressure continued with a Brewer header going narrowly over and then Kitscha kept out a powerful Aaron Lamont effort from the edge of the box following a great run from Manolis Gagonas.

The lead was eventually doubled in injury time in the first-half, Crystal Palace loanee James Daly feeding Cundle to sidefoot across the goalkeeper.

But the visitors were back in the game midway through the second period. A cross came in from the left and 43-year-old Jamie Cureton, formerly of Bristol Rovers and Reading in a long pro career, beat Jay Gasson and headed past Rob Tolfrey.

Suddenly, the old anxieties started to show and on 79 minutes Stortford equalised, Cureton lashing home from the edge of the box after Ks failed to clear their lines.

Kitscha made two more saves from Lamont and Reece Williams-Bowers, another local Kingstonian who formerly played for the Under-10s, but just as it looked like time would be running out, the home team managed to salvage the win. 

Stortford had cleared a late free-kick from their box but, when their centre-backs left a cushioned back-header for each other, Brewer was still loitering in an advanced position to latch onto it and convert.

“I don’t know how it fell to me,” laughs Brewer. “I was being lazy to be honest! I was sort of walking back, thinking ‘well, the game’s nearly done at least I don’t need to run’, and suddenly I saw the ball and had the whole goal to aim at!”

K’s are next in action at Whitehawk on 29th September.