If new manager Dean Brennan had any doubts about the task facing him at K’s, his opening two matches will have removed them, writes Taimour Lay.

A fortunate draw with Carshalton was followed on Saturday by a 2-0 loss at Brightlingsea Regent in which striker Louie Theophanous missed a first-half penalty and the team rarely threatened.

There are reasons to be hopeful of medium-term improvement but promotion dreams for 2018/19 have faded after a run of seven defeats in eight matches.

Playing in an isolated holiday town on the Essex coast also gave the match a pre-season feel, not least with the sun shining and six new names in the K’s squad sheet.

Experienced former AFC Wimbledon centre-back Ismail Yakubu has arrived to shore up the defence, alongside old K's favourite Tom Bird at left-back. A new midfield three impressed in patches, particularly young Irishman Connor Smith from Billericay and Dan Spence, who is on loan from Woking.

It all added up to tentative renewal. But further up the field, there was a notable lack of penetration. Brennan admitted that the rebuilding work will have to continue. “We didn’t have enough going forward”, he said.

“Brightlingsea's front two worked their socks off and in the end that was the difference. Attacking-wise we didn’t create enough.

“I thought the midfield and back four did quite well. The front three didn’t do enough to win the game. Did we deserve to lose by two? Possibly not. It was tight. But we need goals. We need someone to score goals. So we’ll see what happens in the coming week.”

The departure of Elliott Buchanan to leaders Dorking during the week was the first step in dismantling the squad expensively assembled by Leigh Dynan.

Andrew Musungu, one of many signed on a contract, seems unlikely to reappear. Tommy Brewer also didn’t make the squad.

“The new signings are all from the league above”, added Brennan. “They’ve all got good pedigree, they’re all a good age – apart from Yak! And I’ve worked with them before so I know what I’ll get from them. We’re quite a new team now.”

K’s got an early break when the referee spotted a handball in the box but Theophanous’s 25th minute penalty was a tame effort. Regent gradually gained control before Josh Gould headed them into a second-half lead. With five minutes remaining, Michael Brothers’ volley eluded Rob Tolfrey to complete the scoring.

K’s host Wingate & Finchley next Saturday at King George’s Field. It is the club’s fifth “Young Carers Day” supported by Kingston Carers Network and entry for all Under-18s is free.