TOMMY Brewer’s 95th minute winner broke Blues’ hearts and ended Adam Flint’s reign as Stortford manager, on Saturday.
A pair of Jamie Cureton goals had seen Stortford fight back from 2-0 down at the break to level the score with 11 minutes remaining before Brewer struck to consign the visitors to a fourth loss in seven Bostik League games.
Once again Stortford had a poor first half and but for some fine saves by Calum Kitscha they would have found themselves more than two goals behind at the interval.
Flint’s side at King George’s Field showed a few changes with skipper Lewis Dark returning whilst Jordan Lawal, cup-tied the previous week at St Neots, replaced Johnville Renee in the right back berth.
The Ks included former Stortford players Elliott Buchanan and Greg Cundle in their starting line-up and Sean Francis was amongst their substitutes.
The hosts controlled the midfield early on and pushed Stortford back on the defensive. Buchanan was soon in the action and following a free-kick from Aaron Lamont in the 4th minute the ball fell to the striker but Kitscha came out to block the ball and then eight minutes later a snap-shot from 25 yards by Buchanan was saved by Kitscha dropping to his left.
Kingstonian took the lead in the 16th minute as Brewer’s long ball forward found Shaun Lucien and he lifted his shot over Kitscha and into the net from a narrow angle.
Kitscha was comfortably the busiest man on the park but Blues did manage a flurry with Jack Thomas, Alfie Mason and Jake Cass going close
However. Kitschaa was again action as denied James Daly before K’s lead was doubled just before the break when Cundle fired just inside the upright after a one-two with Daly
The home side continued on top in the opening minutes of the second half and when Wescott lost possession Lamont cut inside and Kitscha saved well turning the shot for a corner.
But Stortford pulled a goal back. Chris Gregan received the ball on the left in the 54th minute and crossed into the box where an unmarked Cureton headed past Tolfrey inside the near post.
This seemed to spark some life into Stortford and when Gregan crossed into the middle Cass failed to get enough power or direction on his header and the ball passed out harmlessly for a goal-kick.
Kitscha again saved his side when substitute Reece Williams-Bowers squared the ball along the edge of the area and again Lamont let fly only to see the Blues keeper again tip the ball over the bar.
Wescott rounded off a good move with Cureton and Thomas for Stortford in the 76th minute with a low cross through the six yard box and the Blues looked more positive with substitutes Ryan Charles and Toyosi Olusanya entering the fray in the last half-hour.
Three minutes later Stortford were level. Sam Robbins delivered a long pass up to Jake Cass on the edge of the box and the number nine did well to turn the ball into the path of Cureton to drill a low shot to the left of Tolfrey and into the bottom corner from 15 yards.
The contest really opened out in the final ten minutes and Kitscha saved well from Williams-Bowers whilst, at the other end Wescott had a shot blocked following a cross from Gregan.
It looked as though the Blues had done enough to take home a point but in the fifth minute of stoppage time their hearts were broken when then they conceded goal that should easily been averted.
The hosts won a free-kick and although the Blues seemed to have eventually cleared the ball away upfield it was returned into the right-side of the box and through a lack of communication and teamwork by the Stortford defence centre-back Brewer was left in acres of space to take on a few paces and, although Kitscha looked for a split second to have diverted the ball off target, Brewer’s low shot finished in the corner of the net.
STORTFORD: Calum Kitscha; Jordan Lawal (Toyosi Olusanya 77); Chris Gregan; Lewis Dark; Sam Robbins; Lance Akins (Toib Adeyemi 46); Alfie Mason (Ryan Charles 62); Jack Thomas; Jake Cass; Jamie Cureton; Jordan Wescott.
Unused substitutes: Isaac Nkosi and Lewis Byrne-Hewitt.
KINGSTONIAN: Rob Tolfrey; Manolis Gogonas; Tyler Brown; Aaron Lamont; Tommy Brewer; Jay Gasson; Greg Cundle (Scott Day 85); Shaun McAuley (Connor Dymond 77); Elliott Buchanan; James Daly; Shaun Lucien (Reece Williams-Bowers 62).
Unused substitutes: Sean Francis and Olumide Oluwatemilehin
Referee: Joel Mannix