Jamie Cureton goal not enough as Bishop's Stortford begin 2020 with defeat to Kingstonian in BetVictor Isthmian League, Premier Division
Bishop's Stortford began 2020 with a 2-1 home defeat to Kingstonian in the BetVictor Isthmian League, Premier Division on New Year's Day.
Without a game since December 10 due to the weather, the Blues lost their first match of the new decade against a team they had beaten convincingly in August.
Reece Hall and Sean Clohessy scored either side of the break for the visitors, with player-manager Jamie Cureton's late penalty a mere consolation.
Stortford started slowly and for the first period of the match looked like a side lacking sharpness. Ex-Blue Louie Theophanous had a good chance to open the scoring early on, but the hosts managed to scramble the ball away after the striker had made space for a shot inside the box before Hall went close with an outside-of-the-boot shot from the edge of the box.
David Manu recovered from being tackled and shot at goal from a tight angle following a run down the right for the Blues, when maybe the better option was to cut it back to Shomari Barnwell who was waiting in the middle.
After Ryan Henshaw headed wide of the target from Alex Warman's free kick, Stortford fell behind. There was controversy surrounding the goal, with Manu fouled in the centre circle and the K's breaking away to force a corner when it should have been a goal kick.
Hall struck from long range, beating Burbidge with a curling effort from the edge of the box after the corner, and skipper Henshaw was booked for his protests.
Jack Thomas had a great chance to equalise for the Blues with a volley from the edge of the box, but it went just wide with goalkeeper Rob Tolfrey rooted to the spot.
Clohessy doubled the K's lead with the first chance after the break. Alfie Mason misjudged a bouncing ball and Clohessy volleyed across goal and into the bottom corner.
It should have been 3-0 moments later when the visitors found themselves with three in behind the defence with just Fred Burbidge to beat, but somehow Hall could not find the target.
Substitute Mark Haines played a beauty of a through ball into Barnwell's path with his first involvement in the game, but Tolfrey was out well to prevent a shot.
Harry Osborne then made a last-ditch tackle to deny a shot for Manu, before Burbidge saved a shot at the other end and Jordan Wescott managed to clear.
Manu made a great run to the byline and, after he beat the defender who was trying to shepherd the ball out for a corner, Clohessy was on hand to deny the tap-in with a sliding clearance.
After Burbidge made a good save to prevent a third K's goal, Manu was fouled for a certain penalty. Cureton sent Tolfrey the wrong way from the spot to score his seventh goal in his last seven games, but there was not enough time for an equaliser.
Stortford: Burbidge, Wescott, Thomas, Robbins, Henshaw, Warman (Haines 55), Hammond (Cureton 65), Manu, Mason (Campbell-Mhlope 51), Sweeney, Barnwell. Not used: Baxter, McClenaghan.
Kingstonian: Tolfrey, Clohessy, Saraiva, Osborne, Cook, Beaney, Bennett, Sow, Theophanous (Dsane 76), Hall, Hector (Kavanagh 70). Not used: Davies, Cooper, Puemo.