K Sports 1 Rusthall 4
RUSTHALL kept up their chase for a top-two finish in Southern Counties East League Division One with a clinical demolition of K Sports and the welcome return of a prolific goalscorer after a lengthy lay-off.
With Kent Football United’s shock 1-0 home defeat to Orpington the Rustics now need four points from two games to guarantee promotion to the Premier Division and the prospect of local derbies against Tunbridge Wells, Sevenoaks Town and Crowborough Athletic.
Rusthall beat K Sports 6-1 in September despite having a player sent off in the first half. But the hosts had lost just one out of 14 games on their 3G surface.
However, Rusthall took the lead after 19 minutes. From Ian Parson’s corner the home side failed to clear and Jon Lord forced the ball over the line from close range.
K Sports relied on the long ball and it was from this route-one approach that they drew level on 28 minutes.
A free-kick in their own half was pumped into the box and Tom Carr scored despite a valiant effort from Callum Christie, the Rusthall keeper.
On the stroke of half-time, good work down the right saw Parsons deliver an inch-perfect cross and Joe Fuller headed in at the far post.
The Rustics increased their lead on 55 minutes when a superb passing movement found Chris Stoate one on one with keeper Joe Cullip and he finished calmly for his seventh goal of the season.
The biggest cheer came on 71 minutes when Dan Powell came on. He has been out injured for more than five months, and before that he had scored nine times in as many starts.
It took the striker just 13 minutes to remind everyone what he is all about as more excellent approach work saw Parsons play in Powell, who drilled the ball home.
Rusthall have a two-week wait before they visit Crockenhill on Saturday April 15 and then Holmesdale on Easter Monday, April 17.