There is still plenty of fire up front without McCollin
Kingstonian’s deadly attack will be not be blunted by the suspension of leading scorer Andre McCollin, says boss Alan Dowson.
The 27-year-old striker was sent off in the season opener at East Thurrock and starts a three-match ban this weekend.
McCollin will miss the Ryman League Premier Division clashes against Leiston on Sunday and the trip to Bury Town in a fortnight. He also misses the FA Cup first round qualifying tie at Guildford City on September 8.
But Dowson says he has the strength in depth to cope with the absence of his star man despite his recent goalscoring record of four goals in the past three games.
Dowson said: “Andre has finished with a bang. But he made a mistake in getting sent off and he is paying for it now, and the club are paying for it because he is an important player for us. We will miss him.
“But having said that, I have options up front. Craig Mullen has come in and done very well. I’ve got Sam Clayton, Wade Small and Dean Lodge who can play up front.
“Lodge missed Monday’s game with a calf strain but we think he will be fit for Saturday – but if he is 50/50 I won’t play him because I have enough depth.
“Goma Lambu has come in and done well, but if Lodge is fit he will play because he has been excellent for me.”
Dowson is still without summer signing and striker Mark Nwokeji, while Lodge and Small will undergo fitness tests ahead of the visit of Leiston on Sunday.
Leiston, from Suffolk, have endured a difficult start to the season, collecting only two points from four games to sit second from bottom.
But Dowson, with his Ks lying third, is determined not to underestimate his opponents and knows from experience that early season form means little in the long run.
He said: “I remember last year when we had played four games, lost all four, were bottom of the league and had conceded 18 goals.
“Then we went to Hendon who were second top and we beat them.
“You cannot really use the table as a guide to form until you’re closer to Christmas.
“We beat Concord Rangers on Monday and they are struggling in the bottom six, but I can tell you they will be top eight come the end of the season, they are a good side.
“Other managers I have spoken to say Leiston are not a bad side, so they will have our respect. But ultimately we are out to beat them.”
Kingstonian’s chosen charity, the Emily Ash Trust for children with cancer, is holding a 5km fun run on Sunday to raise funds. To take part, be at the River Club, Old Malden Lane, Old Malden, at 9.45am for a 10am start. Minimum donation is £5 with all funds raised going to the trust.
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