Bird flies nest of crisis club Carshalton as Ks hit the top

Croydon Guardian: Coming back to what you know: Defender Tom Bird is back at Ks Coming back to what you know: Defender Tom Bird is back at Ks

Full back Tom Bird is hoping to rebuild some bridges at Kingsmeadow following a shock switch back to Kingstonian after being released by crisis club Carshalton Athletic.

Ks, featuring Bird in their starting line-up for the first time since last season, went top of the Ryman Premier League on Saturday with a convincing 3-1 win over Lewes.

The talented left-back switched to Colston Avenue in the summer after being courted by big spending Robins owner and manager Paul Dipre, who stunned fans last week by releasing his leading contracted players.

Bird, whose original Bosman move to the Robins is still subject to a tribunal hearing over the level of compensation Ks are entitled to receive, suddenly found himself without a club.

And the 23-year-old admitted that, while his relationship with Ks chief Alan Dowson had soured last season, he hoped to put that behind them in exchange for a shot at winning the league.

"Things aren’t right at Carshalton," he said.

"I was happy to leave, to be honest. The team wasn't gelling. With the brilliant players we had we should have been doing a lot better."
 

"Me and Dowse did fall out at the end of last season.

"We weren’t talking at all. I was injured and wasn’t playing well. When the summer came, Carshalton showed an interest.

"‘It wasn’t about cash. I wanted to play for a team that expected to win the league and I’m ambitious. But I never should have left. It wasn’t the same there.

"I’m comfortable at Ks.  Dowse is the best manager I’ve ever had."

"I saw Kingstonian had got off to a great start and there are some very good players here now.

"I want to win the league with Ks and prove myself again to everybody."

Bird lined up behind winger Dean Lodge, another prodigal son now returned to Dowson, as Ks dominated an entertaining first-half on Saturday.

Wade Small continued his fine form, latching on to a through-ball from Lodge in the 10th minute before lashing the ball across Kieron Thorp into the net.

Lewes' sizeable away following had something to cheer when Anthony Thomas cut in from the left and curled a beautiful shot into the far corner, but Ks always looked likely to retake the lead.

They did so through Small’s fifth of the season, the former Sheffield Wednesday striker keeping his balance after rounding the keeper and slotting home from a tight angle.

Any remaining hope harboured by the Sussex side drained away when Ben Godfrey was dismissed for two elbow challenges in the air before half-time. Ks then made the game safe 15 minutes from the end.

A superb kick from Rob Tolfrey found Sam Clayton on the right-hand side. He crossed to Lodge whose heavy touch fortuitously took him past the keeper and he finished from two yards out.

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