Kingstonian climbed into second place in the league with an eventful 2-1 win away to Hendon on Saturday, thanks to an influential performance from new boy Charlie Knight.

Captain Sam Page was superb at centre-half, tussling for 90 minutes with former Oxford striker Jefferson Louis, who proved a constant, hulking menace for the Greens.

It was Page’s partner at the back, Matt Drage, who opened the scoring.

Winger Knight, signed from Salisbury in midweek, headed a deep corner towards goal and Drage was left free to convert from two yards out.

Knight, who is said to have turned down four other clubs to join K’s following a move to London, showed great promise with the ball at his feet, jinking inside and out on a sweet left foot - if not quite a non-league Messi, then perhaps a Martyn Lee.

Ryan Moss, who had endured a relative drought by his high standards, made it two on the half-hour, bullying 18-year-old keeper Charlie Harlock into dropping the ball from a cross before tapping the ball into an empty net.

Hendon, who are playing home games at Harrow’s Earlsmead ground this season, and struggling for crowds as a result - there were less than 200 in attendance - have been in decent form and when Michael Murray made it 2-1 before the break, K’s had reason for concern.

But the second-half descended into a succession of bizarre refereeing decisions and angry confrontations, with two solid penalty claims for the K’s being waved away, including a handball that would have been visible from space.

“How we didn’t get two penalties was absolutely ridiculous,” said K’s manager Alan Dowson, who added his team had been fired up by criticism after last week's FA Cup defeat.

“The one with Moss, the keeper’s just taken him out. Moss is injured [in the dressing room]. And the handball – how’s that not a penalty?”

A side with backbone needs a good spine and from Rob Tolfrey in goal to Page at the back, Tommy Kavanagh in midfield and Moss leading the line, the away team held on for three points despite late pressure.

K’s will return to the top of the league if they win at Metropolitan Police on Tuesday night. They host Leiston next Saturday.