Kingstonian are back to the top of the league after a goalless draw at third-placed Hornchurch on Saturday.

Alan Dowson’s side rarely share the points but most fans agreed with the manager that the result represented a decent return considering the club's recent mixed fortunes against the Ryman Premier League's top teams.

“They’re one of the promotion favourites, they’ve got a good record here so we’ll take the point,” said Dowson.

“It’s a fantastic point. We’ve worked ever so hard.

“We went to Maidstone and played well, but got beat 2-0.

“We went to Lowestoft and had five chances and lost. So we had the guts.

"We didn’t look like getting beat.”

With other promotion rivals in Trophy action, the result was enough to move the K’s above Maidstone United at the summit.

It was the away side’s fourth clean-sheet in a row, and with former Hastings player-manager Sean Ray on the bench ready to fill in at centre-back, the team looks strengthened for the run-up to Christmas.

Hornchurch’s athletics stadium often leads to a subdued atmosphere, but this match had some edge, especially with the impressive Frankie Curley barking his way around the pitch for the Urchins.

Tempers got more frayed in the second half until the referee sent Dowson to the stands for what appeared to be a case of misplaced banter taken as abuse.

Stalemate would be too harsh a word for a game that remained engaging to the end – though the closest K’s came to hitting the net was when Tommy Kavanagh struck the ball high into the discus cage.

For all the bustle of Ryan Moss and Andre McCollin up front, the midfield too often lacked the penultimate, let alone final, ball to release them.

The Urchins, relegated from the Conference South last season, will regret two missed opportunities.

Striker George Purcell hit the cross-bar with a weighted volley while Rickie Hayles headed straight at Rob Tolfrey in the second half.

K’s host in-form Lewes next Saturday.