Kingstonian face a home replay against Romford on Monday night for a place in the third qualifying round of the FA Cup.

Despite there being £7,500 at stake and the first round proper only three games away, the magic of the cup was in short supply during a goalless draw on Saturday in front of a low crowd of 125 at Thurrock’s Ship Lane.

But Kingstonian goalkeeping coach Matt Lovett provided a touch of romance on an otherwise grey Essex day.

The 35-year-old, who has made only two competitive appearances since 2011, came off the bench after Rob Tolfrey suffered concussion in the 15th minute and duly kept a steady clean-sheet.

Lovett endured a series of appalling injuries from 2010-12 which effectively ended his playing career at Hampton & Richmond Borough.

He joined Ks in the summer as a coach but, with regular youth reserve Ben Dudzinski leaving to take up a place at university, Lovett suddenly found himself back as a substitute.

The loss of Tolfrey wasn’t the only misfortune.

Ks had their rhythm disrupted by a number of late Romford challenges, Aaron Goode departed with a knee injury while the influential Steve Laidler was withdrawn at half-time.

Manager Tommy Williams had kept faith with the team that won 2-1 at Peacehaven in midweek, with Elvis Hammond and Andre McCollin leading the line.

Despite the chaos developing behind them in midfield, the front two created enough to win the game on their own. McCollin in particular hit the bar and had a short-corner routine blocked on the line.

Romford, languishing in the lower-reaches of the Ryman One North, offered little going forward, bar one effort which Josh Casey cleared, but the Essex team pumped long balls into the box for Lovett to either claim or punch under pressure.

In the closing minutes, as the match finally stretched, Ks midfielder Tyrone Berry drifted forward and struck the post from 25 yards.

The draw for the third qualifying round will be conducted on Monday afternoon.