Merstham match report
match report by James Maw
Kingstonian slumped to a 15th league defeat in 17th matches, as Merstham sealed a deserved 2-0 Bank Holiday victory at Moatside.
Other results over the Easter weekend had already secured our Bostik Premier status for 2019-20, but who doesn't like ending a season on a high note?
K's started well at the home of our playoff chasing hosts, with Louie Theophanous coming close to breaking the deadlock on five minutes, surging through before seeing his low drive smothered at the second attempt by Moatsiders keeper Amadou Tangara.
Arguably the highlight of the afternoon from a K's perspective came five minutes later, when, in the process of trying to run past the linesman, winger Gokhan Can absolutely clattered the oblivious flag bearer, sending the official tumbling to the ground. It's been one of those seasons where joyous moments of slapstick nonsense make all the difference.
There was nothing slapstick (or, from our perspective, joyous) about Merstham's opener, however.
Midfielder Fabio Saraiva brilliantly picked out the run of Roman Michael-Percil, who burst into our penalty area. The Merstham No.11 was able to awkwardly jink past Rob Tolfrey, but saw his shot hacked off the line. Sadly for K's, Gus Sow was there to fire in the rebound.
The hosts took a stranglehold of the remaining 15 minutes of the first half, and doubled their lead just before the interval.
This time, it was Kenny Beaney who picked out Michael-Percil. The former Spurs academy prospect cut in from the left and unexpectedly drilled a powerful shot past Tolfrey at his near post.
Kim Harris' side pushed hard for a goal in the second half, with substitute Mike Dixon coming the closest to halfing the deficit. The striker - who has impressed in recent weeks - rattled the underside of the crossbar from six yards when it would perhaps would have been easier to score. Merstham eventually cleared the ball after a brief penalty box 'stramash' that could have completely changed the dynamic of the match, had the ball fallen more kindly for the visitors.
With the sun beating down, K's enjoyed more possession in the second half, but struggled to carve good openings.
Some good work by Theophanous on the right ended with a drilled ball across the six yard box that Delano Sam-Yorke was unable to prod home (think Gazza against Germany at Euro 96).
Aaron Lamont later tested Tangara with a free kick, before Merstham's Saraiva rattled the bar late on with a set-piece of his own.
The traveling K's faithful were at least able to enjoy a brief kickabout in the Bank Holiday sunshine, but that was about it.
Hey, there's always next season, right...?