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First Team - Match centre

Merstham
Kingstonian
R Hall (40' Pen)
Full time
T Derry (62'), L Taylor (66' Pen)
Mon 28 Aug 15:00 - The Bostik Football League - Premier Division Attendance 251

K's Score! K's Score Again! K's Win!

After three scoreless games, K's strike twice in three minutes to defeat Merstham.

Match report by Simon Grier.

Jamie Cutteridge's interview with manager Craig Edwards can be found here on YouTube.

When a team is coming off consecutive 5-0 and 4-0 defeats then they will take a win - or perhaps even a draw - however ugly it comes. And it doesn't really get any uglier than winning by bundling two goals in four minutes from launching long throws into the box; yet that was exactly how Ks overcame Merstham to get back on track.

Manolis Gogonas was rightly praised for an energetic midfield performance against an opponent who, after making two substitutions, fielded no fewer than six former Ks players. But, despite conceding the first half penalty from which Merstham opened the scoring, it was his throw-ins that were the real difference maker, causing the chaos in the home side's box that led to Ks first equalising and then taking the lead themselves. Not since the days of Wayne Finnie and Richard Taylor has the long throw been a serious threat in the Ks arsenal.

The first half was far from an encouraging one for Ks. A mere 12 minutes in they picked up a pair of injuries, Craig Edwards forced to replace Aaron Goode and Ricky Sappleton with Alec Fiddes and Tom Derry. Goode's injury, a groin strain, appears to be the more serious of the two and is expected to keep him out for a few weeks.

And then, despite having marginally the better of a quiet half, the work was undone by another defensive error. Ex-K Dan Bennett worked his way into the box where Gogonas lunged and brought him down; Ryan Hall converted the penalty.

Given that Ks were now without a goal, or indeed a great many shots on target, in five and a half hours of football the fans were hardly optimistic about the second half. The side produced a much-improved performance though and on 52 minutes Chris Haigh had to make an impressive double save to deny Ben Ward-Cochrane after he cut in from the left.

The equaliser arrived on 62 minutes in remarkably simple fashion: Gagonis hurled it into the box, Sam Page flicked on and Derry reacted fastest to bundle past Haigh. After a prolific pre-season he'll have been glad to open his competitive account.

And then just four minutes later Ks were ahead. Again Gagonis' throw-in caused trouble for Merstham and after they were unable to clear their lines substitute Sinn'Kaye Christie handled in the box. Lewis Taylor stepped up to send Haigh the wrong way from the penalty spot.

Merstham certainly had the better of the remaining 24 minutes but Rob Tolfrey and his defence held firm, including imposing new centre-half Claudiu Vilcu. Merstham had their chances - Alex Addai fired over after a typically dangerous run and Tolfrey did well to keep out a powerful Nathan Gordon 20-yarder and a Jake Hutchings header.

Mostly though, a succession of corners and free kicks for the home side were repelled by a Ks side showing far more ability to defend set pieces than they had in their two previous games. On a baking hot August bank holiday, Ks' conditioning through their second game in three days might also have been helped by the pre-season trip to Gibraltar. They might remain far from convincing, particularly in attack, but for now an impressively ugly win has hopefully restored some confidence ahead of FA Cup week.

Merstham: Chris Haigh, Michael Abnett, Nathan Gordon, Tommy Kavanagh, Simon Cooper, Jake Hutchings, Dan Bennett, Sean Bonnett-Johnson, Ibrahim Fofana, Ryan Hall, Youssef Bamba.

Subs: Alex Addai (for Sean Bonnett-Johnson, 67m), Reece Hall (for Youssef Bamba, 67m), Ben Harrison, Malik Onwugbonu, Sinn'Kaye Christie (for Simon Cooper, 58m).

Kingstonian: Rob Tolfrey, Aaron Goode, Toby Little, Manolis Gogonas, Sam Page, Claudiu Vilcu, Paul Rodgers, Lewis Taylor, Ricky Sappleton, Ben Ward-Cochrane, Kyle Spence.

Subs: Rokas Janilionis, Tom Derry (for Ricky Sappleton, 11m), Jack Parter (for Kyle Spence, 64m), Alec Fiddes (for Aaron Goode, 11m), James Haran.

Goalscorers: Reece Hall (40m pen, 1-0), Tom Derry (62m, 1-1), Lewis Taylor (65m, 1-2)

Attendance: 251

Key moments

40:00
Scored Penalty Ryan Hall scores a penalty for Merstham
62:00
Goal Tom Derry scores for Kingstonian
66:00
Scored Penalty Lewis Taylor scores a penalty for Kingstonian

Highlights

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67:00 Sub Off
Sean Bonnett-Johnson is substituted off for Merstham
67:00 Sub On
Alex Addai is substituted on for Merstham
67:00 Sub Off
Youssef Bamba is substituted off for Merstham
67:00 Sub On
Reece Hall is substituted on for Merstham
66:00 Scored Penalty 1 - 2
Lewis Taylor scores a penalty for Kingstonian
64:00 Sub Off
Kyle Spence is substituted off for Kingstonian
64:00 Sub On
Jack Parter is substituted on for Kingstonian
62:00 Goal 1 - 1
Tom Derry scores for Kingstonian
58:00 Sub Off
Simon Cooper is substituted off for Merstham
58:00 Sub On
Sinn'Kaye Christie is substituted on for Merstham
End of period 1
40:00 Scored Penalty 1 - 0
Ryan Hall scores a penalty for Merstham
11:00 Sub Off
Aaron Goode is substituted off for Kingstonian
11:00 Sub On
Alec Fiddes is substituted on for Kingstonian
11:00 Sub Off
Ricky Sappleton is substituted off for Kingstonian
11:00 Sub On
Tom Derry is substituted on for Kingstonian
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Merstham
  • Kingstonian
  • 0
  • Aaron Goode Sub Off 11:00'
  • Alec Fiddes Sub On 11:00'
  • Ricky Sappleton Sub Off 11:00'
  • Tom Derry Sub On 11:00'
  • Ryan Hall Scored Penalty 40:00'
  • Simon Cooper Sub Off 58:00'
  • Sinn'Kaye Christie Sub On 58:00'
  • Tom Derry Goal 62:00'
  • Kyle Spence Sub Off 64:00'
  • Jack Parter Sub On 64:00'
  • Lewis Taylor Scored Penalty 66:00'
  • Sean Bonnett-Johnson Sub Off 67:00'
  • Alex Addai Sub On 67:00'
  • Youssef Bamba Sub Off 67:00'
  • Reece Hall Sub On 67:00'

Team selection

Merstham
  • 1. Chris Haigh
  • 2. Michael Abnett
  • 3. Nathan Gordon
  • 4. Tommy Kavanagh
  • 5. Simon Cooper
  • 6. Jake Hutchings
  • 7. Dan Bennett
  • 8. Sean Bonnett-Johnson
  • 9. Ibrahim Fofana
  • 10. Ryan Hall
  • 11. Youssef Bamba
  • 12. Alex Addai
  • 14. Reece Hall
  • 15. Ben Harrison
  • 16. Malik Onwugbonu
  • 17. Sinn'Kaye Christie

League round up

Other Premier Division results

Burgess Hill Town
4
1
Worthing
2
1
Tooting & Mitcham United
Hendon
6
0
Margate
1
0
Dorking Wanderers
Staines Town
0
5
Wingate & Finchley
0
5
Billericay Town
2
3
Folkestone Invicta

League table

# Team Pl Pts
10. Brightlingsea Regent 19 27
11. Wingate & Finchley 17 25
12. Kingstonian 19 25
13. Lowestoft Town 19 22
14. Harrow Borough 19 21
15. Enfield Town 15 20
16. Merstham 19 20

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