Saraiva Double Defeats K’s Squad
Merstham come from behind to defeat Kingstonian 2-1 in both teams' final pre-season game.
It was a feisty affair at the home of the Moatsiders in Kingstonian's last pre-season friendly of 2014. The old cliché of "a game of two halves" was evident as Kingstonian were excellent in the first half and Merstham had the upper hand in the second stanza.
K's took the lead in the 27th minute when Sam Page headed home from short range at the far post from a corner. Both teams made a dizzying myriad of substitutions at half time as they sought to give as many players some match fitness on the eve of the big kick-off on Saturday.
The game got officially feisty when a hard tackle from Stefan Cox on Juan Onieva resulted in the Merstham man being substituted at the behest of the referee, although the referee allowed him to return after a cooling down period. Merstham's ace goalscorer Fabio Saravia was the difference between the teams in the second half, equalising in the 77th minute from the penalty spot after a piece of defensive miscommunication resulted in Aaron Rhule being felled in the area, and three minutes later Saraiva scored a beauty of a goal, a free-kick from at least twenty yards out.
Both sides should be happy with the evening's work, it was a very competitive match between two teams who will definitely be aiming towards the upper echelons of their respective divisions when the stuff for points begins on Saturday.