Merstham match report
Last time Ks faced Merstham it was following a five-game winless start to the season. They won a tight game 1-0 thanks to Tommy Kavanagh and it came as a relief, rather than much cause for celebration, as the Hayden Bird era stumbled slowly into life.
This time round it was a different story – Ks are a cock-a-hoop after a run to the second round of the FA Cup, are looking forward to welcoming Woking next Sunday, and are even improving their league form when they actually get to play matches in between all the cup exploits.
Ks brushed Merstham aside at King George’s Field, showing none of the difficulties they faced at the Moatside back in August and giving fans optimism that a run for the playoffs isn’t yet out of the question.
It took a mere six minutes for Ks to take the lead. Simon Cooper headed a Kenny Beaney corner goalwards and although it was blocked on the line, Ollie Cook was on hand to bundle home the rebound.
Merstham were competitive in the early stages and Rob Tolfrey had to make saves from Shola Ayoola and Yannick Monga. But on 15 minutes Ks scored again and the game was dead as a contest. It again came from a corner, Cooper competing in the air and the ball dropping for a grateful Louie Thoephanous to fire home from close range.
Ks missed a number of chances to add to the lead before the break. Dan Bennett fired wide after a Dan Hector cross, goalkeeper Matte Pierson saved from Reece Hall and Bennett and Hector both fired over from close range.
The third eventually came just before the hour mark, Hall feeding Bennett who scrapped his way past Edwin Mensah before beating Pierson with a delightful dink from the edge of the box. And it was another lovely goal that saw Ks go four up, Theophanous finding the far corner from a tight angle after a nice through ball by Beaney.
He was denied a hat-trick late on by a fine last-ditch block but soon he, and Ks, were celebrating one of their more comfortable wins.
Kingstonian: Rob Tolfrey, Sean Clohessy, Fabio Saraiva, Simon Cooper, Ollie Cook, Tom Kavanagh, Dan Bennett, Kenny Beaney, Louie Theophanous, Reece Hall, Dan Hector.
Subs: Eddie Dsane (for Dan Bennett, 72m), Gus Sow (for Reece Hall, 72m), Jerry Puemo (for Ollie Cook, 77m), Youssef Bamba, Dan Thompson.
Merstham: Matte Pierson, Ellis Brown, James O'Halloran, EJ Mensah, James Richmond, Jalen Jones, Chace Jacquart, Aaron Lamont, Omar Folkes, Shola Ayoola, Yannick Monga.
Subs: Christian Gitau Eneremadu (for Shola Ayoola, 72m), Jamie Splatt, Barry Hayles, Marco Sousa-Pina (for Yannick Monga, 62m), Pochu Mendes-Calucane (for Jalen Jones, 62m).
Goal scorers: Ollie Cook (6m, 1-0), Louie Theophanous (15m, 2-0), Dan Bennett (57m, 3-0), Louie Theophanous (71m, 4-0)