Log in or Register
Merstham 0
2 Kingstonian
Buchanan (16'), Sow (47')

Grier's Guide to Merstham

When: Tuesday 15 December, 7.45pm

The club: The Moatsiders' history dates back to 1892 but it's only since 2008 that they've been an Isthmian League Club. They've enjoyed unprecedented success over the last decade or so, much of it under Hayden Bird, including three Surrey Senior Cups and reaching the FA Cup first round.

The town: Village to the north of Redhill and Reigate long-known for its quarries and mines. Mining was first recorded there in the Domesday Book, almost 1000 years ago, and Alfred Nobel gave the first public demonstration of dynamite in Merstham in 1868.

The ground: The Whisky Bible Stadium, Weldon Way, Merstham, Redhill, RH1 3QB. A compact but neat ground with a low-roofed terrace behind one of the goals.

Ticket prices: £5 adults, £1 U16s

Covid security: Merstham encourage visitors to download the NHS Covid-19 app to check in for test and trace at the ground. Tickets will be available on the gate.

Directions: Close as the crow flies but fiddly to get to, it's around a ten minute drive from junction 8 of the M25. Public transport is also awkward with the quickest route being to head up to Clapham Junction and back out again.

Our record there: The most famous visit was three seasons ago when Rob Tolfrey made a dramatic late penalty save to ensure we held on for a 1-0 win and staved off the threat of relegation. Earlier this season we won 2-1, our only away win in six attempts this season.

Recent form: Currently bottom the league, a 3-0 win over Corinthian-Casuals was their only victory of the campaign so far.

Players to watch: Manager Frank Wilson had a short spell at Ks as assistant to Kim Harris at the end of the 2018-19 season. His side includes ex-Ks youngsters Calum Davies and Chace Jacquart. Assistant Manager Barry Hayles, a full Jamaica international and Premier League star, still occasionally turns out at the age of 48.

Crowd: Merstham have an improved average of 254 this season and Ks tend to travel there in good numbers. But a friendly on a Tuesday night, when we don't know if and when the league will resume, might well test that.

Drinking: The Feathers Hotel, a short walk from the station, is a large and pleasant enough chain pub with typical pub grub on the menu and a large outdoor seating area if you want to brave it on a winter's night. A substantial meal will be compulsory and mixing with other households is only allowed outdoors.

Food: Plenty of choice at this one - the shops near Feathers and the station include two cafes, a chippy and the well-rated Pizza Project Cafe. Right by the ground there's a Co-op, a kebab shop, a curry house and another chippy.

Published Sunday 13th December 2020