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Merstham 1
Ekpiteta (66')
2 Kingstonian
Osborne (4'), Buchanan (39')

Grier's Guide to Merstham

When: Tuesday 6 October, 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 that's great for making a bit of noise.

Ticket prices: £10 adults, £6 concessions (over 60s, students, disabled), £3 under 16s

Covid security: Merstham encourage visitors to download the NHS Covid-19 app to check in for test and trace at the ground. The bar will be open with face coverings required until seated at a table. Merstham do not sell tickets online, they can be purchased either in the main bar or at the turnstiles.

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: No Ks fan will ever forget our visit of 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. Last season saw Bird's first win as Ks manager, against his former club, thanks to a Tom Kavanagh strike.

Recent form: Merstham opened their league campaign with losses to Hornchurch and Enfield Town. They exited the FA Cup to AFC Dunstable on penalties after a 2-2 draw.

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 team includes centre-back James Richmond, another ex-K, and former Tooting captain Sol Patterson-Bohner. Assistant Manager Barry Hayles, a full Jamaica international and Premier League star, occasionally turned out last season at the age of 47, even managing to score a couple of goals.

Crowd: Merstham only averaged 191 last season but Ks tend to travel there in good numbers.

Drinking: The Feathers Hotel, a short walk from the station, is the obvious place to go for a pre-match pint. It's a large and pleasant enough chain pub with typical pub grub on the menu and a large outdoor seating area.

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 Monday 28th September 2020