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Merstham 0
0 Kingstonian

Grier's Guide to Merstham

The match: Merstham v Kingstonian, Isthmian League. Saturday 29 January, 15:00.

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: £10 adults, £6 over 60/disabled/student, £3 U16s

Directions: Close as the crow flies but tricky to get to, it's around a ten minute drive from junction 8 of the M25. Public transport is also awkward, particularly so because of engineering works on South Western Railway. Journey planners suggest going to Wimbledon then getting a tram to East Croydon and a train to Merstham - good practice for those who'll be getting trams to Imperial Fields in the future.

Our record there: The most famous visit was five 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. Bird also got his first win as Ks manager there, a 1-0 win in September 2019.

Recent form: 14th in the league and on an improved run of form with two wins from their last three matches.

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 players James Richmond (centre back) and Chace Jacquart (creative midfielder). Ex West Ham youngster Korrey Henry has scored 13 goals in 17 games.

Crowd: Their average crowd of 194 is second lowest in the league but Ks tend to travel there in good numbers.

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. The Jolly Brickmakers is more of a detour but features a dart board, big screen football and live music.

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 Wednesday 26th January 2022