Photo: Sue Austen


Merstham FC 2009/10 Season

Saturday 24th April 2010
Ryman League Division One South
Sittingbourne v Merstham
(HT 2-0)
Scorers:
Team: Jos Iles, Tom Hughes, Wesley Bartlett (David Smith), Bradley Duke (c), Colin Harvey, Steve Rollinson, James Hancock, Troy Ferguson (Ryan Elsey), Gavin Gordon (Mark Wardell),  Billy Marshall, Dale Marvell
Unused Subs: Wes Goggin, Ian Chatfield (GK)
Merstham Man of the Match: Billy Marshall
Referee: TBA
Attendance: 130
Match Sponsors: N/A
Earlier This Season: Merstham 0 Sittingbourne  3 (Hicham Akhazzan (2), Eli Kayembe)
Last Season: Sittingbourne 0 Merstham 1 (Gavin Gordon)
Photos (Click on Name):
Match Review: Graeme Banyard decided to give some of Merstham’s up and coming players the chance of first team football and the inexperience of the new look defence showed as Jimmy Bottle gave the home side the lead with less than five minutes played after Tom Bradbrook had eluded Wesley Bartlett. His low cross gave Jimmy Bottle at easy tap home. Merstham tried to get back in the game but on 28 minutes Bottle turned provider and Bradbrook double Sittingbourne’s lead. Merstham looked better in the second half but the damage was done and so ended Merstham’s second season in the League finishing in sixteenth place. - Johnny Moatside

Match Report: David Kirkaldy
Merstham finished the season with a defeat following a dismal away performance against Sittingbourne. Jimmy Bottle, who proved to be a constant threat throughout, gave the hosts the perfect start after scoring inside the opening five minutes. Merstham’s Billy Marshall struck the post from 25 yards in what turned out to be a pivotal moment midway through the first half as moments later Tom Bradbrook doubled Sittingbourne’s advantage to cruise to victory.

With both teams safe in mid-table, Merstham decided to field a younger side in preparation for next season but their inexperienced showed when Sittingbourne took the lead on four minutes. Bradbrook burst past Wesley Bartlett on the right and his low driven cross picked out Bottle for the simplest of finishes at the back post. Merstham’s Bradley Duke could count himself fortunate not to have doubled the hosts lead after he deflected Bottle’s cross off the top of his own crossbar. But the visitors did come close to an equaliser on 24 minutes when Marshall’s 25-yard effort was pushed onto the post by goalkeeper Deren Ibrahim. Marshall’s effort proved to be crucial as Sittingbourne scored less than four minutes later. Bottle returned the favour for Bradbrook who ran in front of defender Tom Hughes and prodded the ball between keeper Jos Iles and his near post. Sittingbourne created several opportunities to extend their lead before the interval. Bottle sliced an effort wide following Steve Marshall’s flick on, Bradbrook cut inside Colin Harvey but failed to find the far corner by inches and James Hancock cleared another Bottle effort off the line after Iles failed to gather the ball inside the area.

Merstham looked determined at the start of the second half as Marshall managed to burst past two defenders but Gavin Gordon could not get on the end of his low cross. But just like their season, after a promising start the visitors grew frustrated and lacked ideas illustrated after Troy Ferguson sliced his long range effort wide of the post. David Smith, Ryan Elsey and Mark Waddell failed to make an impact from the bench for Merstham while Bottle, who could have scored a hat-trick, missed another one-on-one opportunity with Iles as the winger somehow fired wide. The heat took its toll on the game and as the game drew its conclusion the young Merstham side failed to unlock the Sittingbourne defence but the team will look forward to next season as they aim to find the consistency to mount a playoff challenge.

 

Saturday 17th April 2010
Ryman League Division One South
Merstham 0 v 0 Leatherhead
(HT 0-0)
Scorers:
Team: Ian Chatfield, Tom Hughes, Freddie Myers, Bradley Duke, Craig Vernon (James Hancock), Troy Ferguson, David Smith (Adam Moriarty), Wes Goggin (c) (Ross White), Gavin Gordon,  Billy Marshall, Dale Marvell
Subs:  Barney Saunders, Jos Iles (GK)
Merstham Man of the Match: Tom Hughes
Referee: C. Wicks (Reading)
Attendance: 373
Match Sponsors: Chapman & Son Butchers
Earlier This Season: Leatherhead 3 (Tommy Hutchings (2), Kevin Terry) Merstham 1 (Gavin Gordon)
Last Season: Merstham 1 (Kwabena Agyei) Leatherhead 0
Photos (Click on Name): Sue Austen
Match Review:  Merstham recorded their third successive draw as they took on Mick Sullivan’s promotion chasing Leatherhead. Things could have been different if Dale Marvell had managed to convert a penalty minutes before the break and Gavin Gordon hadn’t headed just wide of an open goal deep in the second half. Leatherhead weren’t without their chances and could have sealed the game in injury time when Luke Pigden headed a Mark Simmons cross straight into Ian Chatfield’s arms. The result puts pressure on Leatherhead’s play-off bid who are now only one point in front of rivals Fleet Town both having just two games left to play. Merstham remained in sixteenth place with their final game of the season away at Sittingbourne next Saturday. - Johnny Moatside

Match Report: David Kirkaldy
Merstham held rivals Leatherhead to a goalless draw in their final home match of the season as the hosts recorded their third successive draw. The game marked the return of former manager Mick Sullivan to The Moatside after leaving for the visitors last summer with both teams in contrasting league positions. Leatherhead have started to look anxiously over their shoulders in their quest to secure a playoff place while Merstham comfortably in mid-table look to build a settled team ready for next season.

Both sides created numerous opportunities to snatch victory in this eagerly-anticipated contest but it was the visitors who should have opened the scoring on the half hour mark. Kevin Terry broke through the Merstham defence and took the ball round Ian Chatfield but after being dragged wide of the goal Tom Hughes managed to track back and clear the striker’s effort onto the post. From the rebound, Terry struck the outside of the same post as the hosts could count themselves fortunate not to have fallen behind. The tables turned five minutes later as Merstham were awarded a penalty after Dan Dean needlessly brought down Wes Goggin. Dale Marvell failed to score for the fourth successive game as Colin Harris brilliantly saved the spot kick diving low to his right. Merstham could have taken the lead right before half-time as Gavin Gordon cleverly spotted Harris off his line but the striker’s speculative lob drifted over the bar and the teams went into the half-time break level.

The second half offered little excitement with Marvell’s free-kick clipping the roof of the net and Leatherhead Luke Pigden’s tame shot while one-on-one with Chatfield the only highlights as both teams looked destined to draw. But the game soared into life in the final five minutes after Hughes powered his header from Marvell’s corner against the crossbar. Then moments later Gordon somehow missed an open goal after he put his header into the side netting after Harris parried Billy Marshall’s volley from close range. Pigden could have snatched victory for Leatherhead in injury time but headed straight into Ian Chatfield's arms after a great pick out by Mark Simmons but in the end both teams had to settle for a point apiece.

 

Saturday 10th April 2010
Ryman League Division One South
Worthing 1 v 1 Merstham
(HT 1-1)
Scorers: Dale Marvell (pen)
Team: Ian Chatfield, Tom Hughes, Freddie Myers (Wesley Bartlett), Bradley Duke, Craig Vernon, Troy Ferguson, David Smith, Wes Goggin (c), Gavin Gordon (Ross White),  Billy Marshall (Reggie Savage), Dale Marvell
Unused Subs: Adam Moriarty, James Hancock
Merstham Man of the Match: Ian Chatfield
Referee: M. O'Keefe
Attendance: 265
Match Sponsors: N/A
Earlier This Season: Merstham 3 (Mu Maan, Julian Owusu-Bekoe Billy Marshall) Worthing 2 (Jamie Brotherton, Gavin Gordon)
Last Season: Worthing 4 Merstham 2 (Kwabena Agyei, Dean Gunner)
Photos (Click on Name): Sue Austen
Match Review: Dale Marvell made it three goals in three games as Merstham took a point from this game against a very disappointed Worthing team. Ben Williamson opened the scoring for the Rebels on 25 minutes knocking home a cross from Ryan Woodford. About ten minutes later Merstham were awarded a controversial penalty, which the referee later said was for an ‘off the ball’ incident. Marvell stepped up and fired home his fifth goal of the season. Worthing probably had the better chances of the second half but some fine work between the sticks by Ian Chatfield kept them at bay. -  Johnny Moatside

Match Report: David Kirkaldy
Merstham claimed a fantastic point after a hard fought battle against promotion chasing Worthing. Ben Williamson put the hosts ahead midway through the first half but the lead lasted only 11 minutes as Dale Marvell equalised from the penalty spot. Merstham have goalkeeper Ian Chatfield to thank for keeping them in the game after he denied the visitors on several occasions as the visitors record their second successive draw.

With the sun shinning there was a carnival atmosphere around The A2B stadium as the home fans had high hopes of promotion to the Ryman Premier through the playoffs. And their team started just as brightly but Chatfield quickly denied Worthing after making a string of good saves. First, he saved Stuart Axton’s header from a Jaime Brotherton corner. Next the keeper turned Brett Patton’s drive from the edge of the area around the post. Then he dashed out to deny fullback Ryan Woodford an attempt at goal after the defender had past Freddie Myers down the right side. However, Merstham finally succumbed to the pressure on 26 minutes. Woodford flicked his header into Williamson’s path and the striker managed to nip the ball past the oncoming Chatfield for the opening goal. Worthing looked to extend their lead before the break but Chatfield again denied Axten tipping his header from another Brotherton corner over the bar as their personal duel continued. But the tide quickly changed as moments later Merstham were awarded a penalty after the referee spotted Brett Patton barge into the back of David Smith. Marvell converted the spot kick as he scored for the third consecutive game by sending Alan Mansfield the wrong way.

Worthing started the second half in the same vain as the first. Ben Johnson’s free-kick sailed straight into Chatfield’s hands and substitute Chamal Fenelon fired his low driven effort just wide of the post. Merstham could have nicked the victory late-on after Marvell superbly threaded Ross White through on-goal but Mansfield quickly rushed out to make a good low save. The hosts pushed everyone forward in the final stages and after Merstham’s Troy Ferguson failed to clear Johnson’s cross, an unmarked Paul Kennett in the six yard box prodded the ball towards goal. But Chatfield incredibly denied Worthing their winner at full stretch tipping the effort round the post as Merstham held on to claim a valuable point and look with real optimism to the home match against Leatherhead next weekend

 

Monday 5th April 2010
Ryman League Division One South
Merstham 2 v 2 Whyteleafe
(HT 1-2)
Scorers: Dale Marvell, Gavin Gordon
Team: Ian Chatfield, James Hancock (David Smith), Tom Hughes (Adam Moriarty), Bradley Duke (c), Craig Vernon, Troy Ferguson, Billy Marshall, Dale Marvell, Gavin Gordon,  Ross White (Reggie Savage), Wesley Bartlett
Unused Subs: Mark Wardell, Ryan Elsey
Merstham Man of the Match: Billy Marshall
Referee: A. Mead (Orpington)
Attendance: 220
Match Sponsors: Chapman & Son Butchers
Earlier This Season: Whyteleafe 5 Merstham 2 (Wes Goggin, Billy Marshall)
Last Season: Merstham 2 (Kwabena Agyei, Kevin Lock) Whyteleafe 2
Photos (Click on Name):
Match Preview: Merstham snatched a 2-2 draw against a determined Whyteleafe side with a goal from leading scorer Gavin Gordon just minutes from the end of play. Dominating the early stages Merstham took a deserved lead through a brilliantly taken free kick by Dale Marvel and Whyteleafe offered little threat until Craig Vernon’s own goal followed five minutes later by a goal from Leafe defender Daniel Aldous. Merstham’s gritty performance was rewarded with Gordon’s tenth goal for the club in just fourteen appearances. -  Johnny Moatside

Match Report: David Kirkaldy
Gavin Gordon grabbed a dramatic injury time equaliser as Merstham rescued a point against local rivals Whyteleafe. Dale Marvell’s free-kick gave Merstham the lead inside the first ten minutes but the visitors struck back with two goals in six first half minutes. Whyteleafe’s Chris O’Flaherty crashed his late penalty against the crossbar and Gordon pounced in the third minute of added time to demonstrate Merstham’s resilience as they snatched an unlikely point.

Merstham changed their system following a 5-2 defeat against the visitors in February as Billy Marshall played as an extra man in the centre of midfield and the switch almost had an immediate impact. Marshall retrieved the ball and provided Gordon with the opening opportunity on four minutes but the striker fired his first time effort over the bar. The hosts did open the scoring five minutes later as Dale Marvell powered a 25-yard free kick off the inside of the post for his second goal over the Easter weekend. Whyteleafe bounced back and equalised on 24 minutes after Craig Vernon headed Ellis Conroy’s dangerous cross past Ian Chatfield and into his own net. The visitors edged ahead six minutes later as a Daniel Aldous cross fortuitously looped over Chatfield’s head into the far corner to leave Merstham shell-shocked after surrendering their early advantage.

Merstham fought back and created good opportunities to get themselves back on level terms in the second half. Ross White could not scramble home Marshall’s cross from close range and Vernon failed to atone for his earlier mistake as he was unable to hit the target with a volley from Marvell’s corner after being left unmarked at the back post. Whyteleafe should have put the game beyond doubt on 75 minutes after Chatfield brought down Daniel Platel inside the area. O’Flaherty blasted his spot kick against the crossbar as Merstham received a lifeline. However, the hosts failed to capitalise after the penalty miss and after Marvell sliced his injury time effort horribly wide many believed Merstham had blown their final chance. But in the third minute of added time, Gordon burst through the middle, took the ball round keeper Robert O’Hara and slotted the ball into an empty goal to salvage an unbelievable point for the home side.

 

Saturday 3rd April 2010
Ryman League Division One South
Dulwich Hamlet 3 v 1 Merstham
(HT 2-0)
Scorers: Dale Marvell (p)
Team: Ian Chatfield,  Adam Moriarty (James Hancock), Freddie Myers (Wesley Bartlett), Bradley Duke, Tom Hughes, Troy Ferguson, David Smith, Wes Goggin (c), Gavin Gordon (Billy Marshall),  Ross White, Dale Marvell
Unused Subs: Mark Wardell, Dave Tidy (GK)
Merstham Man of the Match: Bradley Duke
Referee: John O'Brien (Wimbledon Park)
Attendance: 188
Match Sponsors: N/A
Earlier This Season: Merstham 1 (Billy Marshall) Dulwich Hamlet 1 (Justin Bowen)
Last Season: Dulwich Hamlet 1 Merstham 2 (Mark Simmons, Kwabena Agyei)
Photos (Click on Name): Sue Austen
Match Review: . -  Johnny Moatside

Match Report: David Kirkaldy
Sol Pinnock struck twice for Dulwich Hamlet as the hosts eased to a comfortable victory over Merstham. Pinnock and Justin Bowen gave Dulwich a two goal advantage in the first half but Dale Marvell’s penalty just after the interval gave Merstham a glimmer of hope. The lifeline quickly evaporated as Pinnock struck two minutes later to assure the hosts of victory.

Dulwich began positively and could have taken the lead inside the opening ten minutes but Osa Obamwonyi’s looping effort drifted just past the post and Gerry Gonnella’s 20 yard low-driven shot was smothered by keeper Ian Chatfield. The host’s pressure paid off after 15 minutes as Chatfield’s poor clearance fell straight to Pinnock 30 yards from goal and his first time effort sailed over the Merstham defence for the opening goal. Frankie Sawyer had the ball in the net for Hamlet on the half hour mark after he rounded Chatfield and slotted into an empty net but the goal was ruled out for an earlier foul on Merstham defender Bradley Duke. Dulwich did extend their lead six minutes later after a fantastic move that saw Pinnock turn provider and supply a low cross for Bowen to convert from close range. Merstham spurred an opportunity to reduce the deficit before half-time after Phil Wilson’s punch fell straight to the feet of Gavin Gordon but he failed to control his effort and shot wide to leave the visitors with a mountain to climb.

Merstham’s fortune changed in the second half after they were awarded a fortuitous penalty three minutes after the restart as Gonnella pulled down Tom Hughes. Marvell made no mistake from the penalty spot finishing into the roof of the net to give the visitors a lifeline. However, Dulwich restored their two-goal advantage within a couple of minutes after Pinnock got in-between Adam Moriarty and Hughes and the striker slotted the ball past Chatfield into the bottom corner to give the home side an unassailable lead. The visitors piled on the pressure for the final 20 minutes. Substitute Wesley Bartlett’s 25-yard effort struck the top of the bar and Hughes failed to get his outstretched foot on the end of Billy Marshall’s cross as Dulwich outclassed Merstham and deservedly captured three points.

 

Tuesday 30th March 2010
Ryman League Division One South
Folkestone Invicta 2 v 0 Merstham
(HT 2-0)
Scorers:
Team: Ian Chatfield,  Adam Moriarty, Freddie Myers (Ryan Elsey), Bradley Duke, Tom Hughes, Troy Ferguson, David Smith, Wes Goggin (c), Gavin Gordon, Mark Wardell (Ross White), Dale Marvell
Subs: Reggie Savage, Dave Tidy (GK)
Merstham Man of the Match: David Smith
Referee: TBA
Attendance: 225
Match Sponsors: N/A
Earlier This Season: Merstham 1 (Michael Gordon) Folkestone Invicta 1 (Jimmy Jackson)
Last Season: Folkestone Invicta 1 Merstham 2 (Mark Simmons, Kwabena Agyei)
Photos (Click on Name):
Match Review: Two first half goals from Invicta’s Brendon Cass was ‘all’ that separated the two sides in a hard fought game where Merstham played some impressive football against the Kent high-flyers. Merstham again squandered some chances but can take heart from the game to stand them in good stead for Saturday’s away match at Dulwich Hamlet. -  Johnny Moatside

Match Report: David Kirkaldy
Brendon Cass proved to be Merstham’s nemesis again as the striker scored against The Moatsiders for the third time this season. Cass previously scored in both games for Chatham Town earlier in the season and struck both goals to guide Folkestone Invicta ever closer to promotion to the Ryman Premier.

The blustery conditions hampered both teams but Merstham created the first opportunity after ten minutes but Gavin Gordon failed to bend the ball into the far corner after cutting inside from the left wing. Folkestone opened the scoring nine minutes later as Darren Smith threaded the ball between the two Merstham centre backs for James Everitt. Ian Chatfield denied Everitt but could not stop Cass slotting home the rebound. Merstham’s task was always going to be difficult as the hosts have kept 20 clean sheets and have only conceded 18 league goals this season. But the visitors created a golden opportunity on 22 minutes. Adam Moriarty’s low cross picked out an unmarked Dale Marvell whose first time shot back across Jack Delo looked destined for the bottom corner but the keeper somehow managed to get his foot to the effort and turn it round the post. Folkestone’s superiority begun to show and they extended their lead three minutes before the interval. Frankie Chappell’s header from Jimmy Jackson’s corner allowed Cass to pounce from close range to give the home side a comfortable half-time advantage.

Heavy rain and hailstones made conditions difficult in the second half but Merstham almost found themselves back in the game moments after the restart as Lindy Friend almost converted into his own net clearing Freddie Myers’ dangerous cross just past the post. Chatfield almost gifted Folkestone a third after he dropped Olly Bartram’s cross but Darren Smith fired over the bar. Cass wasted a chance for his hat-trick after he prodded the ball past the Merstham keeper but the keeper managed to get back before the ball crossed the line. Merstham kept the pressure on their opponents late-on but from two Marvell corners Tom Hughes headed over the bar and Gordon’s late effort flew straight into Delo’s arms as the home side took a step closer to promotion despite their ten-point penalty.

 

Saturday 27th March 2010
Ryman League Division One South
Merstham 3 v 2 Whitstable Town
(HT 1-0)
Scorers: Gavin Gordon (3)
Team: Ian Chatfield ,  Adam Moriarty, Freddie Myers, Bradley Duke, Tom Hughes, Troy Ferguson (Ryan Elsey), David Smith (Ross White), Wes Goggin (c), Gavin Gordon, Reggie Savage (Mark Wardell), Dale Marvell
Unused Subs: Colin Harvey,  Jos Iles (GK)
Merstham Man of the Match: Gavin Gordon
Referee: S. Rea (Hayes)
Attendance: 120
Match Sponsors: Sara Reeve
Earlier This Season: Whitstable Town 2 (Dan Whisker, Jake Gess) Merstham 1 (Tristan Frontin)
Last Season: Merstham 1 (Chris Boulter) Whitstable Town 1
Photos (Click on Name):
Match Review: For the first time since the beginning of October Merstham managed two successive wins as they beat struggling Whitstable Town 3-2 at Moatside with a hat-trick for leading scorer Gavin Gordon taking his personal tally for the season to twelve in all competitions. Merstham could have scored more but for some fine goalkeeping by Town’s Kevin Fewell as they took the fight to their opponents; one up at the break. Stuart Vahid scored the first of his two goals just five minutes after the re-start to draw Whitstable level before the inspired Gordon scored twice more to hopefully put the Moatsiders out of reach. However they were shocked back to reality when Vahid scored with just five minutes to go and he should have secured a point for the visitors when, minutes later, he found himself clean through on goal and when all he needed to do was to tap the ball home he fired the ball against the cross-bar. -  Johnny Moatside

Match Report: David Kirkaldy
Gavin Gordon’s hat-trick steered Merstham to victory against Whitstable Town after an entertaining five-goal thriller for the third successive game. Whitstable’s Stuart Vahid scored twice and watched a late effort rebound off the bar but the home side held their nerve to record consecutive victories for the first time since October.

Merstham dominated the first-half as both Dale Marvell and Gordon both saw their low driven efforts saved by goalkeeper Kevin Fewell inside the opening ten minutes. The hosts deservedly took the lead on 35 minutes after Gordon headed home Marvell’s pinpoint free kick from close range. The best chance for Whitstable came just before the break as Steven Lloyd headed Gareth Cornhill’s corner over the bar as the visitors failed to make an impression on the match.

Whitstable stormed back after the interval and equalised within a couple of minutes of the restart. Ian Pullman's header back across goal from Dan Dalton’s cross found Stuart Vahid unmarked for the simplest tap-in from six yards. Merstham bounced back and restored their advantage eight minutes later as Gordon prodded home Anthony Myers cross. The celebration soon turned to worry after the striker looked to have injured himself hitting the post while stretching for the ball. Gordon managed to continue and found himself involved in the pivotal moment of the match. Whitstable had the chance to equalise on 74 minutes from Tom Parker’s corner but Vahid headed over the bar. Within 60 seconds Marvell put Gordon through on-goal and the striker lobbed Fewell to seal his hat-trick and surely the victory. However, the hosts made it difficult for themselves as with only five minutes remaining a mix-up between Bradley Duke and Tom Hughes left Vahid through on-goal. But the striker failed to show the same composure as his counterpart and crashed his effort against the bar. Vahid did scramble home Parker’s corner in injury time but it proved only to be a consolation as Merstham continue to grow in confidence going into the final few games of the season

 

Monday 22nd March 2010
Ryman League Division One South
Walton Casuals 2 v 3 Merstham
(HT 1-3)
Scorers: Gavin Gordon (2), Reggie Savage
Team: Neale Manning,  Adam Moriarty, Freddie Myers, Tom Hughes, Bradley Duke, Troy Ferguson, Wes Goggin (c), David Smith (Luke Williams), Dale Marvell, Gavin Gordon, Reggie Savage (Mark Wardell)
Unused Subs: Matt Males, Colin Harvey, Ian Chatfield (GK)
Merstham Man of the Match: Tom Hughes
Referee: Nigel Lugg (Chipstead)
Attendance: 109
Match Sponsors: N/A
Earlier This Season: Merstham 1 (Dale Marvel) Walton Casuals 1 (Nick Burton)
Last Season: Walton Casuals 3 Merstham 1 (Chris Read)
Photos (Click on Name):
Match Review: Casuals started the quicker and wasted several early chances, before Merstham caught them on the counter attack on 22 minutes when a far post cross from Dale Marvell found an unmarked Gavin Gordon who headed home. Reggie Savage doubled the Moatsiders lead on 35 minutes in a neat move with Gordon. Then, just three minutes later, a combination of ex-Merstham players saw Carl Gibbs head home a Mu Mann cross. But the determination of Merstham all but finished the contest on the stroke of half time when Gordon added his second. Casuals did manage to grab a goal late in the second when another former Merstham player, Tristan Frontin, grabbed their second. -  Johnny Moatside

Match Report: David Kirkaldy
Merstham celebrated their first victory in eight games after edging a five-goal thriller against Walton Casuals. Gavin Gordon’s first half double and Reggie Savage’s first goal for Merstham gave the visitors an unassailable half-time lead. Former Merstham players Carl Gibbs and Tristan Frontin struck for Walton but Merstham ended a frenetic five games in nine days in winning ways.

Walton started the game brightly and squandered numerous chances in the opening 20 minutes as Merstham’s Bradley Duke cleared Gibbs low shot off the line and Saheed Sankoh saw his effort parried away by Neale Manning. Against the run of play Merstham took the lead as Dale Marvell’s pinpoint cross found Gordon who headed home after 22 minutes. The visitors doubled their advantage ten minutes later as Gordon broke free on the right and picked out Savage in plenty of space to tuck the ball past keeper Craig Bradshaw. Two former Merstham players combined as the hosts struck back on 36 minutes. Mu Maan’s cross found Carl Gibbs unmarked at the back post and although Manning initially made a good save he could not deny the strike as he headed home seconds later. Merstham struck the killer blow just before the interval as Gordon’s turn and shot inside the area from Adam Moriarty’s long ball into the box flew past Craig Bradshaw in the second minute of injury time.

After an entertaining first-half, the second lacked intensity with Dale Marvell’s free kick that flew just wide of the post being the best either side could manage until the final ten minutes. Walton started to throw bodies forward but the visitors defended resolutely as Bradley Duke and Tom Hughes restricted the hosts to long range efforts. However, the hosts did claw their way back into the game on 84 minutes as Tristan Frontin scrambled home a corner but Merstham held their nerve in the final few minutes to take home the three points.

 

Saturday 20th March 2010
Ryman League Division One South
Merstham 2 v 3 Corinthian-Casuals
(HT 1-1)
Scorers: Dale Marvell, Gavin Gordon
Team: Neale Manning,  Adam Moriarty, Freddie Myers (Mark Wardell), Bradley Duke, Craig Vernon (Tom Hughes), Troy Ferguson, David Smith, Wes Goggin (c) (Luke Williams), Gavin Gordon, Reggie Savage, Dale Marvel
Unused Subs: James Deacons, Ian Chatfield (GK)
Merstham Man of the Match: Dale Marvell
Referee: Alex Neil (Sutton)
Attendance: 101
Match Sponsors: Don & Jo Fitzgerald
Earlier This Season: Corinthian-Casuals 3 (Kane, Carr, Metwali) Merstham 4 (Craig Carley (3), David Smith)
Last Season: Merstham 2 (Kevin Lock, Ross White) Corinthian-Casuals 1
Photos (Click on Name):
Match Review: . -  Johnny Moatside

Match Report: David Kirkaldy
Merstham’s winless streak extended to seven games after they were edged out in a five-goal thriller against Corinthian-Casuals. Dale Marvell equalised for the hosts following Kane Sergeant’s early penalty but Matt Kidson and Jamel Carr strikes handed Casuals victory inside the final ten minutes. Gavin Gordon’s injury time strike was mere consolation as The Moatsiders struggle for confidence having only won once in their previous 13 games.

Merstham made the worst possible start as they conceded a penalty for the second successive game on nine minutes. Bradley Duke’s poor header back towards goal left debutant keeper Neale Manning scrambling as he brought down Glen Boosey inside the area. Sergeant duly converted the spot kick to give the visitors the early lead. Both teams struggled to string two passes together in the wet conditions but the home side created the better chances. Reggie Savage missed from six yards after a mix-up in the Casuals defence and keeper Luke Naughton superbly turned Marvell’s effort around the post that looked destined for the bottom corner. Merstham fought their way back into the match on 44 minutes as Marvell immaculately volleyed home David Smith’s cross into the corner to see the sides level at the break.

Manning kept Merstham alive early after the interval first denying Sergeant and then tipping Danny Green’s looping effort round the post at full stretch. The game looked destined for a draw but lady luck was on Casuals side as they regained the lead after 80 minutes. Boosey’s free-kick deflected off the side of the Merstham wall into Kidson’s path for a simple tap-in. As Merstham pushed forward for an equaliser, the visitors capitalised five minutes from time on the counter attack as Jamel Carr took the ball around Manning and slotted the ball into an empty net to assure Casuals of victory. Gavin Gordon reduced the deficit for Merstham in injury time as he poked the ball under Naughton from six yards but the visitors managed to hold their nerve and claim an unlikely victory.

 

Thursday 18th March 2010
Ryman League Division One South
Leatherhead 3 v 1 Merstham
(HT 2-1)
Scorers: Gavin Gordon
Team: Ian Chatfield,  Adam Moriarty, Freddie Myers (Steve Rollinson), Bradley Duke, Craig Vernon , Troy Ferguson, David Smith, Wes Goggin (c), Gavin Gordon, Billy Marshall (Reggie Savage), Dale Marvel
Unused Subs: Matt Males, Tom Hughes, Ben Penfold (GK)
Merstham Man of the Match: Bradley Duke
Referee: Matt Eva
Attendance: 205
Match Sponsors: N/A
Earlier This Season: N/A
Last Season: Leatherhead 2 Merstham 1 (Gavin Gordon)
Photos (Click on Name):
Match Review:  In this long anticipated ‘local derby’ Merstham went ahead in the sixth minute through Gavin Gordon and things could have been so different if the Referee hadn’t awarded Leatherhead a very dubious penalty on the half hour. In fact at the break he admitted he had made a mistake. The Tanner’s leading scorer Tommy Hutchings dispatched the penalty followed by his second just minutes before the break. The second half was pretty even but Merstham’s misery was compounded when Kevin Terry gave Leatherhead a third just on the stroke of full time. -  Johnny Moatside

Match Report: David Kirkaldy
Merstham struggled to overcome an assertive Leatherhead side in the hotly contested and vociferous local derby. The Moatsiders opened the scoring through Gavin Gordon but Tommy Hutchings struck twice before the interval as Leatherhead took control of the game. The visitors failed to mount a successful second half fight back as Kevin Terry added to Merstham’s misery late-on.

Merstham made the perfect start by taking the lead on seven minutes. Adam Moriarty’s long free-kick was headed back across goal where Gavin Gordon was waiting to nod the ball into an empty net. Leatherhead fought their way back into the game as Hutchings rounded Chatfield on 14 minutes but the striker kicked the ball too far ahead of himself and the ball ran out for a goal kick. The hosts were awarded a dubious penalty on 32 minutes after Craig Vernon was adjudged to have brought down Hutchings inside the box. Hutchings took the spot kick himself and sent the keeper the wrong way for the equaliser. Billy Marshall almost fired Merstham back into the lead within minutes but goalkeeper Colin Harris managed to quickly get down and turn the low shot round the post. Leatherhead took the lead on the brink of half-time after Rob Hill robbed Adam Moriarty and found Hutchings free at the back post to pounce from close range.

Merstham came out rejuvenated for the second half as firstly Marshall saw his shot parried away by Harris and then the keeper denied David Smith after the winger cut inside and unleashed a fierce shot. Leatherhead created good opportunities themselves as Chatfield punched a corner straight onto Dan Dean’s head but the defender could only direct his header straight back at the keeper. Moments later Terry fired a shot straight at Chatfield. Bradley Duke was sent forward for the final ten minutes but to no avail as Leatherhead put the game beyond Merstham’s reach just before added time. Vernon was caught in possession and Terry nipped ahead and lobbed the ball over Chatfield to settle the match. Chatfield superbly denied Dominic O’Shea late-on tipping his effort over the bar but Leatherhead were well worth their victory and leaves Merstham looking for revenge when the two sides meet again at the Moatside next month.

 

Tuesday 16th March 2010
Ryman League Division One South
Metropolitan Police 2 v 1 Merstham
(HT 2-0)
Scorers: Troy Ferguson
Team: Ian Chatfield, James Hancock (Steve Rollinson), Freddie Myers, Bradley Duke, Craig Vernon, Adam Moriarty, Troy Ferguson, Wes Goggin (c), Gavin Gordon, Reggie Savage (Billy Marshall),  David Smith (Matt Males)
Unused Subs:  Luke Williams, Dave Tidy (GK)
Merstham Man of the Match: Adam Moriarty
Referee: A. Laver
Attendance: 62
Match Sponsors: N/A
Earlier This Season: Merstham 2 (Mu Maan, David Smith) Met Police 2 (Craig Carley, Frankie Sawyer)
Last Season: Met Police 1 Merstham 0
Photos (Click on Name):
Match Review:  Merstham were undone in the first half by two quick goals one by former Moatsider Craig Carley followed five minutes later by a strike from Phil Ruggles. Merstham never recovered their form for the remainder of the half and were lucky not to go further behind. However after the break and with the Manager’s words still ringing in their ears the team looked more settled and were rewarded in the 75th minute with Troy Ferguson’s first goal for the club. But no matter how they tried they were unable to find an equaliser. -  Johnny Moatside

Match Report: David Kirkaldy
Merstham’s three game unbeaten run came to an end following defeat to Met Police with an all-to familiar name scoring for the hosts. Craig Carley, who left The Moatsiders in February, came back to haunt his former side with the opening goal for Met Police inside five minutes. Phil Ruggles doubled the home side’s advantage before Troy Ferguson’s spectacular effort clawed Merstham back into the game but the visitors were unable to grab that elusive equaliser.

Carley had a point to prove after failing to impress Moatside fans in his three months at the club and with virtually his first touch of the game he unleashed an unstopping volley from 20 yards that nestled into the bottom corner. Met Police extended their lead after 12 minutes as Craig Brown’s long ball picked out Phil Ruggles who blasted his effort past Ian Chatfield into the roof of the net. Merstham failed to pile pressure on a solid Met Police defence but did carve the hosts open on 30 minutes as Adam Moriarty put Wes Goggin through on-goal but the midfielder failed to hit the target with his outstretched effort. The home side appeared in total control and should have increased their lead just before the interval. Ruggles took the ball past fullback Freddie Myers and picked out Rob Smith inside the area but Chatfield superbly denied the midfielder from close range and Carley’s follow-up shot was blocked on the line.

The contest livened up in the second half as the game stretched from end-to-end. Chatfield managed to tip another Ruggles effort over the bar and at the other end Wes Goggin’s header was superbly turned round the post by Met Police keeper Mo Maan. Merstham reduced the deficit on 76 minutes after Adam Moriarty’s corner was cleared to Troy Ferguson on the edge of the area who unleashed a ferocious strike through the crowd of players and into the top right corner. The visitors failed to capitalise on the momentum gained by the goal as Met Police held Merstham at bay for the final quarter. The hosts should have regained their two-goal advantage late-on but Ruggles blasted another effort over from close range.

Merstham will look to put this disappointing performance behind them and bounce back with the eagerly awaited derby match against Leatherhead on Thursday night.

 

Saturday 13th March 2010
Ryman League Division One South
Horsham YMCA 0 v 0 Merstham
(HT 0-0)
Scorers:
Team: Ian Chatfield, James Hancock, Freddie Myers, Bradley Duke, Craig Vernon , Adam Moriarty, Troy Ferguson, Wes Goggin (c), Adrian Stone (Billy Marshall), Gavin Gordon (Reggie Savage), Dale Marvell (David Smith)
Unused Subs: Sam Hewitt, Dave Tidy (GK)
Merstham Man of the Match: Wes Goggin
Referee: R. James
Attendance: 112
Match Sponsors: N/A
Earlier This Season: Merstham 2 (Mu Maan, Craig Carley) Horsham YMCA 2 (Gavin Geddes, Mike Huckett)
Last Season: N/A
Photos (Click on Name): Sue Austen
Match Review:  Scoring goals just seems to elude the Merstham strikers of late but at least the Moatsiders picked up their third successful point after a goalless game against Horsham YMCA who seem to have a knack of scoring hatful of goals in vital matches. Indeed it was YM’s Tom Lawley came closest to scoring in the second half but his attempt only found the bar. -  Johnny Moatside

Match Report: David Kirkaldy
Merstham picked up their third successful point after a goalless encounter against Horsham YMCA. Both sides had opportunities to snatch victory but lacked composure in front of goal as the match went from end-to-end. Horsham’s Tom Lawley came closest to scoring in the second half but crashed his effort against the bar.

Merstham were always going to find it difficult against a side that had not lost at home since December but after 25 minutes James Hancock’s ball over the top found Wes Goggin who timed his run to perfection to beat the offside trap. The midfielder burst into the box and fired a low shot at goal but Anthony Di Bernardo was equal to his effort as the keeper saved with his legs. Moments later, Gavin Gordon skied Anthony Myers’ cross over the bar after the Merstham striker was left unmarked ten yards from goal. Wes Goggin got in-behind Horsham’s defence again on 35 minutes and pulled the ball back for Adrian Stone but Di Bernando superbly rushed out of goal to deny the striker from point blank range. Just before the interval Dale Marvell’s free-kick curled inches over the far corner to leave the visitors wondering how they were not ahead after four glorious chances.

Merstham were again denied moments after the break as Stone flicked his effort wide with the goal at his mercy. Lawley hit the crossbar on 54 minutes bypassing Hancock on the outside to hit a thunderous shot from the edge of the area but the defender made up for his mistake moments later as he headed the ball off the line to keep the scores level. Merstham almost rued their missed chances in injury time as with the last kick of the game Horsham substitute John Westcott fired a low shot just wide of the post leaving both teams to settle for a hard-fought point.

 

Saturday 6th March 2010
Ryman League Division One South
Merstham 1 v 1 Walton Casuals
(HT 0-0)
Scorers: Dale Marvell
Team: Ian Chatfield, James Hancock, Freddie Myers, Bradley Duke , Craig Vernon, Adam Moriarty , David Smith (Troy Ferguson), Wes Goggin (c), Adrian Stone, Gavin Gordon (Reggie Savage), Dale Marvell
Unused Subs: Matt Males, Tom Hughes, Dave Tidy (GK)
Merstham Man of the Match: Craig Vernon
Referee: G. Kane (Sussex)
Attendance: 122
Match Sponsors: Barry Gibson
Earlier This Season: N/A
Last Season: Merstham 0 Walton Casuals 0
Photos (Click on Name): Sue Austen
Match Review: Yet again Merstham fell victim to a late goal to deny them all three points in a game they could have won easily. But it’s difficult to get out of a rut when the luck is running against you and Merstham found this as several attempts on goal went begging. After a goalless first half Dale Marvell put the Moatsiders ahead as they took the game to the Stags. But with just five minutes to go WC drew level through Nick Burton and Merstham had to settle for a single point.  -  Johnny Moatside

Match Report: David Kirkaldy
Merstham surrendered a lead for the third successive game as Walton Casuals stole a point in the dying minutes. Dale Marvell opened the scoring for Merstham but found Walton keeper Chico Ramos on superb form to deny the home side extending their lead and allow Nick Burton to equalise with seven minutes remaining.

The hosts created numerous chances in a lacklustre first half with Ramos quickly becoming the star of the game with a string of tremendous saves. Ramos first denied Wes Goggin on 15 minutes after a flowing move down the right. James Hancock’s low cross picked out an unmarked Goggin’s six yards from goal but the keeper did extremely well to hold onto the ball from the midfielder’s close range effort. Merstham squandered plenty of opportunities to open the scoring. Craig Vernon superbly chested a Dale Marvell corner at the back post but lashed his volley wide and Bradley Duke’s looping effort fell onto the roof of the net. Ramos was called into action again minutes before half-time as he parried Adrian Stone’s powerful back post header to safety as Merstham went into the break with nothing to show for their dominance.

Merstham pressure finally paid off in the second half as they took the lead after 58 minutes. Stone’s effort from the edge of the area deflected into Dale Marvell’s path and the winger tucked the ball past Ramos from an acute angle. The hosts should have extended their lead on 75 minutes but Ramos pulled out a stunning save to deny substitute Reggie Savage after his first-time volley looked destined for the top corner. Walton hardly possessed an attacking threat during the game and any danger was quickly thwarted by Vernon in the heart of defence. But as the game drew to its conclusion Merstham players started to make mistakes and were made to pay as Walton equalised on 83 minutes. A hopeful Mark Walters free-kick into the box saw Nick Burton’s looping header sail past Ian Chatfield into the corner of the net and left Merstham fans feeling dejected at a sight they have become all too familiar with recently. It could have been worse as the visitors almost snatched victory in the final few minutes as Burton hit the post following a Craig Lewington free-kick but Merstham will reflect on this performance as two points lost rather than a point gained.

 

Saturday 27th February 2010
Ryman League Division One South
Burgess Hill Town 1 v 1 Merstham
(HT 0-1)
Scorers: Adrian Stone
Team: Ian Chatfield, James Hancock, Freddie Myers, Sam Hewitt (Tom Hughes), Craig Vernon, Adam Moriarty, David Smith, Wes Goggin (c), Adrian Stone (Reggie Savage), Billy Marshall (Gavin Gordon), Dale Marvell
Unused Subs: Matt Males, Dave Tidy (GK),
Merstham Man of the Match: Adam Moriarty
Referee: C. Wicks
Attendance: 164
Match Sponsors: N/A
Earlier This Season: Merstham 1 (Paul Hunt) Burgess Hill Town 1
Last Season: Burgess Hill Town 0 Merstham 1 (Ross White)
Photos (Click on Name): Sue Austen
Match Review: Not a spectacular game to watch but an improved performance from Merstham who took the lead through debutant Adrian Stone in the 22nd minute. Merstham suffered an early blow losing leading goalscorer Billy Marshall to injury in the tenth minute but it was his replacement Gavin Gordon who turned provider for Stone’s goal. The Hillians levelled six minutes after the break with Steve Harper’s 10th League goal of the season. An important point won by the Moatsiders when many thought this could be another comfortable win for their opponents.  -  Johnny Moatside

Match Report: David Kirkaldy
Merstham squandered another first-half lead but will be encouraged following a much-improved away performance against playoff contenders Burgess Hill Town. Adrian Stone gave Merstham the lead 23 minutes into his debut but Steve Harper cancelled out the visitor’s advantage six minutes into the second half.

Burgess Hill could have taken the lead inside ten minutes after a flowing move ended with Danny Curd beating his marker to Harper’s low cross but the striker fluffed the opportunity hitting the ball tamely at keeper Ian Chatfield. The hosts had Chris Winterton to thank for keeping the game level first denying Stone’s fierce strike and then quickly reacting to deny Wes Goggin from the rebound at point blank range. Merstham did find the breakthrough midway in the half as Stone beat the offside trap from Dale Marvell’s lofted pass and the striker rifled his shot past Winterton. Burgess Hill came back strongly as Harper’s swinging free-kick found Danny Gainsford unmarked at the far post but his header could only find the side netting and Bradley Duke headed over John Lansbury’s cross. The visitors almost struck again before half-time, Marvell tried to find the far corner after he cut inside from the left wing but his effort drifted the wrong side of the post as Merstham went into the break in front.

Burgess Hill came out rejuvenated and equalised on 51 minutes as Merstham failed to clear a Lansbury long throw, Harper was left alone at the far post to drive the ball low into the net. Merstham had the chance to regain the lead less than 60 seconds later as Stone’s first time thunderbolt from 25 yards whistled agonisingly wide and Gavin Gordon failed to get his outstretched foot onto Wes Goggin’s cross with the goal at his mercy. Adam Moriarty displayed another good performance in midfield as he constantly broke up Burgess Hill attacks but both teams became increasingly frustrated with the referee who frequently blew his whistle and disrupted the flow of this entertaining match. Merstham could have sneaked victory late-on but Marvell drove a low shot straight at Winterton. With time running out both sides had penalty appeals turned down as both sides had to settle for a hard earned point.

 

Tuesday 23rd February 2010
Ryman League Division One South
Whyteleafe 5 v 2 Merstham
(HT 3-2)
Scorers: Wes Goggin, Billy Marshall
Team: Ian Chatfield, James Hancock (Freddie Myers), Jimmy Majinya (Tom Hughes), Neil Lampton, Craig Vernon, Adam Moriarty, David Smith, Wes Goggin (c), Gavin Gordon, Billy Marshall (Matt Males), Dale Marvell
Unused Subs: Ryan Elsey, Colin Harvey
Merstham Man of the Match: Adam Moriarty
Referee: Tony Mason
Attendance: 109
Match Sponsors: N/A
Earlier This Season: N/A
Last Season: Whyteleafe 0 Merstham 1 (Kwabena Agyei)
Photos (Click on Name):
Match Review:  After a better performance on Saturday Merstham were decimated by a determined Whyteleafe who simply made Merstham look like a less than average team. Despite scoring twice in the first half, through Skipper Wes Goggin and Billy Marshall, Merstham seemed to lack the passion to take the game to their opponents and with the exception of a couple of players they looked jaded and naive. The loyal fans that travelled to Church Road never gave up on the team although a lot of the talk was about the forthcoming Leatherhead game and maybe that is playing on the minds of the management and team far too much. -  Johnny Moatside

Match Report: David Kirkaldy
Merstham surrendered a first-half lead as poor defending gifted local rivals Whyteleafe a comfortable victory. Darren Watson put the hosts ahead but Wes Goggin and Billy Marshall goals gave Merstham the lead inside the opening 15 minutes. Debutant Joshua Smith tore apart Merstham’s defence on numerous occasions as Danny Oakins and Jason Goodchild restored the home side’s advantage before the interval. Chris O’Flaherty and substitute Kieron McCann added second half strikes for the hosts as Merstham struggled to stamp any authority on the match.

Whyteleafe got off to a bright start and took the lead inside five minutes as Goodchild played Watson through on-goal. He took the ball round Ian Chatfield with his first touch and tapped home into an empty net. Their joy was short lived as Merstham equalised within 90 seconds after Wes Goggin stole the ball back from Ryan Royston. He ran unchallenged into the box and poked the ball underneath keeper Gavin Dilley. The visitors took the lead on 15 minutes as Adam Moriarty, playing tirelessly in the centre of midfield, looped the ball up field. Marshall muscled past defender Fred Fleming and superbly slotted the ball into the far right corner. Whyteleafe almost equalised immediately when a goalmouth scramble saw Joshua Smith’s effort blocked on the line. However, their pressure paid off on 30 minutes when Smith’s pinpoint cross from the right was powerfully headed home by Oakins. Merstham thought they had regained the lead five minutes later when Jimmy Maginya’s effort from the edge of the box deflected into the net but the linesman adjudged the final touch to be from an offside Gavin Gordon.

The hosts took the lead on 38 minutes after a great break saw Smith beat two defenders and then the winger laid the ball to Goodchild who fired Whyteleafe into a half-time lead. The home side continued to dictate play in the second half and scored the fourth after 53 minutes. Another precise Smith cross on the right found O’Flaherty unmarked in the box to head home from close range. Merstham started to run out of ideas and the closest they came to reducing the deficit came 15 minutes from time when Dale Marvell flashed a volley wide from an acute angle. McCann added the fifth in injury time as the substitute stole the ball from Craig Vernon and chipped the ball over the advancing Chatfield to complete Merstham’s miserable derby evening.

 

Saturday 20th February 2010
Ryman League Division One South
Merstham 4 v 2 Ramsgate
(HT 1-0)
Scorers: Gavin Gordon (2), Billy Marshall, NJ Lampton
Team: Ian Chatfield, James Hancock, Adam Moriarty , Sam Hewitt (Tom Hughes), Craig Vernon, NJ Lampton, David Smith (Matt Males), Wes Goggin (c), Billy Marshall, Gavin Gordon, Dale Marvell
Unused Subs: Tristan Frontin, Freddie Myers, Luke Williams
Merstham Man of the Match: Billy Marshall
Referee: S. Franklin (Essex)
Attendance: 130
Match Sponsors: RenArt Ltd
Earlier This Season: Ramsgate 1 (Sam Jones) Merstham 2 (Michael Gordon, Dan Bennett)
Last Season: N/A
Photos (Click on Name):
Match Review:  Merstham finally got their second win of 2010 with a much improved display on a sunny winter’s afternoon at Moatside. Two goals from Gavin Gordon and one each from Billy Marshall and Neil Lampton secured all three points in a tough game against a determined Ramsgate side. As the final whistle blew you could have been forgiven for thinking Merstham had won a cup final as their supporters cheered the ‘heroes’ off the ground. Manager Graeme Banyard couldn’t have wished for a better result ahead of his ‘Meet the Manager’ evening next Thursday (25th February) where supporters will get their chance to voice their opinion of the season so far. -  Johnny Moatside

Match Report: David Kirkaldy
Merstham recorded their first league victory at home in almost four months against a battling Ramsgate side. Gavin Gordon put the hosts ahead from close range before Tom Tsangarides levelled in controversial style following a head injury to Merstham’s Sam Hewitt. Merstham responded immediately through Billy Marshall and Neil Lampton extended the hosts advantage midway through the second half. Gary Mickelborough brought the deficit back down to set-up a tense final 20 minutes before Gordon secured the points in injury time.

Merstham started the game positively for a team who have only won once this year as Gordon headed a Hewitt long throw over within the first 60 seconds and Marshall’s overhead kick on 16 minutes deflected just over the bar. Ramsgate’s Gary Lockyer should have put the visitors ahead after 20 minutes but he dragged a low shot just wide of the far post from a long throw and a minute later the striker found himself through on-goal but fired his effort straight at Ian Chatfield. The home side had opportunities of their own as Ramsgate keeper Sam Mott denied James Hancock’s low shot with an outstretched foot and Wes Goggin’s first-time volley from Dale Marvell’s corner flew inches over the top corner. The first goal was always going to be crucial and Merstham managed to take the lead on 30 minutes. Billy Marshall’s dangerous ball bobbled around the box and allowed Gavin Gordon to nip in-between the centre backs and head home from six yards for the half-time lead.

A tentative start to the second half was soon overshadowed by Ramsgate’s 54th minute equaliser. Hewitt collided accidently with Mickelborough and fell to the ground on the halfway line holding his head. Merstham players appealed to the referee to stop play but the game continued and the visitor’s took full advantage of the extra man as Tom Tsangarides found acres of space inside the area to slot the ball past Chatfield. The players immediately surrounded the referee to change his mind but the goal stood and Hewitt had to leave the field injured following the collision. Merstham showed their resilience as they regained the lead less than three minutes later even though they were playing with ten men. With Hewitt still being treated on the sidelines, Lampton clipped a long ball forward towards Marshall and the striker turned his marker and fired a low volley under Mott. Marshall inspired Merstham’s determination as his hunger to chase long balls and win the ball back for the team lead to the corner for their third goal on 63 minutes. Marvell’s corner somehow found its way to an unmarked Lampton at the back post and he struck a fierce shot through a crowd of players to double Merstham’s advantage. Mickelborough gave the visitors a lifeline five minutes later as the Ramsgate striker managed to beat Craig Vernon and unleash a powerful effort that flew past Chatfield. The tension inside the last 20 minutes brought an edginess around the ground and when Mickelborough went through on-goal on 80 minutes supporters feared the worst but Chatfield superbly saved to deny the striker. The home side looked like they were going to hold-on but Ramsgate were awarded a free-kick in the second minute of injury time and keeper Mott was sent upfield. Goggin cleared the danger for Merstham and Marvell’s killer pass allowed Gordon to seal victory by rolling the ball into an empty net from 30 yards to spark rapturous celebrations around The Moatside.

 

Saturday 13th February 2010
Ryman League Division One South
Walton & Hersham 2 v 1 Merstham
(HT 2-0)
Scorers: Craig Vernon (pen)
Team: Ian Chatfield, James Hancock, Adam Moriarty, Sam Hewitt (Tristan Frontin), Craig Vernon, NJ Lampton, Scott Todd (David Smith), Wes Goggin (c) (Billy Marshall), Craig Carley, Gavin Gordon , Dale Marvell
Unused Subs: Mu Maan, Dave Tidy (GK)
Merstham Man of the Match: Gavin Gordon
Referee: P. Lavelle
Attendance: 102
Match Sponsors: N/A
Earlier This Season: Merstham 3 (Maan, McGlashan, Gordon) Walton & Hersham 0
Last Season: Walton & Hersham 1 Merstham 1 (Joe Hill)
Photos (Click on Name):
Match Review:  Another unconvincing display by Merstham as they lose touch with any real chance of making the play-offs this season. Any thought of Merstham winning this game was quickly extinguished by former Moatside favourite Kevin Lock with less than ten minutes on the clock and just five minutes later the Swans lead was doubled by Martin Grant; Merstham’s collective chin dropped with an almost audible clang as if to say “here we go again” and they never really got back into the game. Merstham did grab a late goal through a Craig Vernon penalty after a W&H defender was adjudged to have handled the ball. -  Johnny Moatside

Match Report: David Kirkaldy
Two goals inside the opening 15 minutes gave Walton and Hersham a comfortable victory against another unconvincing Merstham performance. Former Moatside striker Kevin Lock and Martin Grant pounced on defensive errors from the visitors to hand the hosts a decisive first-half advantage. Craig Vernon grabbed a consolation from the penalty spot in injury time but Merstham’s spirited fight back came too late to change the result.

After a tentative start, Walton and Hersham created the first opportunity as Ryan Lake drove into the penalty area but blasted his effort over the bar. The hosts did not have to wait long for their opener as Peter Barkley’s quick thinking from a free-kick on 9 minutes allowed Graham Harper to run towards the right byline. Harper fired a low cross towards Lock in the six yard box and the striker made no mistake from close range. Walton and Hersham extended their lead less than four minutes later. Lock flicked on Elliott Braithwaite’s long ball towards his striking partner Grant who calmly rounded Ian Chatfield and slotted the ball home from an acute angle. Merstham failed to impose themselves in the first-half with their best opening coming after 26 minutes but Braithwaite managed to block Craig Carley’s attempt at goal.

The second half showed an improvement by the visitors as Dale Marvell had Merstham’s first shot in anger on 49 minutes although his long range effort was comfortable held by goalkeeper Delroy Preddie. Walton and Hersham fluffed a great opportunity to put the game beyond doubt midway through the second half. Craig Vernon’s mistake allowed substitute Jordan Cheadle to put the ball on a plate for Tommy Williams but the midfielder volleyed his effort over from six yards with only Chatfield to beat. Merstham brought on David Smith and Billy Marshall to bolster their attacking options. But it was only when Graham Harper had to be taken off injured that Walton and Hersham found themselves down to ten men after using all their subs and left them clinging onto their lead with less than ten minutes to play. Carley blasted his close range effort over the bar after Adam Moriarty’s cross ricocheted right into the striker’s path and Gavin Gordon saw his shot cleared off the line with only minutes remaining. Merstham’s luck turned as they were awarded a controversial penalty in the final minute as Neil Lampton’s fierce shot struck Adam Broomhead’s arm. Vernon stepped up and fired the spot kick straight down the middle to set-up a tense finish. However, the game was held up as Preddie continued the protest by holding onto the ball. Although he was booked for his protest, the keeper still did not release the ball and then appeared to head butt Vernon. A confrontation broke out involving all the players on the field. The referee eventually calmed proceedings but the lengthy stoppage in play ensured Merstham failed to recapture their momentum leaving Walton and Hersham to cling on to the victory.

 

Saturday 6th February 2010
Ryman League Division One South
Merstham 1 v 5 Croydon Athletic
(HT 0-2)
Scorers: Craig Vernon
Team: Ian Chatfield, James Hancock, Adam Moriarty, Sam Hewitt, Craig Vernon, Mu Maan (Tristan Frontin), David Smith (Matt Males), Wes Goggin (c), Craig Carley, Billy Marshall (Luke Williams), Dale Marvell
Subs Not Used: James Deacons, Dave Tidy (GK)
Man of the Match: Ian Chatfield
Referee: S. Rea (Hayes)
Attendance: 152
Match Sponsors: Irish & Tony Ritchie
Earlier This Season: Croydon 1 (Tom Bolarinwa) Merstham 0
Last Season: Merstham 0 Croydon Athletic 1
Photos (Click on Name):
Match Review: Merstham succumbed to first class display of football by promotion prospects Croydon Athletic and their victory could have been greater but for some fine keeping from Ian Chatfield. Two goals apiece from Gareth Williams and Rory Hill and one from the league’s leading scorer Gary Noel completed Merstham’s rout.  Merstham’s only real ‘dominance’ in the game came in the first fifteen minutes of the second half culminating in a Craig Vernon goal from a Dale Marvell corner. -  Johnny Moatside

Match Report: David Kirkaldy

Croydon Athletic overpowered Merstham to illustrate their promotion credentials but leaves the home side with a mountain to climb to rescue their season. Gareth Williams and Rory Hill opened a two-goal lead for Croydon in the first half. Craig Vernon clawed the hosts back into the game but hopes of a point were dashed as Hill struck again on 74 minutes. Williams and Gary Noel completed the rout in the final five minutes as Merstham have failed to record a home victory in the league since October.

After extra time and defeat on penalties to Woking in mid-week, Merstham struggled to get a foothold in the game as the midfield looked tired and continually gave possession away. Croydon’s Ben Godfrey almost took advantage on 12 minutes as his turn and shot dropped inches wide of Ian Chatfield’s far post. Craig Carley and debutant Dale Marvell both hit long range efforts off-target for Merstham before the visitors deservedly took the lead on 23 minutes. Godfrey’s dangerous cross created confusion amongst the hosts defence and allowed Williams to fire the ball into an empty net. Croydon continued the onslaught as Danny Walden’s 25-yard shot sailed just over the bar and Anthony Piper’s 44th minute volley was superbly tipped over by Chatfield. However, the visitors did manage to grab the all-important second goal before the break as Hill sensationally managed to loop the ball over Chatfield and found the net via the far post.

Merstham changed tactics in the second half going route one as Tristan Frontin came off the bench. The change almost had an immediate impact but Marvell’s tame shot ended straight in keeper Nick Morgan’s arms. The hosts got themselves back into the game on 60 minutes as Craig Vernon showed brilliant technique to volley home Marvell’s corner. Merstham should have equalised moments later from another Marvell corner but this time an unmarked Frontin failed to connect with the cross. Croydon started to dictate play again as Williams had his shot cleared off-the-line by Sam Hewitt. But less than a minute later the visitors restored their two-goal advantage as Hill found himself free inside the penalty area to volley home and seal the victory. The visitors continued to press as Piper saw his powerful shot rebound off the underside of the bar before Williams headed the fourth on 88 minutes from Leslie Thompson’s pinpoint cross. Merstham’s miserable afternoon was complete in injury time after Hewitt’s slip allowed the league’s top scorer Gary Noel to strike and leave a dejected home side to reflect on a disappointing week.

 

Tuesday 2nd February 2010
Surrey Senior Cup 3rd Round
Woking 1 v 1 Merstham
Woking won 3-0 on Penalties
(HT 0-1)
Scorers: Liam Bellamy
Team: Ian Chatfield, James Hancock, Adam Moriarty, Jordan Anderson, Craig Vernon, Mu Maan, Liam Bellamy, Wes Goggin (c), Craig Carley, Billy Marshall (Chris Wright), David Smith (Matt Males)
Unused Subs: Sam Hewitt, Carl Gibbs, Cedric Abraham
Man of the Match: Ian Chatfield
Referee: N. Lugg
Attendance: 150
Match Sponsors: N/A
Earlier This Season: N/A
Last Season: N/A
Photos (Click on Name):
Match Review: Merstham played some of their best football of the season in this cup tie and if the chances had gone their way they would have run out comfortable winners. Liam Bellamy, the youngster on loan from Charlton Athletic, grabbed his first goal for the Moatsiders at the close of the first half after Woking keeper Ross Worner failed to hold on to a David Smith shot and Bellamy was there to tap the ball home. Merstham continued to work hard in the second half until seven minutes from the end when Craig Vernon gave away a needless penalty when he brought down Jamie Slabber.  Woking midfielder Billy Hussey stepped up to the spot but the shot was parried by the diving Ian Chatfield but only as far as Rob Carr who simply stabbed the ball home from a yard out. And so to extra time. Woking, having used all their subs, were reduced to ten men when goalscorer Carr jarred his hip after jumping for a ball and was taken off at the break. The second half of extra time brought no further goals and the game went to a penalty shoot-out. This was disastrous for Merstham who saw Craig Carley shoot wide, Bellamy have his saved and Adam Moriarty hit the bar. Chatfield managed to save  one but in the end Woking easily won the shoot-out 3-0. -  Johnny Moatside

Match Report: David Kirkaldy
Merstham’s dreams of silverware in this season’s Surrey Senior Cup ended after suffering a penalty shootout defeat against Woking. Liam Bellamy deservedly put The Moatsiders ahead on the stroke of half-time but substitute Rob Carr equalised for the home side inside the final ten minutes to take the tie into extra time. With no goals in the additional 30 minutes the game went to penalties. Merstham failed to convert any of their spot kicks while Woking scored three out of their four penalties and will now face Badshot Lea in the Quarter Finals.

Merstham started the stronger as the hosts struggled to string two passes together. David Smith and Mu Maan both hit long range efforts off-target before Adam Moriarty saw his long range effort brilliantly saved by Woking’s Ross Worner. The home side’s best chance came when Joe McNerny powered a header from Sam Sloma’s corner just over the bar. Merstham continued to press forward and came closest ten minutes before the interval when Billy Marshall’s spectacular overhead kick looped inches over the bar. The visitor’s pressure finally paid off on 44 minutes. David Smith darted past Ricky Anane and his low cross found Bellamy inside the six-yard box who managed to stab the ball past Worner at the second attempt.

Woking started the second half determined to claw their way back into the tie as first Charlie Moone and then Jaime Hand managing to get in-behind the Merstham defence but both fired their shots just wide of Ian Chatfield’s goal. Just as Merstham looked comfortably for the win, Craig Vernon gave away a needless penalty after bringing down Jamie Slabber inside the area. Chatfield managed to save Billy Hussey’s spot kick but Carr reacted quickest to tap home the rebound. Woking could have won the game in the dying moments of injury time but new signing Jordan Anderson somehow managed to block Matt Powell’s effort with the goal at his mercy.

The game went into extra time with both teams tiring. Merstham’s only notable chance came when Mu Maan’s 25-yard effort destined for the top corner was superbly tipped over the bar by Worner meaning the game had to be decided by the lottery of penalties.

The visiting fans watched anxiously as Craig Carley fired wide, Bellamy saw his shot saved and Moriarty hit the crossbar with their efforts before Woking’s Aaron Gough settled the tie firing the ball past Chatfield and to a match against Badshot Lea for a place in the Semi-Finals.

Merstham will look to build on this good performance as they look to bounce back against playoff rivals Croydon Athletic on Saturday at the Moatside

 

Saturday 23rd January 2010
Ryman League Division One South
Merstham 2 v 4 Godalming Town
(HT 0-0)
Scorers: Cedric Abraham, Billy Marshall
Team: Ian Chatfield, Liam Bellamy, Adam Moriarty, Tristan Frontin, Sam Hewitt, NJ Lampton, Mu Maan (Matt Males), Wes Goggin (c), Craig Carley, Cedric Abraham (Billy Marshall), David Smith
Unused Subs: Tom Jelley, James Hancock, Jos Iles (GK)
Man of the Match: David Smith
Referee: T J Robinson
Attendance: 134
Match Sponsors: Hitesh & Deepti Chauhan
Earlier This Season: Godalming Town 3 Merstham 1 (Julian Owusu-Bekoe)
Last Season: Merstham 1 (Michael Morgan) Godalming Town 2
Photos (Click on Name):
Match Review: Yet again Merstham seemed to forget that they have to play in both halves of a game. Holding their own in the first period, where they could have been two up in the opening five minutes, they lost the plot in a six-goal second half where you could be forgiven for thinking Manager Graeme Banyard had substituted all ten outfield players. I don't like to ‘kick’ a side when they’re down but Merstham were poor and the constant line-up changes, forced or otherwise, are not helping to settle the side down. Taking nothing away from Godalming, who look certain for a play-off place, they are a good physical side who took full advantage of Merstham’s lack of concentration through leading scorers Glen Stanley and Phil Williams who scored two apiece. Next week the Moatsiders travel to League leaders Folkestone Invicta who have only lost once so far this season. However David did slay Goliath. -  Johnny Moatside

Match Report: David Kirkaldy
Glen Stanley and Phil Williams scored twice as Godalming Town dismantled a Merstham side struggling for confidence. Cedric Abraham opened the scoring for the hosts on his debut before Stanley and Williams took Merstham apart in the second half. Billy Marshall added a consolation goal in injury time for Merstham who have only won once in their last nine league games.

The home side started brightly and should have taken the lead inside the opening two minutes after Craig Carley’s cross found Wes Goggin unmarked five yards from goal but Goggin failed to direct the ball towards the goal. At the other end, Merstham keeper Ian Chatfield produced a fantastic save to deny Williams from point blank range. Both sides showed plenty of endeavour but lacked quality in the final third although David Smith and Carley both fired efforts just off target for the hosts before the interval.

Merstham continued to press in the second half and opened the scoring on 48 minutes. Mu Maan played a short corner to Smith and his cross found Abraham in the centre who powered his shot past goalkeeper Rodney Chiweske. However, the lead lasted less than two minutes after Liam Bellamy was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the area. Stanley calmly tucked the penalty in the bottom right corner to equalise for the visitors. Godalming took the lead on the hour mark after Stanley was allowed time and space to pick out an unmarked Williams inside the area for a simple finish. The visitors extended their lead on 78 minutes after Chatfield’s poor clearance allowed Williams to return the favour to Stanley who superbly found the top corner past a stranded Chatfield. Williams used his pace to get in-behind the hosts defence and round Chatfield after 85 minutes for the fourth to put the game beyond doubt. Substitute Billy Marshall’s deft flick past Chiweske added a consolation for Merstham in injury time but it was too little too late and leaves The Moatsiders with a mountain to climb ahead of their match against top of the table Folkestone Invicta.

 

Tuesday 19th January 2010
Ryman League Division One South
Merstham 1 v 1 Burgess Hill Town
(HT 0-0)
Scorers: Paul Hunt
Team: Ian Chatfield, Tom Jelley, Sam Hewitt, Tristan Frontin, Craig Vernon (James Hancock), NJ Lampton, Matt Males (Carl Gibbs), Wes Goggin (c), Craig Carley, Billy Marshall (Paul Hunt), David Smith
Unused Subs: Adam Moriarty, Mu Maan
Man of the Match: Paul Hunt
Referee: A. Slaughter
Attendance: 100
Match Ball Sponsors: Iris & Tony Ritchie
Earlier This Season: N/A
Last Season:
Merstham 1 (Matt Francis) Burgess Hill Town 1
Photos (Click on Name):
Match Review: It took an 85th equalising goal by substitute Paul Hunt to earn Merstham a point in a game which lacked continuity by both sides. In the first half Merstham fell time and time again to the Hillians’ offside trap with the officials seeming to disregard the ‘not interfering with play’ rule. Burgess Hill opened the scoring in the 51st when a Lloyd Skinner free kick found its way to Danny Curd who simply tapped it home. Merstham’s veteran defender Craig Vernon had to be taken off on a stretcher with an ankle injury and taken to hospital when a misjudged tackle by a Hillians’ played left him in agony. The Moatsiders finally levelled when midfielder Paul Hunt put in a Tristan Frontin cross from 10 yards. -  Johnny Moatside

Match Report: David Kirkaldy
Paul Hunt grabbed a late equaliser as Merstham salvaged a draw against Burgess Hill Town. Danny Curd opened the scoring for the visitors on 51 minutes but substitute Hunt rescued a point for The Moatsiders inside the final ten minutes.

An uneventful first half saw both sides struggle to take control of the game. Burgess Hill created the first opportunity after 20 minutes but Will Berry’s tame shot was easily held by keeper Ian Chatfield. Moments later Curd drilled an effort inches wide before Merstham first’s shot in anger on 35 minutes saw Joe Adams comfortably save from Billy Marshall. The home side could have taken the lead before the interval as Marshall played the ball across the box but Carley failed to get on the end of the cross.

Merstham started the second half brightly as Marshall and Matt Males both tried their luck from distance but failed to trouble Adams. Burgess Hill took the lead five minutes after the restart from the game's first corner. Lloyd Skinner's cross was nodded on by Matt Hawley to the back post where Cord reacted quickest to poke the ball under Chatfield. John Lansdale failed to increase Burgess Hill's advantage after sliding and missing Cord’s cross in an attack that resulted in Merstham defender Craig Vernon having to be taken off on a stretcher with an ankle injury. Merstham continued to search for an equaliser with Marshall dragging another effort wide of the post and soon after Wes Goggin broke through the visitors defence but Adams was on-hand to avert the danger. Burgess Hill’s Justin Gregory thought he put the game beyond doubt on 84 minutes but somehow his effort was blocked and cleared away. Cue substitute Hunt, thrown on as a target man, he managed to get his foot on the end of Tristan Frontin’s cross to equalise from close range. Merstham even had the chance to win the match in injury time. Carley managed to beat the offside trap and although his tame shot crept under Adams he could only watch the ball roll the wrong side of the post and after seven minutes of injury time both teams had to settle for a point.

 

Saturday 16th January 2010
Ryman League Division One South
Chatham Town 3 v 2 Merstham
(HT 1-0)
Scorers: Craig Carley, Billy Marshall
Team: Ian Chatfield, Tom Jelley (James Hancock), Sam Hewitt, Tristan Frontin, Craig Vernon, Neil Lampton, Matt Males, Wes Goggin (c) (Mu Maan), Craig Carley,  Carl Gibbs (Billy Marshall), David Smith
Unused Subs: Adam Moriarty, James Deacons
Man of the Match: David Smith
Referee:
A. Parker (Stanford-Le-Hope)
Attendance: 129
Match Ball Sponsors: N/A
Earlier This Season: Merstham 2 (Leon Simpson 2)  Chatham Town 1 (Brendon Cass)
Last Season:
N/A
Photos (Click on Name):
Match Review: In one of only two matches that beat the weather in Division One South, Merstham should have come away with at least one point but Chatham’s Lee Barnett scored with five minutes left to give the home side 3-2 victory in a game that, for a long time, looked as if it would be settled by a 12th minute goal by ‘Chats’ leading scorer Brendon Cass. After a poor first half Merstham looked much improved in the second half but were somewhat bemused by the sending off of Tristan Frontin midway through half. However they drew level in the 72nd minute through Craig Carley and, after Ashley Probets restored Chatham’s lead six minutes later, Billy Marshall hit back again. The ten Moatsiders, however, had no answer to Barnett’s 30-yarder which took a wicked deflection and looped over the stranded Ian Chatfield. -  Johnny Moatside

Match Report: David Kirkaldy
Lee Barnett ended Merstham’s courageous fight back five minutes from time after his deflected effort ensured victory for Chatham Town. The visitors showed great character to equalise twice after going down to ten men following Tristan Frontin’s red card midway through the second half. Billy Marshall’s strike in the final ten minutes looked to have snatched Merstham a point before Barnett’s shot deflected off defender Craig Vernon’s foot and looped agonisingly over goalkeeper Ian Chatfield into the net.

The visitors almost scored inside the first minute after Sam Hewitt’s long throw caused chaos inside the Chatham penalty area. Matt Males poked the ball past keeper Dean Ruddy but Michael Scott managed to clear the effort off the line. Chatham opened the scoring after 13 minutes when Merstham failed to close down a short corner and allowed Ashley Probets to pick out Brendon Cass who looped his header over Chatfield for an early lead. The home side created further openings as Barnett fired a 25-yard piledriver just over the bar and then Rob Denness held off a couple of challenges before finding Barnett who fizzed another effort inches wide of the post.

Merstham came out rejuvenated in the second half as Wes Goggin curled his effort wide and moments later Craig Vernon blazed over the bar after he was left unmarked at the back post from a Males corner. The game became stretched as Merstham chased for an equaliser but on 66 minutes disaster struck. Frontin tangled with Justin Ascheri and as the last man the referee had no option but to give the defender his marching orders. Going down to ten men seemed to enrage the visitors and they equalised after 72 minutes. David Smith fired a low shot that Ruddy could only parry and Craig Carley was on hand to tap home the rebound into an empty net. Twelve minutes from time Chatham regained the lead when an Ashley Probets free kick eluded everyone in the box and flew past a despairing Chatfield into the far corner. However, the lead only lasted four minutes as Merstham substitute Marshall superbly controlled Smith’s cross and hooked the ball over Ruddy into the far corner to spark ecstatic celebrations from the travelling support. The celebrations were premature as Barnett’s fortuitous winner on 85 minutes ensured Chatham took the three points their performance deserved and leaves Merstham playing catch-up towards their playoff rivals.

 

Saturday 2nd January 2010
Ryman League Division One South
Chipstead 0 v 1 Merstham
(HT 0-1)
Scorers: Carl Gibbs
Team: Ian Chatfield, Tom Jelley (Matt Males), Sam Hewitt, Tristan Frontin, Craig Vernon, Neil Lampton, James Hancock, Wes Goggin (c), Craig Carley,  Carl Gibbs (Billy Marshall), David Smith
Unused Subs: Aaron Hay, Adam Moriarty, James Deacons
Man of the Match: David Smith
Referee:
R. Allum
Attendance: 163
Match Ball Sponsors: N/A
Earlier This Season: Merstham 0 Chipstead 3
Last Season:
Chipstead 2 Merstham 2 (Luke Adams, Mark Simmons)
Photos (Click on Name): Sue Austen
Match Review: To the surprise of some of their supporters Merstham turned the tables on Chipstead after losing to them 3-0 at the Moatside just seven days ago. Fielding basically the same side as last weekend it was in name only that they resembled that team. It was a much improved and tight performance by Merstham which could have resulted in a greater win for the Moatsiders had it not been for an outstanding display of goalkeeping by the ‘Chips’ keeper James Wastell. -  Johnny Moatside

Match Report: David Kirkaldy
Carl Gibbs secured Merstham’s first league victory since November and turned the tables on Chipstead after last week’s defeat to their local rivals. The hosts failed to take the lead before the interval as Ray Freeman missed an open goal and Gibbs struck two minutes later to get Merstham’s playoff aspirations back on track.

The visitors begun positively as they looked determined to set the record straight following their 3-0 defeat to the same opponents on Boxing Day. David Smith drove forward and forced keeper James Wastell to make a low save inside the opening three minutes. Merstham got in behind the home defence again on 20 minutes but Craig Carley directed his lob wide of the far post. The home side looked dangerous on the counter-attack and following a Merstham corner Freeman sprinted towards the visitor’s goal with only Wes Goggin to beat. But Merstham’s captain stood strong and did exceptionally well to keep Freeman from having a shot at goal. Another Chipstead break two minutes later gave Scott Simpson the time to pick out Ian Mathews at the far post but Mathews failed to keep his diving header under the crossbar. Chipstead should have taken the lead after 40 minutes. Sean Rivers played Anthony Morrison through on goal and with keeper Ian Chatfield approaching Morrison unselfishly squared the ball across to Freeman. However, with the goal at his mercy Freeman failed to control the pass and wasted a good opportunity to put the home side ahead. Freeman did manage to play the ball back to Simpson but his shot was easily saved by the recovering Chatfield. Chipstead paid a heavy price for the mistake as two minutes later Carley drove past Jason Thompson on the right and found Gibbs inside the penalty area who fired the ball past Wastell for the half-time lead.

Merstham continued to press forward in the second half but Wastell produced two outstanding saves to keep the hosts in the game. First the keeper denied Smith who fired a shot from close range and then a couple of minutes later he tipped a Wes Goggin header round the post. The final 20 minutes saw Merstham become tentative with Chipstead pushing for an equaliser. David Smith was impressive in midfield breaking up attacks and playing the simple ball to keep possession. Merstham had to survive a scare when Tristan Frontin failed to clear his lines leaving Simpson to get his foot to the ball before reaching Chatfield. Luckily Simpson could not direct the effort on target as the ball drifted comfortably wide. Chipstead pushed everybody forward in the final minutes and when Russell Bedford’s free-kick fell kindly to substitute Michael Donovan inside the area, Chatfield needed to be on hand again to push the ball to safety as Merstham held on for a valuable three points.

 

Saturday 26th December 2009
Ryman League Division One South
Merstham 0 v 3 Chipstead
(HT 0-1)
Scorers:
Team: Ian Chatfield, James Hancock, Adam Moriarty (Tom Jelley), Tristan Frontin, Craig Vernon, Charlie Turnball (Paul Hunt), David Smith (Carl Gibbs), Wes Goggin (c), Craig Carley,  NJ Lampton, Aaron Hay
Unused Subs: Billy Marshall, Mark Rouse (GK)
Man of the Match: Wes Goggin
Referee:
J. O'Brien
Attendance: 150
Match Ball Sponsors: Chapman & Son Butchers
Earlier This Season: N/A
Last Season:
Merstham 0 Chipstead 0
Photos (Click on Name): Simon Roe
Match Review: You can use all the festive excuses, too much Christmas cheer and “we shouldn’t be playing on Boxing Day” but this was a dire performance by Merstham and to quote a couple of players “That was embarrassing”; Merstham were simply outclassed by a disciplined and motivated Chipstead team. The turning point of the game came when just before the break, and at 1-0 down to a Sean Rivers penalty, Craig Carley missed a penalty for the home side thus missing the chance of finishing the half on level terms. Merstham’s chances in the second half were few and far between and the visitors took advantage of the Moatsiders lack of conviction when on the hour Rivers added his and Chipstead’s second closely followed by a third by Scott Simpson. We all know it’s been a difficult time for Manager Graeme Banyard with speedy winger Jermaine McGlashan leaving the club and Mu Maan unavailable but some of his recent team selections have surprised Merstham supporters and gaining three points away at Whyteleafe on Bank Holiday Monday seems like a pipe dream to many of them. Prove them wrong Graeme.. -  Johnny Moatside

Match Report: David Kirkaldy
A Sean Rivers double earned Chipstead victory against a struggling Merstham who are without a league win in five games. Craig Carley failed to equalise from the penalty spot before the interval in what turned out to be a pivotal moment as the visitors extended their lead in the second half and ran out comfortable winners.

Merstham started brightly and should have taken the lead inside three minutes but Wes Goggin’s fierce shot was blocked on the line by Chipstead defender Nicky White. From the resulting corner Tristan Frontin’s powerful header fell straight into goalkeeper James Wastell’s arms. The visitors started to dictate play with Anthony Morrison pulling the strings in midfield and on 20 minutes it was Morrison’s low shot that whistled inches wide of the post. Chipstead pressure finally paid off four minutes later when Merstham’s Charlie Turnball was adjudged to have handled inside the area. Rivers fired the penalty down the middle to give the visitors the advantage. Merstham had the opportunity to equalise with a spot kick of their own after Louis Hollingsworth brought down Aaron Hay inside the box. Carley managed to send Wastell the wrong way but could only watch as the ball rebounded back off the post. The scoreline could have been even worse for the home side as Rivers went through on-goal in injury time but Chatfield superbly denied the striker by somehow getting his fingertips to tip the effort over the bar.

Merstham pushed forward in the second half but lacked any creative impetus in the attacking third. The pitch played its part and made conditions difficult for both sides to get the ball under control. Wes Goggin managed to provide some support for Carley, running beyond the striker on 55 minutes but saw his low shot trickle agonisingly wide of the far post. Chipstead looked dangerous on the break and extended their lead on 60 minutes. After combining with Scott Simpson, the impressive Ray Freeman burst down the left and played an inch-perfect ball across the box for Rivers to finish from close range. Simpson put the game beyond doubt six minutes later following Adam Moriarty’s defensive mistake which allowed Morrison to bear down on-goal and set-up Simpson for an easy tap-in. Chipstead should have extended their lead but Chatfield denied Rivers his hat-trick after a volley from Josh Burchell’s corner and Simpson failed to connect properly with another Freeman cross. Carley summed up Merstham’s day when the striker miscued his effort in the final minute thanks to a bobble from the pitch. However, the home side will look to put this performance quickly behind them as they play local rivals Whyteleafe on Monday.

 

Saturday 12th December 2009
Ryman League Division One South
Merstham 1 v 1 Dulwich Hamlet
(HT 1-0)
Scorers: Billy Marshall
Team: Mark Rouse, Adam Moriarty, Tom Jelley, Sam Hewitt, Craig Vernon, Charlie Turnball, Billy Marshall (Aaron Hay), Wes Goggin (c), Craig Carley,  Paul Hunt (Tristan Frontin),  David Smith (James Hancock)
Unused Subs: Carl Gibbs, Ian Chatfield (GK)
Man of the Match: Wes Goggin
Referee:
E. Smith (Mayford)
Attendance: 158
Match Ball Sponsors: Iris & Tony Ritchie
Earlier This Season: N/A
Last Season:
Merstham 1 (Kevin Lock) Dulwich Hamlet 4
Photos (Click on Name):
Match Review: . -  Johnny Moatside

Match Report: David Kirkaldy
Merstham threw away another half-time lead this time against Dulwich Hamlet as both teams failed to make strides towards the playoff places. Billy Marshall opened the scoring moments before the interval but Justin Bowen equalised within five minutes of the restart.

Dulwich started brightly and could have taken the lead inside the opening five minutes but Merstham keeper Mark Rouse produced a magnificent save to get a hand onto Frankie Sawyer’s delicate chip. The hosts fought their way back into the game and grew in confidence as the half progressed. Sam Hewitt saw his low shot cleared off the line from new signing Charlie Turnbull’s corner and minutes later Craig Carley’s lofted effort over Dulwich goalkeeper Kieran Thorp landed on the roof of the goal. Merstham pressure finally paid off on the stroke of half-time. Dulwich failed to clear David Smith’s cross from the left and Marshall scrambled the ball home to give the home side the lead going into the break.

A rejuvenated Dulwich came out fighting in the second half and within minutes Sawyer found himself through on goal. The striker managed to slot the ball past Rouse and as the ball trickled towards the goal Craig Vernon intercepted the effort before it crossed the line. The visitors looked dangerous from set plays and Merstham could count themselves fortunate not to concede when Bowen failed to hit the target with his free header from Junior Kadi’s corner. However, the home side failed to learn their lesson and a couple of minutes later Bowen equalised after the defender met Nicolas Plumain’s cross at the far post. Both managers threw caution to the wind in search for a winner. Smith somehow missed the target from close range for Merstham after Carley’s shot deflected into his path. Dulwich’s Luke Hickie suffered the same fate moments later when he fired wide from inside the area following Plumain’s lay off. The latter stages saw plenty of endeavour but both teams lacked the killer instinct in the final third. Turnbull’s late effort for the home side flew straight into Thorp’s hands which restricted Merstham to a third league draw in four games and six points away from Croydon Athletic in the final playoff position.

 

Saturday 5th December 2009
Ryman League Division One South
Eastbourne Town 1 v 1 Merstham
(HT 0-1)

 
Scorers: Sam Hewitt
Team: Mark Rouse, Adam Moriarty, Sam Hewitt, Tristan Frontin, Craig Vernon, Mu Maan, Billy Marshall (Jimmy Majinya), Wes Goggin (c), Craig Carley,  Paul Hunt, (Tom Jelley), Jermaine McGlashan (David Smith)
Unused Sub: Matt Males
Man of the Match: Mark Rouse
Referee:
TBA
Attendance: 139
Match Ball Sponsors: N/A
Earlier This Season: Merstham 3 (Maan, Graham, Owusu-Bekoe) Eastbourne Town 0
Last Season:
Eastbourne Town 2 Merstham 3 (J. Hill, Smith, Gunner)
Photos (Click on Name):
Match Review:  Yet again Merstham threw away two points in the last ten minutes of the game conceding a needless penalty which Eastbourne’s Danny Simmonds dutifully converted. Merstham had taken the lead in the 23rd minute when Sam Hewitt met a Mu Maan corner and the defender scored his first goal for the Moatsiders. The poor condition of the pitch was proving difficult for both sides but Merstham seemed less able to adapt than the home side and a certain amount of frustration was creeping into their play. The second half was more of the same and Merstham just looked jaded and sloppy. The final straw came in the 80th minute when Tristan Frontin was adjudged to have handled the ball and Eastbourne Town equalised from the spot. A disappointing result for Merstham and they will have to vastly improve on today’s performance if they are to take anything at all from next Saturday’s home game against Dulwich Hamlet. -  Johnny Moatside

Match Report: David Kirkaldy
Merstham conceded another late goal as Eastbourne Town scraped a point in treacherous conditions on the south coast. Danny Simmonds’s penalty ten minutes from time cancelled out Sam Hewitt’s opener although Merstham will be concerned after crowd favourite Jermaine McGlashan was taken off following Jon Marzetti’s dangerous tackle.

The weather caused havoc from the outset as both teams struggled to cope with the heavy rain and windy conditions. The only chance in the opening 20 minutes fell to the home side as Chris Dicker’s free-kick flew straight into Merstham goalkeeper Mark Rouse hands. The visitors took the lead after 23 minutes when Sam Hewitt fired home Mu Maan’s corner for his first Merstham goal. The opener sparked Eastbourne into life and moments later they were gifted a penalty only for the linesman to change the referee’s mind and award the home side a free-kick on the edge of the area instead. A couple of minutes later, Eastbourne’s Scott MacDonald found himself through on goal but the referee stopped the game when a second ball had come onto the pitch. The home players immediately showed their frustration and surrounded the referee after being denied two clear goal scoring opportunities. McGlashan persistently caused Eastbourne problems down the left wing but on the stroke of half-time a dangerous challenge by Marzetti left the winger screaming on the ground. Marzetti suffered only a yellow card and although McGlashan tried to continue he could barely run and was later substituted.

The second half provided a worse spectacle as the weather continued to make life difficult. Rouse had to be alert early on to save Dicker’s low effort inside the area and quickly got back on his feet to deny Liam Baitup a simple finish. Merstham looked out of ideas and without McGlashan’s pace they lacked any attacking authority. They finally paid the price on 80 minutes when Tristan Frontin handled the ball inside the area after the defender slipped and the ball struck his hand while he was trying to protect his fall. The referee pointed to the spot and Simmonds dispatched the penalty sending Rouse the wrong way. The home side could have snatched a winner in the final minutes but Rouse denied MacDonald with an outstretched leg as both teams will look to the future and erase this dreadful game from their memory.

 

Tuesday 1st December 2009
Surrey Senior Cup Second Round
Merstham 4 v 3 Ashford Town (Middx)
(HT 2-1)
 
Scorers: Craig Carley, Wes Goggin, Paul Hunt, Carl Gibbs
Team:
Mark Rouse, Adam Moriarty (Sam Hewitt), Tom Jelley, Tristan Frontin, Craig Vernon, Mu Maan, Billy Marshall, Wes Goggin (c), Craig Carley (Carl Gibbs),  Paul Hunt (James Hancock), Jermaine McGlashan
Unused Subs:  David Smith, Dan Bennett
Man of the Match: Billy Marshall
Referee:
Alex Neil
Attendance: 82
Match Ball Sponsors: Andy McGillivray
Earlier This Season: N/A
Last Season:
N/A
Photos (Click on Name):
Match Review:  It seems that a game away from the league brought out the best in Merstham as the became the third RLD1S side to put Ryman Premier side Ashford Town (Middx) out of a cup competition this season. The Moatsiders went ahead through inform striker Craig Carley and just over ten minutes later they doubled their lead when Skipper Wes Goggin grabbed his first goal for the club. Merstham looked the better of the two sides and could have added a couple more before they conceded a very dubious penalty just before the break. Ashford’s striker Jon Palmer reduced the deficit from the resultant spot kick. Fielding a weakened side Ashford turned to regulars Paul Johnson and Byron Harrison early in the second half to try and bring some stability to their game but Merstham continued to dominate and were rewarded in the 80th minute when Paul Hunt scored their third. The home side then conceded a sloppy goal when a mix up in their defence saw Scott Harris add a second for the visitors. Minutes later Merstham took advantage of some poor Ashford defending as substitute Carl Gibbs made it four for the Moatsiders. But yet again Merstham gave away a silly goal deep into added-on time but it was all too late for the Premier side and Merstham came away as deserved winners. They will now meet either Woking or Dorking, who play on 8th December, in the next round provisionally set for Tuesday 19th January 2010. -  Johnny Moatside

Match Report: David Kirkaldy
Merstham edged out reigning Surrey Senior Cup holders Ashford Town after another seven goal thriller. Wes Goggin, Paul Hunt and Carl Gibbs scored their first goals for Merstham but then had to survive a late scare as Scott Harris and Byron Harrison gave Ashford hope of taking the game into extra time.

Merstham got off to the perfect start when Billy Marshall’s cross found in-form striker Craig Carley inside the box to convert from close range inside five minutes. Ashford fielded an inexperienced side having made eight changes from their previous match and the visitors showed their naivety to let Merstham increase their lead on 17 minutes. Carley’s perfectly weighted ball across the box picked out Wes Goggin’s forward run and he poked the ball into an empty net. Ashford were handed a lifeline on the stroke of half-time when Harris was pulled down inside the area. Palmer calmly sent keeper Mark Rouse the wrong way from the penalty spot and reduced the deficit to just one goal at the interval.

Merstham created numerous chances to increase their lead in the second half as Carley brought out a good save from Paul Burgess with his volley and Jermaine McGlashan lofted the ball over the bar when through on goal. The home side did regain their two goal advantage on 80 minutes. Marshall met Maan’s corner at the near post and although Burgess managed to save the effort Hunt reacted quickest to head home the rebound. Their joy was short lived as six minutes later the visitors clawed their way back into the game again as keeper Rouse dropped Danny Byron’s corner and allowed Harris to scramble home from close range to set-up a nervous finale. Merstham continued to press forward and Marshall unleashed a 30-yard thunderbolt which Burgess needed to tip over the bar. However, from the resulting corner Marshall found Gibbs at the near post and he managed to tuck the ball perfectly into the bottom corner to surely see Merstham home with only a couple of minutes remaining. Ashford did manage to score in the fifth minute of injury time as Byron Harrison headed home Paul Johnson’s free kick but it was too little too late leaving Merstham victorious and breathing a huge sigh of relief.

 

Saturday 28th November 2009
Ryman League Division One South
Merstham 0 v 2 Fleet Town
(HT 0-2)
Scorers:
Team:
Mark Rouse, James Hancock, Tom Jelley, Sam Hewitt, Craig Vernon, Paul Hunt (Mu Maan), Dan Bennett (David Smith), Wes Goggin (c), Craig Carley, Carl Gibbs (Tristan Frontin), Jermaine McGlashan
Unused Subs: Billy Marshall, Adam Moriarty
Man of the Match: Craig Vernon
Referee:
P. Nicholas (West Sussex)
Attendance: 128
Match Ball Sponsors: RenArt Ltd
Earlier This Season: Fleet Town 6 Merstham 0
Last Season:
Merstham 0 Fleet Town 0
Photos (Click on Name):
Match Review:  It took just fifteen seconds for Joe Nwoko to put the visitors in front and stun the Merstham supporters into a deathly silence. Thoughts of the 6-0 drubbing Merstham received when the two sides met earlier in the season returned to haunt players and spectators alike when twenty minutes later James Field added a second for the Blues. A much changed Merstham side looked jaded and, with the possible exception of Craig Vernon, never looked like they wanted to contend this fixture. Fleet could have easily matched the six scored at Calthorpe Park if they had put away their chances; hitting the woodwork on no fewer than five times. To the surprise of many of Merstham’s loyal supporters leading goal scorer Mu Maan sat out most of the game on the bench before being introduced with less than ten minutes to play. On today’s performance the Moatsiders are going to find it extremely hard to make the play-offs and showed how much they miss the skill and speed of the likes of Michael Gordon. -  Johnny Moatside

Match Report: David Kirkaldy
Fleet Town overpowered a lacklustre Merstham side after taking the lead inside the first fifteen seconds. The visitors inflicted Merstham’s heaviest defeat in the reverse fixture earlier this season and the signs looked ominous when Joe Nwoko and James Field gave them a two-goal lead before the interval. Fleet failed to extend their advantage hitting the woodwork on five occasions although Merstham supporters will be more concerned about the lack of chances created.

Merstham made a disastrous start straight from kick-off when Mark Anderson nipped ahead of defender Sam Hewitt and found Nwoko free inside the area for a simple finish. The home side were let off the hook ten minutes later when Field’s 25-yard thunderbolt beat goalkeeper Mark Rouse but came back off the crossbar. Anderson tapped home the rebound but luckily for Merstham was adjudged to be offside. Merstham failed to make an impression in the final third but expectation rose when Dan Bennett cut inside from the right flank and found the run of Jermaine McGlashan but the winger blasted the ball over the bar. James Field quickly became the star of the show. After hitting the woodwork again from a free-kick he managed to double Fleet’s advantage on 28 minutes firing a low shot past Rouse from a Steve Noakes long throw. Merstham should have reduced the deficit minutes before the interval but McGlashan failed to hit the target when he raced through on goal.

Fleet continued to dominate the second half and on 65 minutes Anderson had the opportunity to put the game beyond doubt but fired his shot wide when one-on-one with Rouse. The best the home side could muster was Craig Carley’s speculative effort although he dragged his effort past the post. Merstham’s reliance on McGlashan was evident as the winger became frustrated in the second half. Fleet crowded defenders around McGlashan although Nathan Smart was lucky to stay on the field as after receiving a yellow card he continued to persistently foul the winger. Mu Maan and David Smith failed to make an impact from the bench as Fleet ended the stronger of the teams. Darren Wheeler and substitute Eddie Smith both crashed efforts against the bar for the visitors as Merstham slumped to a disappointing defeat.

 

Tuesday 24th November 2009
Ryman League Division One South
Merstham 2 v 2 Horsham YMCA
(HT 0-0)
Scorers: Mu Maan, Craig Carley
Team:  Mark Rouse, James Hancock, Adam Moriarty, Tristan Frontin, Craig Vernon, Mu Maan, David Smith, Wes Goggin (c), Craig Carley, Billy Marshall (Paul Hunt), Jermaine McGlashan
Unused Subs:  Dan Bennett, Carl Gibbs, Tom Jelley, Jos Iles
Man of the Match: Craig Carley
Referee:
P. Wright
Attendance: 110
Match Ball Sponsors: Chapman & Son Butchers
Last Season: N/A
Photos (Click on Name):
Match Preview:  For the second game running all the ‘goal’ action happened in the last quarter of the match with Merstham throwing away two points in the last minute of the game. Both sides were evenly matched for much of the game with Horsham’s determination and style belying their lowly position in the league. Merstham took the lead through leading goalscorer Mu Mann in the 70th minute but with just five minutes remaining YM equalised with a goal by substitute Gavin Geddes. Within a minute the Moatsiders regained their lead through Saturday’s ‘hat-trick’ hero Craig Carley and the home side looked confident of another three points. However they didn’t reckon on the resolve of the visitors who, in the last action of the game, earned themselves a deserved point as Mick Huckett slipped the ball past Mark Rouse in the Merstham goal. -  Johnny Moatside

Match Report: David Kirkaldy
Mike Huckett’s injury time header deprived Merstham of victory in the last seconds of the game. Following Saturday’s last minute winner against Corinthian Casuals, The Moatsiders were given a taste of their own medicine as Horsham’s equaliser came almost six minutes into the four minutes of stoppage time. Mu Maan fired Merstham ahead midway through the second half but Gavin Geddes equalised five minutes from time. Merstham retook the lead within a minute of the restart through Craig Carley before Huckett’s header snatched a point for Horsham in the final seconds.

The visitors dominated the first half and could have taken the lead inside the opening two minutes as Tony Timms headed a corner onto the post. The windy conditions caused Merstham defenders all sorts of problems and on 16 minutes Horsham striker Shaheen Sadough raced through on-goal against debutant goalkeeper Mark Rouse but he lofted the ball over the bar. The home fans became frustrated with their team’s failure to make an impression in the final third but on 38 minutes Merstham created the best opportunity of the game as Carley saw his header cleared off the line from Adam Moriarty’s free kick. The rebound fell to Jermaine McGlashan who fired a shot wide from ten yards. Moments before the interval, Horsham’s Steve Metcalf had an opportunity to put his side ahead but Merstham captain Wes Goggin was on-hand to clear the defender’s header off the line as both teams had to settle for a goalless first half.

Horsham continued to control the match in the second half and a flowing move saw Sadough fizz his half-volley inches past the post following Huckett’s chested lay off. The home side came agonisingly close moments later as David Smith picked out Carley's run into the box and although the striker was able to take the ball round Rand he could only hit the outside of the post from an acute angle. Merstham pressure took its toll and they gained the lead on 71 minutes. Horsham’s Drew Cooney misjudged a high ball to allow Carley to run through on-goal and although the striker’s shot was saved by Rand, Maan was able to convert the rebound. The home side should have secured victory six minutes later when Carley rounded Rand again. This time Carley tried to pick out McGlashan inside the six yard box but with the ball flying behind him McGlashan’s bicycle kick flew inches wide of the post. Horsham equalised after 85 minutes when Neil Watts' long free kick fell to Gavin Geddes who managed to turn and get his shot away on the edge of the area to fire Horsham level. Merstham hit back straight away as Rand’s mistake allowed Carley to shoot from 20 yards for his fourth goal in two games. The visitors piled on the pressure and in the fifth minute of injury time Huckett managed to get his head to the ball before keeper Rouse could punch it away leaving Merstham players dejected as the referee blew the final whistle seconds later.

 

Saturday 21st November 2009
Ryman League Division One South
Corinthian-Casuals 3 v 4 Merstham
(HT 1-1)
Scorers: Craig Carley (3), David Smith
Team: Ian Chatfield, James Hancock, Tom Jelley, Tristan Frontin, Sam Hewitt, Mu Maan (Paul Hunt), Dan Bennett (David Smith), Wes Goggin (c), Craig Carley, Billy Marshall (Carl Gibbs), Jermaine McGlashan
Unused Subs:  Adam Moriarty, Tom Hughes
Man of the Match: Craig Carley
Referee:
K. Kirkbride
Attendance: 151
Match Ball Sponsors: N/A
Last Season: Corinthian-Casuals 2 Merstham 2 (Agyei, Gordon)
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Match Review:  Three goals by Merstham in the last five minutes of the game turned the result on its head as the Moatsiders deservedly claimed all three points after being on the end of some disgraceful refereeing decisions. In the seventeenth minute Merstham defender James Hancock was given a red card for apparently tripping a Casuals player when he clearly played the ball. The referee, who was well behind the play, was brandishing the red before he reached the shocked Hancock and failed to consult his assistant whose flag had remained down throughout the incident. From the resultant free kick Casuals went ahead through Kane Sergeant. Merstham levelled ten minutes later when striker Craig Carley netted the first of his hat-trick. Five minutes after the break and Casuals regained the lead through ex-Merstham favourite Jamel Carr and fifteen minutes later added a third through Yousef Metwali. Then came a second refereeing blunder when a Merstham goal was unbelievably disallowed when there was no doubt the ball had gone over the goal line and into the goal by at least two feet. The Moatsiders could easily have been forgiven for believing this was not to be their day but the speed and determination of substitute David Smith seemed to add a sparkle to their game and Merstham were rewarded in the 85th minute when Carley added his and Merstham’s second. This clearly knocked the stuffing out of the Casuals defence and just four minutes later it was Smith himself who added the equaliser. It took just a further minute for Merstham to claim all three points and for Carley to grab his first hat-trick for the club. On a down note keeper Ian Chatfield received a knock during the game and may not be available for the game against Horsham YMCA . -  Johnny Moatside

Match Report: David Kirkaldy
Craig Carley’s hat-trick broke Corinthian-Casual hearts as Merstham scored two injury time goals to snatch the points. Corinthian-Casuals looked assured of victory with a two goal advantage heading into the final ten minutes but substitute David Smith and Carley drove the visitors forward despite playing the majority of the game with ten men following the dismissal of James Hancock.

Merstham made the worst possible start as Hancock was sent off on 16 minutes after the referee adjudged him to be the last man when fouling Kane Sergeant. The home side took the lead from the resulting free-kick after the ball rebounded off-the-wall to Sergeant who found the bottom corner. The visitors were unlucky not to equalise soon after as Mu Maan’s 25-yard effort crashed against the crossbar. Merstham’s persistence paid off on 27 minutes after Wes Goggin’s shot was parried by keeper Matt Mann allowing Craig Carley to slot home from close range.

Corinthian-Casuals came out revitalised after the interval and took the lead within five minutes of the restart. Sergeant turned provider and his cross found Jamel Carr unmarked at the back post for a simple finish. Merstham created a golden opportunity to equalise midway through the second half but Carley failed to hit the target after Daniel Bennett’s cross landed at his feet. Moments later the home side opened up a two goal advantage as Yousef Metwali’s header looped over keeper Ian Chatfield into the net off the underside of the bar. The introduction of David Smith with 20 minutes remaining seemed to rejuvenate the visitors and his cross on 86 minutes allowed Carley to atone for his earlier miss and reduce the deficit with a looping header into the far corner. Merstham seemed to be running out of ideas going into injury time but a long ball into the box fortunately broke to Smith on the edge of the area who fired a low shot through a ruck of players into the net. Sensing victory, the visitors drove forward in search of a winner and in the fifth minute of injury time Smith drove down the left hand side and found Carley running towards goal. The striker raced through on-goal and lifted the ball over Mann and in off-the-post to spark wild celebrations from Merstham players and supporters around the ground.

 

Saturday 7th November 2009
Ryman League Division One South
Merstham 0 v 3 Sittingbourne
(HT 0-2)
Scorers:
Team:
Ian Chatfield, James Hancock, Tom Jelley (Craig Vernon), Tristan Frontin, Adam Thompson, John Hamsher, David Smith, Wes Goggin (c) (Mu Maan), Craig Carley, Carl Gibbs (Billy Marshall), Jermaine McGlashan
Unused Subs:  Matt Males, Jos Iles (GK)

Man of the Match: Wes Goggin
Referee:
G. Cane (Sussex)
Attendance: 138
Match Ball Sponsors: Sara Reeve
Last Season: Merstham 1 (Michael Morgan) Sittingbourne 2
Photos (Click on Name): Sue Austen
Match Review:  Merstham’s undefeated home record ended with a bang as they succumbed to an average Sittingbourne side. The opening exchanges saw Merstham the better of the two sides until in the 26th minute the Brickies leading scorer Hicham Akhazzan gave the visitors the lead. Merstham seemed stunned and looked in disarray as they sought an equaliser only to find themselves two goals behind just five minutes before the break when Akhazzan grabbed his second. Into the second half and what little sparkle Merstham had had all but gone, with the possible exception of David Smith and Wes Goggin, as they continued to play with a complete lack of ambition. Sittingbourne were little better, but they did manage a third goal late in the game through striker Eli Kayembe. Merstham will have to do considerably better than this if they wish to maintain their play-off hopes. -  Johnny Moatside

Match Report: David Kirkaldy
Merstham’s undefeated home record ended after a lacklustre performance against a well-organised Sittingbourne. Hicham Akhazzan gave the visitors a two goal advantage before the interval and Eli Kayembe added a third late on as the home side failed to muster a second half revival.

Merstham had an opportunity to strike in the first minute. John Hamsher whipped a free-kick into the box which evaded everyone but goalkeeper Deren Ibrahim was on hand to tip the ball round the post. Sittingbourne also created openings from set-plays as Nick Reeves tenth minute volley from Colin Richmond’s corner fell straight into Ian Chatfield’s hands and eight minutes later Matt Bourne met another Richmond corner but his header sailed over the bar. The visitors deservedly took the lead on 26 minutes as Hicham Akhazzan found plenty of space at the back post to head home Jimmy Bottle’s cross from close range. The opening goal fired Merstham back into life and moments after the restart David Smith put a dangerous ball into the box but no Merstham attacker gambled inside the area to convert what would have been a simple tap-in. Hamsher’s set piece delivery continued to cause problems but both Tom Jelley and Carl Gibbs failed to hit the target with their headers from successive corners. Sittingbourne managed to increase their advantage five minutes before half-time as Richmond’s perfectly weighted pass put Akhazzan through on-goal and the striker lifted the ball over Chatfield for his second of the game.

Merstham needed an early second half goal and minutes after the restart home fans thought Hamsher had reduced the deficit but his free-kick went the wrong side of the post into the side netting. The home side lacked the creativity in the attacking third as Sittingbourne continued to pile on the pressure. The visitors could have increased their lead on 59 minutes but Chatfield superbly saved to deny Bottle who fired a volley from the edge of the area. Moments later Merstham Captain Wes Goggin, one of the few players to display some fight and desire, drove the home side forward and found Smith on the left wing but the midfielder lacked the composure as he blasted his effort over the bar. Akhazzan was denied his hat-trick on 67 minutes as he tried to find the far corner with his 25-yard effort but his shot whistled inches wide of the post. Merstham brought on Billy Marshall, Mu Maan and pushed defender Craig Vernon upfront for the final ten minutes but the changes had little impact. Sittingbourne added a third with three minutes remaining when Ashley Grant burst through the home defence and although Chatfield managed to save his shot the rebound fell straight to Kayembe who sealed a disappointing day for Merstham.

 

Saturday 31st October 2009
FA Trophy 2nd Qualifying Round
Tonbridge Angels 6 v 1 Merstham
(HT 3-1)
Scorers: JJ McGlashan
Team:
Ian Chatfield, James Hancock, Adam Moriarty, Tristan Frontin, Craig Vernon, John Hamsher, David Smith (Dan Bennett), Wes Goggin (c), Mu Maan (Chris Brayne), Billy Marshall (Carl Gibbs), Jermaine McGlashan
Unused Subs:  Tom Hughes, Matt Males

Man of the Match: Jermaine McGlashan
Referee:
H. Lennard (Peacehaven)
Attendance: 386
Match Ball Sponsors: N/A
Last Season: N/A
Photos (Click on Name): Sue Austen
Match Review:  The first thought on many a Merstham supporter’s mind could be ‘what the hell went wrong’ followed quickly ‘by who’s to blame’. We are all so often guilty of thinking ‘I could do better’ and ‘I would have played him instead of him’. The plain fact is that the team’s demolition of Hastings United in the first qualifying round two weeks ago put Manager Graeme Banyard under an enormous amount of pressure to repeat that performance when in all reality that’s ‘Roy of the Rovers’ stuff; not the real world. Graeme was forced into making several changes with injuries and players being cup-tied, this having a noticeable effect on the team with the exception of one or two of the players. Going one behind in the opening minutes didn’t help matters but JJ’s goal in the seventh minute restored some belief only to be destroyed eight minutes later when the Angels were awarded a penalty and restored their lead. Five minutes later and the Moatsiders were a further goal behind. Then came the real turning point of the game; Merstham were awarded a penalty when McGlashan was brought down. John Hamsher missed the kick and the ball bounced back into play, quick on the uptake Tonbridge headed toward the Merstham goal and there was a tussle between Craig Vernon and the Angels’ Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton pushed Vernon to the floor and unfortunately the angered Merstham defender who retaliated, the Referee had no option but to send both players off for their second yellow cards. From then on Merstham seemed to have given up the ghost and three further goals in the second half just heaped misery on the Moatsiders; they were simply outclassed.-  Johnny Moatside

Match Report: David Kirkaldy
Merstham were sent crashing out of the FA Trophy against Ryman Premier League side Tonbridge Angels by the same scoreline they had won with in the previous round. A frenetic opening 25 minutes saw four goals, two penalties and two red cards as the home side opened up a two goal advantage. Tonbridge Angels, who are 12th in the league above Merstham, displayed their superiority and added three second half goals to run out comfortable winners.

The home side took the lead inside two minutes when a Kirk Watts free-kick on the right was headed back across by Lee Minshall and found Paul Booth unmarked to fire home from close range. Merstham went route one for their equaliser five minutes later as Mu Maan flicked on Ian Chatfield’s goal kick to put Jermaine McGlashan through and the winger slotted home for his second goal in two games. The game was end-to-end as both teams had the opportunity to take the lead. Merstham’s returning striker Billy Marshall saw his header tipped over the bar by keeper Lee Worgan and Booth had his effort cleared off the line by Adam Moriarty who prevented the goal with a diving header while on the ground. Tonbridge were not to be denied their goal as on 14 minutes Craig Vernon was adjudged to have pulled Carl Rook down inside the penalty area. Rook took the penalty himself and managed to send Chatfield the wrong way. The home side increased their advantage six minutes later as Rook headed a Watts corner to the far post where Marc Cumberbatch was waiting to poke home. Moments after the restart, Merstham wasted a golden opportunity to claw their way back into the game as McGlashan was brought down inside the area. John Hamsher’s penalty hit the inside of the post but rebounded away from the goal as the home side survived a lucky escape. Two minutes later, both sides were reduced to 10 men when Tonbridge’s Lewis Hamilton and Vernon were sent off after a confrontation inside the Merstham penalty area. Although there were no more goals in the first half, both sides pressed forward with Rook blasting a one-on-one effort into the stands for the home side and just before the interval Merstham were denied when David Smith’s effort was saved by Worgan from point blank range.

The second half saw Tonbridge dominate proceedings and they deservedly increased their lead on 50 minutes as Minshall was given plenty of time and space on the edge off the area to caress the ball into the bottom corner. The home side scored their fifth a couple of minutes later after Booth got in-behind the visitors defence and although Chatfield saved his initial effort the rebound fell straight back to the striker to tap home. The game drifted to its inevitable conclusion but not before the home side added a sixth with five minutes remaining. Substitute Jean-Michael Sigere managed to poke the ball past Chatfield, who came flying out of his penalty area, and the striker comfortably walked the ball home to seal a disappointing result for the visitors.

 

Saturday 24th October 2009
Ryman League Division One South
Merstham 3 v 0 Walton & Hersham
(HT 1-0)
Scorers: Mu Maan, Jermaine McGlashan, Michael Gordon
Team:
Ian Chatfield, James Hancock, Tom Jelley, Adam Thompson, Tristan Frontin, John Hamsher, Michael Gordon (Matt Males), Wes Goggin (c), Craig Carley, Mu Maan (Dan Bennett), Jermaine McGlashan
Unused Subs:  David Smith, Jimmy Majinya, Tom Hughes

Man of the Match: Jermaine McGlashan
Referee:
P. Nicholas (Sussex)
Attendance: 211
Match Ball Sponsors: HUA Services LLP
Last Season: Merstham 5 (Lock (4), Morgan) Walton & Hersham 0
Photos (Click on Name): Sue Austen
Match Review:  Merstham shook off the disappointment of losing their giant centre forward Leon Simpson to Southern Premier League side Farnborough to easily overcome Walton & Hersham and remain in third place in the league. Neither side looked at their best but it was Merstham who gained the upper hand when, with barely 15 minutes on the clock, Mu Maan opened Merstham’s account. It took until the last twenty minute for the Moatsiders to seal all three points with goals from JJ McGlashan and Michael Gordon. A good result for Merstham who showed that even when they don't play their best football they can still be a formidable opponent. Another piece of good news for Merstham was that Billy Marshall, who suffered a broken cheek bone in the FA Cup tie against Faversham Town back at the end of August, has been given the all clear to play again and hopes to feature in the Reserves home game against Molesey next Wednesday. -  Johnny Moatside

Match Report: David Kirkaldy
Merstham battled to secure victory against a tenacious Walton and Hersham side to maintain their unbeaten home record. Although Mu Maan gave Merstham the early advantage the home side were made to sweat on their slender lead as their opponents created several opportunities to equalise. The visitors were left to rue their missed chances as second half strikes from Jermaine McGlashan and Michael Gordon sealed the three points for the Moatsiders.

Walton and Hersham could have taken the lead inside the first ten minutes as Kevin Lock, who scored four goals for Merstham in last season’s corresponding fixture, saw his close range header tipped over the bar by Ian Chatfield. Merstham took the lead on 15 minutes when John Hamsher’s cross on the right found Maan unmarked at the back post and he poked the ball underneath veteran goalkeeper Delroy Preddie into the net. The visitors probed forward in search of an equaliser as Aaron Murphy’s 25-yard thunderbolt whistled just wide of Chatfield’s post and John Boswell failed to connect properly with Jordan Cheadle’s free-kick as he headed the ball wide from six yards. The home side survived a huge scare before the interval when Junior Kaffo lifted the ball over the Merstham defence into the path of Ryan Adams but the defender drove his effort into the side netting.

Merstham came out fighting in the second half and minutes after the restart Gordon came to life as the winger darted past two defenders but Adams came across and flung himself at the ball to block a certain goal. The visitors created a couple of golden opportunities to equalise midway through the second half. Firstly, Aaron Murphy’s perfectly weighted cross field pass played David Tarpey through on goal and although the striker managed to lift the ball over Chatfield he agonisingly watched his effort bounce the wrong side of the post. Moments later Chatfield was on hand again to deny the visitors when he tipped over Cheadle’s header at full stretch. Merstham dealt the killer blow after 70 minutes when Craig Carley played an inch perfect pass to McGlashan and the lively winger showed good composure while bearing down on goal to slot the ball past Preddie at his near post. Gordon added a third on 84 minutes converting Carley’s looped cross from close range to give the home side the points and climb back into the top three

 

Tuesday 20th October 2009
Isthmian League Cup 1st Round
Godalming Town 4 v 2 Merstham
(HT 1-1)
Scorers: Craig Carley (2)
Team:
Ian Chatfield, James Hancock, Tom Jelley, Adam Thompson, Tom Hughes, Mu Maan, David Smith (Matt Males), Tristan Frontin (c) (Wes Goggin), Craig Carley, Kevin Cooper (Jermaine McGlashan), Dan Bennett
Unused Subs: Craig Vernon, Ben Penfold (GK)

Man of the Match: Craig Carley
Referee:
TBA
Attendance: 75
Match Ball Sponsors: N/A
Last Season: N/A
Photos (Click on Name):
Match Review:  Merstham gracefully bowed out of the Isthmian League cup losing 4-2 after twice going ahead through new signing Craig Carley then losing the lead just two minutes later on both occasions. Merstham were missing their giant centre forward Leon Simpson who suffered a dead leg in Saturday’s Trophy game and JJ McGlashan was rested ahead of Saturday’s league game against Walton & Hersham. With the addition of two more debutants, Tom Jelley from Corinthian-Casuals and Kevin Cooper, Manager Graeme Banyard believed he had team to match the G’s. But unfortunately this wasn’t the case and in the end Godalming Town looked the more composed side and deserved their win. -  Johnny Moatside

Match Report: David Kirkaldy

Godalming Town scored three goals in 20 second half minutes to progress in the League Cup after Craig Carley gave Merstham the lead twice on his debut. Glen Stanley’s exquisite free kick lifted the home side moments after Carley had put Merstham into the lead for the second time with Richard Shittu and Kenny Ojukwu strikes sealing a place in the second round for the home side.

Merstham took the lead on 15 minutes as Mu Maan’s corner was cleared to Carley on the edge of the area and his first time volley was timed to perfection as the striker blasted home his first goal for the club. The lead only lasted two minutes as Merstham goalkeeper Ian Chatfield failed to collect a Stanley free-kick and fell kindly to Richard Taylor who fired the ball through a crowd of players into the net. Merstham regained the lead on 57 minutes as Daniel Bennett superbly controlled Maan’s long free kick into the box and found Carley unmarked inside the penalty area and the striker made no mistake calmly slotting the ball into the far corner. Godalming again equalised within a couple of minutes as Stanley’s free kick from 20 yards found the top left corner of Chatfield’s goal. The home side almost took the lead moments later when Richard Shittu headed another Stanley free-kick against the top of the crossbar. The home side did manage to edge ahead after 69 minutes as Merstham defender Tom Hughes slipped trying to block Kenny Ojukwu’s cross into the box and he delivered a pinpoint cross towards Shittu who headed home from six yards. As Merstham pushed forward in search of an equaliser, Godalming put the tie beyond their reach with ten minutes remaining as Ojukwu slotted the ball past Chatfield from close range to guarantee their place in the second round.

 

  Saturday 17th October 2009
FA Trophy 1st Qualifying Round
Hastings United 1 v 6 Merstham
(HT 1-6)
Scorers: Leon Simpson (2), Tristan Frontin (2), Tom Hughes, JJ McGlashan
Team:
Ian Chatfield, James Hancock, Sam Hewitt, Tom Hughes, Craig Vernon (c), Mu Maan, Michael Gordon, Tristan Frontin (Chris Brayne), Leon Simpson, Dan Bennett (David Smith), Jermaine McGlashan (Matt Males)
Subs:

Man of the Match: Mu Maan
Referee:
Phillip Knight
Attendance: 358
Match Ball Sponsors: N/A
Last Season: N/A
Photos (Click on Name): Sue Austen
Match Review:  Talk about a game of two halves; seven goals in the first half and none in the second. Merstham could hardly believed how easily they were able tear apart the Hastings’ defence as they went on the rampage with three goals in the first eighteen minutes from Leon Simpson, Tristan Frontin and Simpson again, and three more in a seven minute spell towards the end of the half scored by Tom Hughes, Frontin and JJ McGlashan. Hastings’ winger Liam Upton got a consolation goal in the 28 minute but that proved only to be a scratch on the Merstham goal machine. You could be forgiven for thinking the second half was boring after the events of the first but some good football was played by both sides and all it lacked was more goals. -  Johnny Moatside

Match Report: David Kirkaldy

Merstham celebrated their biggest victory of the season against higher ranked Hastings United in the FA Trophy with all seven goals coming inside the first-half. Hastings United currently fifth in the Ryman Premier League, the league above their opponents, could not handle Merstham’s aerial prowess from set-plays who scored three headed goals in the first 18 minutes. Liam Upton sparked a short lived fight back for the home side before another three goals in seven minutes sealed the tie before the half-time interval.

Merstham made the perfect start scoring inside the first two minutes as Leon Simpson got his head onto Sam Hewitt’s long throw before Hastings goalkeeper Greg Nessling could punch the ball away and directed the ball into an empty net. The visitors were on the ascendancy as five minutes later Daniel Bennett forced Nessling into a sprawling save from 25 yards. From the resulting corner, Mu Mann’s cross was met by a looping header from the returning Tristan Frontin to double Merstham’s lead. The Moatsiders were in dream land on 18 minutes as Jermaine McGlashan’s sudden burst of pass towards the by-line took him past Danny Spice and the winger stood a cross up to the far post were an unmarked Simpson nodded home from close range. Hastings were presented with a golden opportunity to pull a goal back when keeper Ian Chatfield mishit a clearance straight to Ade Olorunda but from thirty yards the striker failed to capitalise on the situation dragging his shot wide. Moments later, Upton’s cross picked out Olorunda in the centre but Chatfield denied the striker from close range. The home side eventually got their reward after 28 minutes when Lee Carey's short corner found Elliott who had plenty of time to pick out Upton in the middle and placed his header into the far corner. However, the momentum was short lived as Merstham regained their three goal advantage on 33 minutes as Tom Hughes rose highest in the area to head home Mu Mann’s pinpoint free-kick. Two minutes later the visitors added a fifth as another Sam Hewitt long throw caused chaos in the Hastings penalty area as Simpson flicked the ball into the path of Frontin whose turn and shot from six yards found the bottom corner of Nessling’s goal. The score became six before half-time as Michael Gordon burst past Josh Jirbandey on the right and picked out McGlashan with a low cross to smash home from inside the area. Gordon went desperately close to a seventh goal from a free kick in stoppage time as the visitors ran riot in the first half.

Merstham created the better second half opportunities and on the hour mark McGlashan tried to return the favour to Gordon but this time Gordon blasted his effort over the bar. Hastings did create openings themselves but Olorunda’s wayward finishing, a Carey corner that flashed across the face of goal and Matt Maclean long range effort were little more than half chances for the home side. The visitors managed to create another great opportunity before the end when substitute David Smith headed a Gordon cross back across goal towards Simpson but Nessling did well to gather the ball bravely at the striker’s feet to deny him his hat-trick. Although there were no goals added to the scoreline in the second half, the final whistle saw exuberant celebrations from Merstham players and fans with high hopes of a good cup run to coincide with the great start to the league season.

 

 

Tuesday 13th October 2009
Ryman League Division One South
Merstham 1 v 1 Folkestone Invicta
(HT 1-1)
Scorers: Michael Gordon
Team:
Ian Chatfield, James Hancock, Sam Hewitt, Adam Thompson, Craig Vernon, John Hamsher, Michael Gordon, Wes Goggin (c), Leon Simpson, Dan Bennett (Mu Maan), Jermaine McGlashan
Unused Subs: David Smith, Tristan Frontin, Rob Hughes, Tom Hughes

Man of the Match: Adam Thompson
Referee:
D. Spain
Attendance: 225
Match Ball Sponsors: Chapman & Son Butchers
Last Season: Merstham 0 Folkestone Invicta 2
Photos (Click on Name):
Match Review:  Another fine display by Merstham where they could quite easily have taken all three points. However with Godalming Town losing away at Worthing Merstham nudged their way to the top of the table. No doubt there will be comments about Merstham having played more games than those around them but a least they have the points in the bag. Michael Gordon made it six for the season when he scored direct from a free kick in true Steven Gerrard style. Invicta replied just over ten minutes later through winger Jimmy Jackson. Merstham next travel to Ryman’s Premier side Hastings United in the FA Trophy who lost 1-3 to Sutton United in today’s game. -  Johnny Moatside

Match Report: David Kirkaldy
Merstham climbed to the top of the table for the first time this season after they were held at home to Folkestone Invicta. The Moatsiders will be disappointed not to claim the three points after taking an early lead through Michael Gordon’s free-kick on 12 minutes. The visitors equalised 13 minutes later through Jimmy Jackson and although Merstham created numerous opportunities to regain the lead they failed to unlock a resolute Folkestone defence.

Merstham begun positively but almost fell behind in the sixth minute as an unmarked Frankie Chappell directed his header wide from six yards. The home side took the lead minutes later when Folkestone goalkeeper Luke Stonebridge was adjudged to have handled the ball just outside the box when he picked up Sam Hewitt’s through ball before Jermaine McGlashan could get on the end of the pass. Gordon converted the free-kick as he curled the ball over the wall and into the top corner. Folkestone battled back and equalised on 25 minutes as Jackson’s long range effort from 30 yards looped agonisingly over Ian Chatfield’s fingertips to fly into the net. Merstham had opportunities to regain the lead before the interval as striker Leon Simpson headed a John Hamsher corner wide and then his strike partner Daniel Bennett failed to connect properly with a fierce McGlashan cross at the far post with the ball ending up straight at Stonebridge’s feet. The home side survived a late scare before half time after Liam Friend burst forward from the back and skipped past Craig Vernon’s challenge but his effort went straight at Chatfield.

Folkestone came out strong in the second half and could have scored within a couple of minutes of the restart as Simon Austin played the ball over the top to Darren Smith but Chatfield again came to the home side rescue and required treatment after making the save. Merstham targeted the Folkestone left fullback Josh Burchell and continually pressured the defender down the right flank. On the hour-mark Adam Thompson ran past Burchell and whipped a dangerous cross towards Bennett in the area but his diving header was directed just wide of the post. Ten minutes later Gordon glided past Burchell and found Simpson in the middle but his header failed to trouble the Folkestone goal. Merstham pressed for a winner in the final few minutes and as Gordon darted past Burchell again he powered a low cross towards Simpson but the striker failed to connect with the ball for what would have been a simple tap-in. Then in the final minute of injury time Merstham endured another scary moment as Folkestone were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area. Jackson delivered the set-piece but Chatfield managed to comfortably catch the ball to ensure Merstham retained their unbeaten home record this season.

 

 

Saturday 10th October 2009
Ryman League Division One South
Croydon Athletic 1 v 0 Merstham
(HT 0-0)
Scorers:
Team:
Ian Chatfield, Stuart Harte (Rob Hughes), Sam Hewitt, Adam Thompson, Craig Vernon, John Hamsher, Michael Gordon, Wes Goggin (c) (David Smith), Leon Simpson, Mu Maan (Dan Bennett), Jermaine McGlashan
Unused Subs: James Hancock, Tristan Frontin

Man of the Match: Ian Chatfield
Referee:
SA Scott
Attendance: 317
Match Ball Sponsors: N/A
Last Season: Croydon Athletic 0 Merstham 2 (R. Hill, Lock)
Photos (Click on Name): Sue Austen
Match Review:  With Merstham hit by injuries and a suspension Manager Graeme Banyard brought in Kingstonian player, Adam Thompson, on a month’s loan and the keen-eyed amongst you may have spotted a familiar face on the bench, James Hancock, who has returned to Moatside after short spells at Leatherhead and Whyteleafe. Merstham certainly had the better of the first half and had a couple of chances gone their way the result could have looked very different. However you can’t survive on ‘what ifs’ and despite the result Merstham looked a neat unit with just their finishing letting them down. It took an incident fifteen minutes into the second half that seemed to spur Croydon into life; the sending off of the Rams’ centre-back Jeremy Williams after his second yellow card. Within five minutes of Williams’ dismissal up popped Tom Bolarinwa to head home his third league goal of the season and secure all three points for his team. -  Johnny Moatside

Match Report: David Kirkaldy
A second half Tom Bolarinwa header saw Croydon Athletic edge a top-of-the-table clash against Merstham. The home side scored the only goal of the game midway through the second half despite playing the majority of the half with ten men as Jeremy Williams received a second yellow card for kicking the ball away.

Merstham started the brighter of the two teams and created opportunities to take the lead early on. John Hamsher had his drive tipped away by Croydon goalkeeper Ross Flitney and moments later the keeper dropped a cross under pressure but Wes Goggin could only stab the ball over the bar. The visitors should have taken the lead on 20 minutes. Wes Goggin latched onto a long ball and the midfielder lifted the ball over the oncoming Flitney but dropped agonisingly onto the roof of the net. Flitney almost gifted Merstham the lead a couple of minutes later as he accidentally kicked the ball against the back of Mu Maan from a quickly taken free-kick but the keeper was lucky the ball fell straight back to him. Croydon started to dominate proceedings and should have gone ahead on 37 minutes as Bolarinwa burst through the middle and his fierce effort was turned behind by Merstham keeper Ian Chatfield.

Croydon continued to control the game in the second half and came closest to scoring in the 55th minute. Goma Lambu’s corner to the back post found Richard Blackwell who headed the ball back across goal for Gary Noel but the league’s top scorer directed his header over from six yards. On 62 minutes, Williams was given his marching orders as the midfielder kicked the ball away after Merstham were awarded a free-kick with the home side on the attack. He had received his first yellow after a lunging challenge on Jermaine McGlashan just after the interval. Despite going down to ten men, the home side signalled their intent to push forward for a goal when Danny Waldren hooked his overhead effort just agonisingly wide of the post from a Joe Howe free kick. Moments later Croydon’s pressure finally paid off as they took the lead in the 66th minute. Bolarinwa played Gary Noel through on goal but Chatfield superbly tipped the ball onto the post with Sam Hewitt clearing the ball just before it crossed the line. With home fans still appealing for a goal, substitute Bentley Graham’s cross from the left was headed home by Bolarinwa at the back post. Croydon had chances to double their lead as Chatfield did well to deny a Blackwell header from another Lambu corner and Noel failed to direct his close range header on target at the far post from a Howe cross. Merstham tried to muster an equaliser in the latter stages but neither McGlashan nor Michael Gordon found any joy down the wing. David Smith could not find the top corner with his curling effort and Gordon blasted his shot over from an acute angle as Croydon comfortably secured all three points.

 

Saturday 3rd October 2009
Ryman League Division One South
Merstham 4 v 0 Ashford Town
(HT 1-0)
Scorers: Michael Gordon (2), Dan Bennett, John Hamsher
Team: Ian Chatfield, Stuart Harte, Sam Hewitt (Aaron Leacock), Tom Hughes, Craig Vernon, John Hamsher, Michael Gordon, Wes Goggin (c) (Mu Maan), Leon Simpson, Dan Bennett (Rob Hughes), Jermaine McGlashan
Unused Sub: David Smith

Man of the Match: Michael Gordon
Referee:
TJ Robinson (Sussex)
Attendance: 121
Match Ball Sponsors: Andy and Bob McGillivray
Last Season: Merstham 1 (Agyei) Ashford Town 0
Photos (Click on Name): Sue Austen
Match Review:  Merstham climbed to their highest league position in their history after a dominant performance against Ashford Town. Merstham opened the scoring after 24 minutes as Michael Gordon directed Jermaine McGlashan's cross back across goalkeeper Dan Mason into the far corner. The home side doubled their advantage minutes into the second half. Wes Goggin played Gordon through on goal and the winger rounded Mason to slot the ball into an empty net. Merstham continued to dominate after the break and added a third after 55 minutes. Gordon reached the by-line and his deep cross found Daniel Bennett who headed home from close range. John Hamsher added a fourth with two minutes remaining, heading home a corner to complete a historic day for Merstham and their fans. -  David Kirkaldy

Match Report: David Kirkaldy
A Michael Gordon double inspired Merstham to the highest league position in their history after a dominate performance against Ashford Town. Daniel Bennett and John Hamsher added goals in the second half as The Moatsiders climbed to second in the Ryman League Division One South.

Ashford threatened early-on when Paul Jones had his shot turned round the post by Merstham keeper Ian Chatfield. From the resulting Ryan Briggs corner, John Ralph’s headed effort was comfortably held by Chatfield. Merstham opened the scoring after 24 minutes as Gordon directed Jermaine McGlashan’s cross from the left back across goalkeeper Dan Mason into the bottom corner. The home side could have increased their lead moments later when Wes Goggin had his effort cleared off the line from a Hamsher corner that caused chaos inside the Ashford penalty area. The visitors could have equalised just before the interval from another Briggs corner but Chatfield superbly tipped over Lee Hockley’s header as Merstham went into the break with the lead.

The home side doubled their advantage a couple of minutes into the second half as Wes Goggin played Gordon through on goal who rounded Mason and slotted the ball home into an empty net. Merstham’s third came on 56 minutes as Gordon’s cross from the left by-line found Bennett at the far post to head home from close range. The home side took their foot of the gas after the third goal and allowed Ashford a few opportunities as substitute Joe Fuller brought a good save from Chatfield and Jones fired another shot wide of the post. The home side could have added a fourth in the 81st minute when Mu Maan darted through a couple of challenges in the box but Mason did well to block the substitute’s low effort. However, Merstham were not to be denied their fourth as two minutes from time Mason failed to grasp John Hamsher’s free-kick and the ball sailed into the net to complete a historic day for The Moatsiders and their fans.

 

Saturday 26th September 2009
Ryman League Division One South
Merstham 2 v 1 Chatham Town
(HT 1-1)
Scorers: Leon Simpson (2)
Team:
Ian Chatfield, Stuart Harte, Sam Hewitt, Tom Hughes, Craig Vernon, John Hamsher, Michael Gordon, Wes Goggin (c) (Mu Maan), Leon Simpson, Dan Bennett, Mu Maan, Jermaine McGlashan (Rob Hughes)
Unused Subs: David Smith, Aaron Leacock, Matt Males

Man of the Match: Leon Simpson
Referee:
M. Eva
Attendance:
156
Match Ball Sponsor: Local Merstham FC Fan
Last Season: N/A
Photos (Click on Name): Sue Austen
Match Review:  It was all change at Merstham with Manager Graeme Banyard giving debuts to three new players with a further two new faces on the bench and, to the surprise of many supporters, the captaincy for the game was handed to one of those debutants, Wes Goggin. Merstham took the lead in the 8th minute through their giant new centre forward Leon Simpson a ‘Crouch-esque’ figure standing 6’ 9”. Just six minutes later Chatham were on level terms with a goal from leading scorer Brendon Cass and although Merstham dominated much of the rest of the half they failed to take their chances and it finished all square at the break. The second half saw the Moatsiders continued to pressure the Chatham defence who weren’t without several attempts themselves. With just ten minutes left Merstham got the breakthrough and again it was Simpson who found the back of the net. In the dying moments of the game Ian Chatfield produced a breathtaking save to ensure Merstham collected all three points. -  Johnny Moatside

Match Report: David Kirkaldy
Debutant Leon Simpson struck ten minutes from time to give Merstham victory after an enthralling battle against Chatham Town. Simpson constantly caused havoc amongst the Chatham backline all day with his size and deservedly scored both goals in-between Brendon Cass’ equaliser for the visitors in the first half.

Merstham dominated proceedings in the early stages and could have taken the lead in the seventh minute after John Hamsher drifted a free kick into the box onto the head of Simpson. The striker directed the ball across goal to Daniel Bennett but his headed effort was tipped over by Chatham goalkeeper Dean Ruddy. From the resulting corner, Hamsher crossed the ball inch-perfectly onto Simpson’s head and the striker powered home his header for his first Merstham goal inside the opening eight minutes of his debut. Chatham equalised on 14 minutes against the run of play as Matt Soley’s cross on the right picked out Cass inside the six yard area and he powered his header past goalkeeper Ian Chatfield. The home side should have regained the advantage moments later when Michael Gordon’s dangerous cross found Bennett who managed to head the ball before Ruddy could get his hand to the ball and fell kindly to Wes Goggin but Merstham’s new captain could only scuff his shot straight into the keeper’s arms. Simpson continued to give the Chatham defence problems and on the half-hour he headed another Hamsher corner over the bar with keeper Ruddy left stranded in no-man’s land. A couple of minutes later, Jermaine McGlashan fired over after getting in-behind Chatham fullback Tom Binks. Merstham thought they had taken the lead five minutes before half-time when Tom Hughes had his shot cleared off the line by Mark Green. Moments later Ruddy superbly tipped round Bennett’s effort that looked destined for the top corner but despite their dominance The Moatsiders went into the interval level.

Merstham continued to exert pressure on the Chatham goal in the second half as Simpson was the focal point for every long ball into the box and set-play. On 52 minutes Simpson headed a Hamsher free-kick straight at Ruddy and a few minutes later Bennett’s cross was met by Simpson but Ruddy comfortably saved the striker’s effort. The home side should have regained the lead in the 61st minute as Gordon broke down the right wing and his cross found Bennett in acres of space inside the area but the striker managed to fire his effort just wide when he looked odds-on favourite to score. After Tom Davey fired over for Chatham, the visitors brought on an extra defender for the final fifteen minutes to consolidate their away point. However as Merstham continued to search for a winner, Chatham almost snatched a goal themselves as Chatfield had to be alert to turn a Justin Ascheri effort round the post. Merstham finally delivered on all their pressure on 83 minutes when Sam Hewitt’s through ball played in Bennett down the left wing. The striker burst into the box and played the ball across the six yard line where Simpson was waiting and his outstretched foot managed to connect with the ball at the far post for the winner. Chatham gave the Moatside crowd a late scare with a couple of minutes remaining as Ascheri’s corner from the right was headed towards goal by captain Richard Avery but Chatfield produced a superb save to deny the visitors a equaliser as Merstham were left to celebrate a richly deserved victory at the final whistle.

 

Tuesday 22nd September 2009
Ryman League Division One South
Fleet Town 6 v 0 Merstham
(HT 2-0)
Scorers:
Team:
Ian Chatfield, Stuart Harte, Anthony Myers, Tom Hughes, Craig Vernon (c), John Hamsher (Zak Graham), Michael Gordon, Aaron Cole-Bolt, Julian Owusu-Bekoe (Dan Bennett), Mu Maan, Robert Hughes (Jermaine McGlashan)
Unused Subs: Daniel Platel, David Smith

Man of the Match: Not Awarded
Referee:
TBA
Attendance:
126
Match Ball Sponsor: N/A
Last Season: Fleet Town 3 v 0 Merstham
Photos (Click on Name):
Match Review:  Merstham suffered their biggest defeat since they were promoted to the Ryman League at the hands of Fleet Town tonight, whose clinical performance belied their league position. A hat-trick by leading scorer Mark Anderson and goals by Darren Wheeler, Tyron Smith and James Field left the Merstham defence in disarray. This was always going to be a game that tested Merstham’s mettle but no one foresaw the extent of the Moatsiders demolition. To add to their woe defender Tom Hughes got his marching orders after conceding an 84th minute penalty. There’s a lot of work to do before they face another hard match at home to Chatham Town next Saturday. -  Johnny Moatside

Match Report: David Kirkaldy
Mark Anderson’s hat-trick compelled Merstham to their heaviest defeat of the season. The Moatsiders struggled to gain a foothold in the game and had Tom Hughes sent off late on. Darren Wheeler, Tyron Smith and James Field completed the rout for the home side.

Fleet opened the scoring inside the first six minutes. Nathan Smart was allowed to dribble straight through the heart of the Merstham defence and although the midfielder had his shot saved by goalkeeper Ian Chatfield the rebound fell to Anderson who slotted home from close range. Merstham created their best opportunity in the 25thh minute as Robert Hughes’ perfectly placed cross from the left found Julian Owusu-Bekoe unmarked at the far post but the striker directed his header wide of the post. Fleet increased their advantage on 39 minutes as Merstham defender Stuart Harte brought down Tom Bird inside the penalty area. Chatfield saved Anderson’s penalty but the rebound fell straight back to the striker to tap home into an empty net.

Merstham showed signs of a fight back in the second half but could not muster a significant opening as a Hughes free kick and later John Hamsher fired efforts over the bar. The home side put the game beyond Merstham’s reach on 61 minutes as Anderson completed his hat-trick poking home a Smith free-kick that rebounded off the bar. Fleet’s fourth came after 80 minutes following a one-two between Darren Wheeler and Joe Nwoko on the halfway line allowed Wheeler to burst through down the right and the winger lifted the ball over the oncoming Chatfield and into the net. The home side were awarded a second penalty three minutes later as Tom Hughes tugged back Smith inside the area while bearing down on goal. As the last man, the referee had no option but to send the defender off. Smith confidently stepped up and converted the penalty into the right corner. James Field completed the rout for the home side on 87 minutes drifting inside from the left flank and firing an effort into the far corner.

 

 

Saturday 19th September 2009
Ryman League Division One South
Godalming Town 3 v 1 Merstham
(HT 2-0)
Scorers: Julian Owusu-Bekoe
Team:
Ian Chatfield, Stuart Harte, Adam Moriarty, Tristan Frontin, Craig Vernon (c), John Hamsher, Michael Gordon, Mu Maan (Aaron Cole-Bolt), Zak Graham (Robert Hughes), Dan Bennett (Julian Owusu-Bekoe), Jermaine McGlashan
Unused Sub: Daniel Platel

Man of the Match: Ian Chatfield
Referee:
G. Croft
Attendance:
128
Match Ball Sponsor: N/A
Last Season: Godalming Town 1 v 2 Merstham (Kwabena Agyei, Matt Francis)
Photos (Click on Name): Sue Austen
Match Review:  Due to illness there will be no match review today. -  Johnny Moatside

Match Report: David Kirkaldy
Godalming Town sealed an emphatic victory against a lacklustre Merstham side that have goalkeeper Ian Chatfield to thank for keeping the deficit down to two goals. Kenny Ojukwu, Liam Pestle and Graeme Purdy strikes launched the home side into an unassailable lead although Julian Owusu-Bekoe grabbed a consolation for the visitors’ minutes after coming on as a substitute.

Merstham could have been in front after two minutes as Godalming defender Chris Wales saw his clearance from a John Hamsher free-kick rebound off the post. Moments later the home side took the lead as Purdy got in behind Adam Moriarty on the right and had plenty of time to pick out an unmarked Ojukwu in the middle who powered home his header from close range. The visitors struggled to get a foothold in the game and the closest they came in the opening half an hour came when Hamsher fired a long range effort just over the bar. Godalming continued to pile on the pressure as Purdy missed a hat-trick of chances to increase the lead. On 18 minutes Ojukwu returned the favour for Purdy with his cross but the striker failed to direct his header on target. Three minutes later defender Tristan Frontin let the ball bounce over his head on the edge of the area which allowed Purdy to volley from an acute angle but he blazed the effort over the bar. Moments later Purdy cut inside Craig Vernon in the area but his shot was well saved by Chatfield. Godalming deservedly doubled their advantage on 28 minutes as the ball broke on the edge of the area to Liam Pestle and the defender hit a low shot into the bottom corner. Merstham showed signs of a fight back as Michael Gordon managed to skip past two defenders on the right but opted to blaze the ball over the bar when the better option would have been to play the ball across the box. The visitors should have reduced to deficit before the interval as Zak Graham dummied Moriarty’s pass which allowed the ball to run through to Jermaine McGlashan. The winger burst through on the left and his pass across the area found Dan Bennett in the box with only the keeper to beat but the striker dragged his effort wide of the post.

Merstham almost contributed to their own downfall at the beginning of the second half as inside the first 90 seconds Craig Vernon miss-placed back pass saw Chatfield having to take drastic action by trying a diving header to turn the ball around the post. From the resulting corner Benson Paka’s cross found Purdy unmarked at the far post but once again Chatfield denied the striker by turning his effort onto the post. Moments later Purdy finally got the goal he richly deserved as on 48 minutes his turn and shot inside the area found the far corner of the net. Merstham made a double substitution on 58 minutes as Julian Owusu-Bekoe and Robert Hughes replaced Bennett and Graham upfront. A couple of minutes later, Owusu-Bekoe poked home his effort past goalkeeper Rodney Chiweske to give The Moatsiders a glimmer of hope. The visitors could not capitalise on the situation as Hamsher’s long rang effort and Owusu-Bekoe’s header failed to trouble keeper Chiweshe late on. Godalming continued to pepper the Merstham goal as Chatfield had to deny substitutes Reis Stanislaus and Richard Shittu in the final five minutes as the home side cruised to a comfortable victory.

 

Saturday 12th September 2009
Ryman League Division One South
Ramsgate 1 v 2 Merstham
(HT 1-2)
Scorers: Michael Gordon, Daniel Bennett
Team:
Ian Chatfield, Stuart Harte, Adam Moriarty, Tristan Frontin, Craig Vernon (c), John Hamsher, Michael Gordon, Aaron Cole-Bolt, Mu Maan (Julian Owusu-Bekoe), Daniel Bennett (Zak Graham), Jermaine McGlashan (David Smith)
Unused Sub: Tom Hughes

Man of the Match: Craig Vernon
Referee:
Mark Tweed
Attendance:
171
Match Ball Sponsor: N/A
Last Season: N/A
Photos (Click on Name): Sue Austen
Match Review:  In one of only two RLD1S fixtures, this fixture being brought forward to fill an empty Saturday for both teams as a result of early exits in the FA Cup, Merstham were pretty much handed a two goal lead. Firstly Rams midfielder Ben Laslett's slip in the sixth minute allowed Michael Gordon a free run to slot into the far corner of the net for his third goal of the season. Seven minutes later a collision between Ramsgate’s Will Graham and keeper Brett Mills at the edge of the area saw the Moatsiders new boy, Daniel Bennett, walk the ball into an empty net. Sam Jones pulled one back for the Rams in the 21st minute after a Gary Mickelborough run. The second half was goalless although both sides created several chances but it was Rams keeper Brett Mills whose tireless effort between the sticks stopped Merstham bagging a hatful of goals. -  Johnny Moatside

Match Report: David Kirkaldy
Debutant Daniel Bennett scored inside the first 13 minutes to propel the Moatsiders to a hard fought victory against Ramsgate. The home side gifted Merstham a two-goal advantage with first half goals from Michael Gordon and Bennett. Sam Jones pulled a goal back for Ramsgate but the visitors held their nerve in a tense second half to seal a difficult three points.

Merstham took the lead on six minutes as Ramsgate fullback Ben Laslett slipped inside his own half allowing Michael Gordon to run through on goal and he powered a low shot into the far corner. The visitors opened a two-goal advantage seven minutes later when a collision between Ramsgate defender Will Graham and goalkeeper Brett Mills on the edge of the area allowed Bennett to walk the ball into an empty net. The home side quickly reduced the deficit on 21 minutes. Gary Mickelborough burst past Merstham defender Tristan Frontin on the left and his cross found Sam Jones alone in the area who blasted the ball past goalkeeper Ian Chatfield. Merstham should have regained their two-goal advantage moments later. John Hamsher whipped a free kick from the right and before Mills could get his hands to the ball an unmarked Bennett popped up in the area but he could only direct his header wide of the post. The home side were gifted an opportunity themselves in the 33rd minute as Merstham defender Stuart Harte lost possession on the halfway line to Kenny Pratt allowing the striker to run through on goal. Pratt tried to round keeper Chatfield and went down inside the area. The referee immediately stopped play with the Ramsgate striker receiving a yellow card for diving and not a penalty. Merstham should have increased their lead before the interval as Jermaine McGlashan slotted a through ball to Bennett who chipped the oncoming Mills but his effort crept agonisingly past the post as the visitors held a slender half-time advantage.

The second-half started as a tense and nervous affair with little goal-mouth action. Bennett fired over the bar from long range for Merstham and moments later Mickelborough failed to connect with a diving header when he was left unmarked in the six-yard box. Inside the last fifteen minutes, the game became open and frantic as the home side searched for an equaliser. Chatfield’s poor clearance fell to Warren Schulz who played in but once again the striker failed to hit the target as his lob-shot crept just wide of the far post. Merstham restricted the opposition to long range efforts as Ramsgate’s Jones, Schulz and Rhys Lawson all let-fly in frustration. The visitors then created an opportunity to put the game beyond doubt in the 83rd minute as Julian Owusu-Bekoe rounded keeper Mills but his effort was cleared off the line by the Ramsgate defence. Merstham could have lived to regret that missed opportunity as in injury time they conceded a free kick just outside the area. Pratt stood over the free-kick knowing that this could be their last chance. He fired his effort into the wall and blasted the rebound miles over the bar as the visitors blew a huge sigh of relief to take home all the points.

 

Saturday 5th September 2009
Ryman League Division One South
Merstham 3 v 0 Eastbourne  Town
(HT 1-0)
Scorers: Mu Maan, Zak Graham, Julian Owusu-Bekoe
Team:
Ian Chatfield, Stuart Harte, Adam Moriarty, Tristan Frontin, Craig Vernon (c), John Hamsher, Michael Gordon (David Smith), Aaron Cole-Bolt, Mu Maan (Julian Owusu-Bekoe), Zak Graham, Jermaine McGlashan
Unused Sub: Tom Hughes

Man of the Match: Aaron Cole-Bolt
Referee:
P. Georgiou (London)
Attendance:
108
Match Ball Sponsor: Iris and Tony Ritchie
Last Season: Merstham 4 (Lock (2), Gordon, Francis) Eastbourne Town 3
Photos (Click on Name): Sue Austen
Match Review:  Merstham shook off their FA Cup defeat and bounced back with a fine league win at home to struggling Sussex side Eastbourne Town. Mu Maan opened Merstham’s account ten minutes from the end of the first half heading home an Aaron Cole-Bolt cross for his fourth goal of the season. Merstham continued to pressure the visitors in the second half but it wasn’t until the 84th minute that they managed to double their lead when Zak Graham pounced on a ball that had rebounded of the upright and slotted it past Russell Tanner in the Eastbourne goal. And just to rub salt into the wound substitute Julian Owusu-Bekoe added a third in the closing moments of the game. -  Johnny Moatside

Match Report: David Kirkaldy
Merstham put the FA Cup disappointment behind them by maintaining their unbeaten home record with a dominant performance against struggling Eastbourne Town. Mu Maan, Zak Graham and Julian Owusu-Bekoe strikes gave The Moatsiders a well-deserved victory against an opposition who rarely threatened the home side’s goal.

Eastbourne Town gave the home side an early scare as Mark Goodwin burst into the box and back-heeled the ball into the path of Jamie Salvidge who fired over the bar. At the other end, Merstham winger Michael Gordon crossed the ball low for Aaron Cole-Bolt who tried to place his effort into the far corner but the shot sailed just over. The Moatsiders started to dominate proceedings and on 19 minutes Zak Graham played an inch-perfect through ball to Jermaine McGlashan but he slipped trying to control the ball. Eight minutes later Tristan Frontin should have done better as he headed over a John Hamsher corner at the far post. In the 35th minute Gordon and Maan combined on the halfway line allowing the winger to burst through on goal but his effort was turned round the post by keeper Russell Tanner. From the resulting corner Merstham took the lead. Cole-Bolt picked-up John Hamsher’s over hit corner and crossed the ball perfectly onto the head of Maan who cushioned the ball into the far corner for his third league goal of the season. The visitors had a chance to equalise before half-time as Lloyd Anthony’s long throw found Adam Davidson flying into the box but he could only direct his header over the bar. In injury time, Gordon cut inside from the left wing and fired his shot just wide of the post as Merstham had to settle for a one-goal advantage going into the break despite their dominance.

Eastbourne Town started the second half brightly and created a couple of opportunities. On 49 minutes, Chris Dicker’s free-kick was deflected to Goodwin but he poked his shot just wide of the post. Then six minutes later, the visitors finally mounted a shot on-target as Dicker’s long-range shot was fired straight at Moatsiders goalkeeper Ian Chatfield. Merstham could have extended their advantage on 64 minutes as John Hamsher’s short free-kick found Maan in space but his 25-yard shot along the ground came back off the post. Eastbourne Town started to run out of attacking ideas and on the counter both Merstham wingers were able to easily penetrate the visitors defence. On 74 minutes, Gordon burst past three defenders but the crowd’s excitement was short lived as his effort flew over the bar. Five minutes later an Eastbourne corner was cleared by Adam Moriarty to McGlashan on the halfway line. The winger managed to turn and outrun the last two defenders but his shot was easily saved by Tanner. The Moatsiders finally put the game beyond doubt in the 84th minute as Cole-Bolt, who broke-up the visitors attacking play all-game long, headed the ball over the Eastbourne defence into Graham’s path and the striker calmly slotted the ball past Tanner into the far corner. Merstham rounded the game off in style as substitute Julian Owusu-Bekoe’s 25-yard thunderbolt found the top corner of the goal leaving the home side to celebrate their victory.

 

Saturday Tuesday 1st September 2009
FA Cup Preliminary Round Replay
Faversham Town 4 v 4 Merstham
Faversham Town won 5-4 on penalties
(HT 2-1) (FT 3-3)
Scorers: John Hamsher (pen), Mu Maan, Tristan Frontin, Michael Gordon
Team:
Ian Chatfield (Jack Smelt), Stuart Harte, Adam Moriarty, Tristan Frontin, Craig Vernon (c) , John Hamsher, Michael Gordon, Mu Maan (Aaron Cole-Bolt), Julian Owusu-Bekoe (David Smith), Zak Graham, Jermaine 'JJ' McGlashan
Unused Subs: Tom Hughes, Freddie Myers

Man of the Match: Michael Gordon
Referee:
D. Spain
Attendance:
TBA
Match Ball Sponsor: N/A
Photos (Click on Name):
Match Review:  Merstham’s involvement with this season's FA Cup competition came to a disappointing end following an epic battle against Faversham Town with Town emerging victorious following 120 minutes of football and twelve penalty kicks following the two sides 2 - 2 draw at Moatside at the weekend. Finally there was a very kind gesture by the whole of Faversham Town FC who collected over £100 for Billy Marshall who was injured in the first encounter on Saturday.
-  Johnny Moatside

Match Report: David Kirkaldy

Merstham were left to wonder what could have been as lower league Faversham Town progressed in the FA Cup following an epic back and forth encounter. The Moatsiders pegged back a two-goal advantage in normal time and had the momentum after coming from behind again in extra time but penalty misses from Zak Graham and Tristan Frontin sent Faversham players and fans into euphoric celebrations at Salters Lane.

Merstham continued their dominance from the first game and were unlucky not to be ahead on 11 minutes as Jermaine McGlashan had his effort tipped over the bar by Faversham goalkeeper Rob French. Ten minutes later, French brought down McGlashan inside the penalty area for a penalty. John Hamsher duly converted from 12 yards. The visitors lead did not last long as Faversham were back level within minutes after Lee Shearer powered his header home from a Dane Luchford corner. Faversham grew in confidence and edged in front on 33 minutes. Hamsher lost the ball in midfield allowing Michael Smissen to run through on-goal and the striker made no mistake, rounding goalkeeper Ian Chatfield and stroking the ball into an empty net. Merstham ended the half brightly and in injury time Julian Owusu-Bekoe headed Adam Moriarty’s cross just over the bar as The Moatsiders went into the break a goal behind.

Faversham increased their lead inside the first five minutes of the second half as Smissen was brought down in the box. Shearer confidently fired the penalty straight down the middle to open up a two goal cushion. Merstham pushed forward in search of a goal and needed to complete a similar comeback to the one Faversham produced at Moatside. However, their hopes hanged in the balance as moments later Chatfield rushed out of his goal and collided with Smissen. The home side’s appeals for a penalty were turned down and Chatfield, suffering a concussion, had to be replaced by Jack Smelt. The Moatsiders gave themselves a lifeline on the hour mark as Mu Maan low shot from the edge of the area took a wicked deflection off a Faversham defender and deceived keeper French as the ball trickled into the opposite corner of the goal. The game quickened creating chances at both ends with Merstham pushing for the equaliser and Faversham looking dangerous on the break. The home side could have put the game beyond doubt as Dale Skelton fired inches wide of the post and Damian Abel had his strike cleared off the line in the final minutes. With time running out, Merstham pushed men forward for another Hamsher corner. Frontin managed to get in front of his marker at the back post and direct a bullet of a header into the roof of the net three minutes from the end to send the game into extra time.

Faversham regained the advantage two minutes into extra time as a lack of concentration in the Merstham defence allowed Richard Sinden to burst through on-goal and just as in the first game, the striker showed good composure to calmly slot the ball past substitute keeper Smelt. The closest Merstham came in the first half of extra time was a Stuart Harte long-range effort as the visitors showed signs of tiredness and desperation. The visitors came out revitalised in the second half and within minutes of the restart Michael Gordon cut in from the left side and fired a shot past French at his near post. Merstham dominated the final ten minutes and could have won the game late-on as McGlashan stormed past two defenders but shot narrowly wide as both teams could not be separated in over 200 minutes of football.

The first eight penalties were all converted including from Merstham’s Aaron Cole-Bolt, John Hamsher, Craig Vernon and David Smith. Sinden, so much the thorn in Merstham’s side stepped up for the ninth spot kick but he fired his effort against the crossbar. Merstham had the advantage as Zak Graham stepped up to win the game but French produced a fine save diving to his right to keep the tie alive. Into sudden death and Aaron Quain converted Faversham’s sixth penalty to heap the pressure on Merstham. All eyes were on Tristan Frontin as he needed to convert to keep the cup-run going. The defender dragged his effort just wide of the post sparking rapturous celebrations around the ground as the home side progressed to the next qualifying round.

 

Saturday 29th August 2009
FA Cup Preliminary Round
Merstham 2 v 2 Faversham Town
(HT 0-0)
Scorers: Michael Gordon, Billy Marshall
Team:
Ian Chatfield , Stuart Harte, Adam Moriarty, Tristan Frontin (Tom Hughes), Craig Vernon (c), John Hamsher , Michael Gordon, Mu Maan, Billy Marshall, Zak Graham (Julian Owusu-Bekoe), Jermaine 'JJ' McGlashan (David Smith)
Unused Subs: Jimmy Majinya, Jack Smelt (GK)

Man of the Match: Michael Gordon
Referee:
D. Spain (Hastings)
Attendance:
114
Match Ball Sponsor: Johnny Moatside
Photos (Click on Name): Sue Austen
Match Review:   Merstham threw away a two goal advantage and now find themselves with a Tuesday night replay at Faversham. Merstham had the better of the chances in the first half however it was two five minutes spells and an injury to Billy Marshall in the second half that really set this game alight. Firstly, within minutes of the start of the second half Merstham took the lead with a well worked goal from Michael Gordon followed up quickly with a second from in-form striker Billy Marshall. Merstham then committed a cardinal sin; they let complacency enter their game and Faversham capitalised on this with two fine goals by substitute Richard Sinden. The whole game was then overshadowed by a serious injury to Merstham’s Billy Marshall. As the striker rose to head the ball he clashed heads with a Faversham player and it was obvious from the way he fell and remained still that he had suffered a nasty injury. An ambulance was immediately called for as Marshall lay unconscious on the pitch surrounded by worried team mates. He was taken off to East Surrey Hospital where it was discovered he had a broken cheek bone. Having used all their subs Merstham were down to ten men and they concentrated on not conceding a third goal and played out for a draw. The two teams will meet again on Tuesday night at Salters Lane, Faversham. -  Johnny Moatside

Match Report: David Kirkaldy
Merstham squandered a two-goal advantage in five second half minutes although the game will be remembered for the 30 minute stoppage that saw Billy Marshall taken off the field in an ambulance. The Moatsiders striker was left unconscious following a head collision with Faversham’s Dan Larkin with five minutes of the match remaining. Michael Gordon and Marshall gave Merstham a commanding lead but Faversham Town substitute Richard Sinden scored twice to take the tie into a replay on Tuesday night.

Merstham dominated proceedings in the first half and created numerous opportunities. Gordon and Zak Graham both fired long range efforts straight at goalkeeper Rob French inside the first ten minutes. In the 12th minute, the Moatsiders came to life as Graham flicked a Gordon cross to the back post where an unmarked Jermaine McGlashan failed to control his shot as he blazed over from six yards. John Hamsher’s 20th minute free-kick sailed just over the bar for Merstham and six minutes later, a Hamsher corner was cleared into Gordon’s path on the edge of the box. He weaved past the oncoming defender and shot from distance but his effort failed to live up to the initial excitement. In the 33rd minute, Graham hit a fierce shot form the edge of the box which French did well to tip the swerving effort over the bar. Two minutes later, Graham managed to fling himself onto the end of a Gordon cross but he failed to direct his diving header on-target. For all the home sides’ pressure, Faversham could have gone into the break in the lead after a slip by defender Tristan Frontin allowed Michael Smissen through on goal, but Frontin managed to recover and avert the danger.

Merstham continued to dictate the game in the second half and should have scored within a couple of minutes of the restart. Marshall found space on the left side and crossed the ball to the far post where an unmarked McGlashan managed to head his effort over the bar. Merstham’s dominance finally paid off as the home side took the lead in the 56th minute when Michael Gordon dribbled past two defenders and fired his shot low past French into the bottom corner. The Moatsiders increased their lead five minutes later as McGlashan came in from the left wing and crossed along the six yard line, in-between defenders and goalkeeper, to Marshall who skilful back healed the ball into an empty net. Faversham pushed more men forward in search of a lifeline and should have scored immediately from the restart. Smissen hit the crossbar with his volley after Merstham Captain Craig Vernon failed to head clear a long ball into the box, Smissen also failed to convert his follow-up effort. Faversham did reduce the deficit in the 75th minute as Lee Shearer’s fierce long range shot was controlled effortlessly in the box by Richard Sinden who calmly slotted the ball home from close range. The authority once shown by the home side seemed to evaporate and Faversham equalised five minutes later. A long throw brought chaos amongst the Merstham defence and as the ball bobbled through to Sinden, with his back to goal, he executed a perfect overhead kick which looped agonisingly over keeper Ian Chatfield. Marshall and Larkin collided with five minutes remaining and once the game restarted Merstham had to see out the remainder of the game with ten men after using all their substitutions. This gave Faversham Town the advantage in the final few minutes and the visitors almost snatched victory in injury time as Dale Skelton’s through ball found Smissen who rounded Chatfield but with the goal gaping in front of him, he shot wide into the side netting.

In the end, both teams had to settle for a replay which will be played at Salters Lane on Tuesday night.

 

Tuesday 25th August 2009
Ryman League Division One South
Merstham 3 v 2 Worthing
(HT 1-2)
Scorers: Mu Maan, Julian Owusu-Bekoe, Billy Marshall
Team:
Ian Chatfield, Adam Moriarty, Freddie Myers (Zak Graham), Tristan Frontin, Craig Vernon (c), John Hamsher, Michael Gordon, Des Boateng, Billy Marshall, Mu Maan (Julian Owusu-Bekoe), Jermaine McGlashan (David Smith)
Unused Subs: Tom Hughes, Chris Kiganda

Man of the Match: Billy Marshall
Referee:
N. Lugg
Attendance:
221
Match Ball Sponsor: Chapman & Son Butchers
Photos (Click on Name):
Match Review:   Merstham looked their second successive defeat in the face until five minutes from the end of this thrilling game when ‘super sub’ Julian Owusu-Bekoe and Billy Marshall turned the game on its head with two late goals. Worthing had taken the lead in the first minute through Jamie Brotherton and was shortly two up through ex-Merstham striker Gavin Gordon. Mu Maan managed to grab one back for Merstham before the break but the home side didn’t look like drawing level. The change came late in the second half when Manager Graeme Banyard made his three substitutions bringing on David Smith, Owusu-Bekoe and Zak Graham. Merstham were more aggressive and were rewarded with a fine win. They next play Kent League side Faversham Town in the Preliminary Round of the FA Cup on Saturday. -  Johnny Moatside

Match Report: David Kirkaldy
Billy Marshall secured Merstham victory in the dying seconds as the home side dramatically clinched victory from the jaws of defeat. Jamie Brotherton and Gavin Gordon strikes put the visitors into a first-half lead but goals from Mu Maan and Julian Owusu-Bekoe spurred the home side forward for a final flurry which saw Marshall slot home from close range to send the home fans into euphoric celebrations at The Moatside.

Worthing came out of the traps brightly and took the lead after two minutes as Ben Johnson lofted the ball over the Merstham defence into the run of Brotherton who fired a low shot past keeper Ian Chatfield and off the inside of the far post. The visitors could have doubled their advantage after eight minutes as Johnson played in Ross Treleaven but Chatfield managed to save the strike with his feet. Merstham then went straight up the other end on the counter-attack where Mu Mann beat the offside trap but fired straight at keeper Alan Mansfield. Half-way through the first-half Adam Moriarty and Billy Marshall successfully combined on the right flank to present Mu Maan with a chance but he failed to connect with Marshall’s cross by a matter of inches. In the 30th minute, defender Anthony Myers burst down the left wing, into the penalty area and his cross found Michael Gordon on the far side but the winger had his fiercely struck volley blocked by a Worthing defender. Worthing continued to pile on the pressure as Chatfield and Treleaven developed a personal rivalry. Firstly, the keeper saved Treleaven’s free-kick on 37 minutes. Then a minute later, Chatfield again denied the Worthing midfielder this time at full stretch from a powerful low shot on the edge of the area. The visitors deservedly doubled their lead on 42 minutes when Johnson on the left wing cleverly chipped the ball to the back post where Gavin Gordon arrived on cue to head home from close range. However, Worthing could not hold onto their two-goal advantage. Captain Paul Kennett gave the ball away to Des Boateng and his perfectly waited pass found Maan through on goal and the striker calmly rounded keeper Mansfield and rolled the ball into the empty net with virtually the final kick of the half.

Merstham came out after the break revitalised thanks to that late first-half strike and created three opportunities inside the first five minutes to equalise. Straight from the restart, Jermaine McGlashan bombed forward on the right wing and played the ball across to Marshall whose effort was tipped over by Mansfield. Michael Gordon decided to get in on the act and burst forward into the box from the left but shot wildly over the bar. A few moments later, Maan cut inside from the right and tried to curl the ball into the far corner but his effort just sailed the wrong side of the post. Michael Gordon started to dominate proceedings on the left wing and in the 52nd minute he delivered a perfect cross for Marshall but he headed over from close range. Three minutes later, Gordon produced another good cross, this time for McGlashan who had his shot cleared off the line. For all of Merstham’s dominance, there was edginess around The Moatside as the home side failed to take chance after chance. Worthing had an opportunity to put the game beyond doubt on 58 minutes. Merstham keeper Chatfield played a loose pass out of his area putting his defence under pressure. Brotherton picked up the loose ball and played Treleaven through on-goal but the keeper made up for his earlier mistake and again denied the Worthing midfielder. The home side introduced strikers Julian Owusu-Bekoe and Zak Graham for the final 15 minutes and they deservedly got their equaliser in the 90th minute. Tristan Frontin caused chaos in the area and flicked his header towards the back post where Owusu-Bekoe was waiting and he calmly struck the ball home from close range. With all the momentum, Merstham pushed forward in search of a winner and clinched victory in the third minute of injury time. With only seconds remaining Michael Gordon’s pass found Marshall in the box who turned past his defender and slotted the ball into the bottom corner to send the home fans delirious with the last kick of the game.

 

Saturday 22nd August 2009
Ryman League Division One South
Whitstable Town 2 v 1 Merstham
(HT 1-0)
Scorers: Tristan Frontin
Team:
Ian Chatfield, Adam Moriarty, Freddie Myers, Tristan Frontin , Craig Vernon (c), John Hamsher, Michael Gordon, Des Boateng (Mu Maan), Julian Owusu-Bekoe (Billy Marshall), Zak Graham (David Smith), Jermaine McGlashan
Unused Subs: Tom Hughes, Aaron Cole-Bolt

Man of the Match: Michael Gordon
Referee:
D. Buck
Attendance: 125
Match Ball Sponsor: N/A
Photos (Click on Name):

Match Report: David Kirkaldy

Whitstable Town secured their first home victory of the season against a Merstham team lacking the killer instinct in front of goal. Dan Wisker and Jake Gess scored either side of half-time for the Kent side that later had Wisker sent off after a clash with Merstham captain Craig Vernon. Tristan Frontin managed a consolation goal in injury time for The Moatsiders. Merstham started the brighter side and created a number of chances to take the lead. In the 2nd minute, Zak Graham found Jermaine McGlashan in acres of space on the right side of the penalty area but he directed his shot just wide of the far post. Moments later John Hamsher saw his 25-yard effort whistle just past the post. Then, a golden opportunity went begging for the visitors on the quarter-hour mark as McGlashan crossed perfectly onto the head of Julian Owusu-Bekoe but Whitstable keeper Kevin Fewell managed to push his effort onto the post. Whitstable slowly came into the game as they created openings from set plays. In the 20th minute, a long throw brought chaos in the Merstham penalty area allowing Wisker an opportunity on goal but he thrashed his effort over the bar. Seven minutes later, Tom Parker’s free-kick was headed away by the Merstham defence into the path of Ian Batten but his volley sailed miles over. The game was highly competitive with challenges flying in from both sides but presented little goalmouth activity. In the 40th minute, Michael Gordon created a buzz of excitement when he skipped past two defenders on the edge of the box and fired in a low shot. Fewell parried the shot towards Des Boateng but the midfielder lost his composure and volleyed his shot over the bar. After all the pressure from the visitors, it was Whitstable who gained the advantage in the 42nd minute. Gareth Cornhill’s free kick found an unmarked Wisker in the box and he powered his header past keeper Ian Chatfield to send the home side into a half-time lead.

It was a scrappy start to the second half as both teams frequently gave the ball away in the oppositions half. The closest opportunity to a goal came when Fewell had to scamper across his goal line to tip a Hamsher free-kick round his near post. Then, Merstham suffered a huge blow in the 55th minute as they went a further goal behind. Whitstable’s Stuart Vahid played a perfectly weighted pass into Gees’ path who took his time and calmly slotted the ball past Chatfield. The Moatsiders pushed more bodies forward in the hope of kick starting a fight back. In the 62nd minute, a training ground routine saw a Hamsher corner played along the ground towards the near post where Boateng fired a shot wide of the post. Merstham were finding success attacking on the right wing with Michael Gordon. In the 70th minute, Gordon skipped past another Whitstable defender and squared the ball to substitute Billy Marshall whose chip shot drifted over. A minute later, Gordon found himself in space on the edge of the box and tried to curl the ball into the far left corner, unfortunately the ball clipped off the top of the bar. The tide seemed to turn for the visitors in the 75th minute as Whitstable were reduced to ten men. The goalscorer Wisker clashed with Craig Vernon off-the-ball, leaving the Merstham captain clutching his head on the floor. The referee immediately stopped play and showed the red card to the disbelief of the Ashford striker. With the extra man advantage, Merstham found it tough to break down the home side as they got men behind the ball to protect their lead. In the 83rd minute, Tristan Frontin was unlucky after his snap-shot found the side-netting from another Hamsher free kick. Whitstable could have put the game beyond doubt in the 88th minute when Gees went through on goal but his shot brought a good save from Chatfield. Merstham managed to salvage a goal when Frontin headed home a Marshall cross in the 94th minute, but there was no time to restart the game as the visitors were left to rue their missed opportunities.

 

Wednesday 19th August 2009
Ryman League Division One South
Ashford Town 0 v 2 Merstham
(HT 0-0)
Scorers: Zak Graham, John Hamsher (pen)
Team:
Ian Chatfield, Stuart Harte, Adam Moriarty, Tristan Frontin, Craig Vernon (c), John Hamsher, Michael Gordon, Des Boateng, Chris Kiganda (Zak Graham), Mu Maan (Julian Owusu-Bekoe), Jermaine McGlashan (David Smith)
Unused Subs: Jack Smelt (GK), Tom Hughes

Man of the Match: Ian Chatfield
Referee:
Alex Neil
Attendance: 216
Match Ball Sponsor: N/A
Photos (Click on Name):

Match Report: David Kirkaldy

Merstham secured their first away victory of the season as Ashford were left to rue their missed opportunities in front of goal. Two second-half goals in eleven minutes from substitute Zak Graham and a penalty from John Hamsher meant The Moatsiders remain unbeaten during the first week of the new season.

In their opening game, Ashford Town were thrashed 7-0 by Croydon Athletic. Anybody assuming this match would be a walkover was mistaken and the visitors were lucky not to be a goal down within the first five minutes. Luke Hockley’s long throw caused chaos in the Merstham defence and eventually bobbled through to striker Paul Jones whose shot was driven against the foot of the post. The Kentish outfit looked solid defensively and restricted Merstham to long-range efforts. In the 24th minute, Merstham had a golden opportunity to take the lead. Full-back Adam Moriarty unleashed a powerful 30-yard strike on goal which was saved at full stretch by Ashford keeper Scott Chalmers-Stevens. The ball rebounded into the path of Michael Gordon who looked set to score until Chalmers-Stevens recovered to make an outstanding double save. Ashford continued to look dangerous on the attack but failed to take advantage of their dominance as striker Joe Fuller missed a hat-trick of chances. In the 28th minute, Nick Smith’s through ball released Fuller on goal but his shot was comfortably saved by Merstham’s Ian Chatfield. On 32 minutes, Fuller failed to direct a Jones cross on target with his outstretched leg. Then just before the break, Chatfield produced a superb save to deny Ross Morley’s long-range effort and Fuller blazed the follow-up over the bar. Despite all the home pressure, it should have been Merstham going into the interval ahead. In injury time, a John Hamsher free-kick found Des Boateng unmarked in the box but he failed to keep his header down from five yards.

Ashford continued their dominance after the break and came closest to scoring in the 50th minute. Ryan Briggs delivered a corner on the right perfectly onto the head of Hockley at the near post, but he powered his header just wide of the post. Shortly afterwards, a long cross field pass by Briggs found Smith on the left bearing down on goal. He chipped the ball over the oncoming Chatfield, but his effort landed on the roof of the net. Merstham manager Graeme Banyard demonstrated his astuteness with a double substitution in the 55th minute as both Zak Graham and Julian Owusu-Bekoe came on to rejuvenate the Merstham attack. In the 60th minute Julian McGlashan fired a shot just wide and moments later confusion reigned in the Ashford defence as John Guest’s clearance looped over his own keeper but unfortunately for the visitors bounced over the bar. The game became stretched with Ashford still proving to be an attacking threat. Another Hockley long throw, this time punched away by Chatfield, fell to Mitchell Sherwood on the edge of the area and he hammered the ball straight at Chatfield. Merstham took the lead in the 73rd minute with some quick thinking as a short free-kick to Gordon on the right wing, allowed him to run at the full-back and he managed to get to the by-line to cross over the head of Chalmers-Stevens to the far post where Graham converted a simple header from close range. As the home side pressed for an equaliser, spaces appeared in the Ashford defence allowing Merstham to play on the counter. In the 83rd minute, Owusu-Bekoe was pulled back in the penalty area by Guest and the referee did not hesitate to point to the spot. Hamsher stepped up and coolly slotted the ball past Chalmers-Stevens to wrap up the victory. The belief once shown by the home side, appeared to have evaporated and Merstham could have increased their lead in the dying moments. Chalmers-Stevens denied David Smith when through on-goal and when the keeper was beaten by Graham’s lob in injury time, Guest was on hand to prevent Merstham rubbing salt into their wounds.

 

Saturday 15th August 2009
Ryman League Division One South
Merstham 2 v 2 Metropolitan Police
(HT 1-2)
Scorers: Mu Maan, David Smith
Team:
Ian Chatfield, Stuart Harte, Adam Moriarty, Tristan Frontin, Craig Vernon (c), John Hamsher, Michael Gordon, Aaron Cole-Bolt (David Smith), Chris Kiganda (Julian Owusu-Bekoe), Mu Maan (Zak Graham), Jermaine McGlashan
Subs: Tom Hughes, Freddie Myers

Man of the Match: Jermaine 'JJ' McGlashan
Referee:
TBA
Attendance:
116
Match Ball Sponsor: David & Sarah Fish
Photos (Click on Name): David Jones
Match Review:  Merstham substitute David Smith equalised in the final five minutes to give the Moatsiders a point. The home side started brighter and took the lead after 13 minutes as Mu Maan headed home a fine corner from John Hamsher. The lead only lasted a couple of minutes as the ball bounced over the Merstham defence allowing Craig Carley to slot home close range. Met Police took the lead halfway through the first half when a goal-kick was flicked on by Gary Drewett into the path of Frankie Sawyer who blasted the ball past goalkeeper Ian Chatfield and into the net. Merstham were rewarded for their hard work as right winger Jermaine McGlashan was brought down in the area. Will Packham saved the initial Zak Graham penalty but could only parry into Smith’s path and he made no mistakes.  - David Kirkaldy

Match Report: David Kirkaldy
In a frenetic opening game at Moatside, Merstham equalised in the final five minutes against a Met Police team tipped for promotion. The home side took the lead courtesy of a Mu Maan header but two goals from Craig Carley and Frankie Sawyer gave the visitors a half-time lead. Merstham were rewarded for their second half pressure when Jermaine McGlashan was brought down for a penalty. Zak Graham’s spot kick was saved by Met Police keeper Will Packham but the ball rebounded into David Smith’s path to tap home.

Merstham started the brighter of the two teams and created the first opening after six minutes as Aaron Cole-Bolt’s 20 yard effort was tipped over the bar by Packham. The home side’s early pressure did pay off as they took the lead after 11 minutes, Maan heading home a John Hamsher corner. Merstham started to impose their game on the visitors as a free-flowing move saw Chris Kiganda back heel the ball into Maan’s path and the striker cleverly chipped the goalkeeper, unfortunately the ball landed on the roof of the net. The lead only lasted a couple of minutes as the ball bounced over the Merstham defence into Carley’s path and he calmly slotted the ball past keeper Ian Chatfield. With the quick equaliser, Met Police began to dominate proceedings and took the lead midway through the first half. A goal kick from Packham was flicked on by Gary Drewett into the path of Sawyer who beat the offside trap and blasted the ball past Chatfield. Merstham started to come back into the game and on the half hour the home side hit the post twice in successive attacks as first Hamsher hit the bar with his long range effort and Maan’s follow-up clipped the outside of the post. In the 40th minute Merstham missed a golden opportunity to equalise. Adam Moriarty’s through ball split the Met Police defence wide open to put Chris Kiganda through on goal, but he dragged his shot just wide of the bottom corner. The game went from end-to-end at the end of the half as set plays began to dominate proceedings. In the 42nd minute, Met Police could have increased their advantage as a James Evans corner to the back post was skilfully brought down by Tristan Frontin into the path of Sawyer whose first time turn and shot hit the post. At the other end, another Hamsher corner found Captain Craig Vernon at the back post but his header failed to work Packham just moments before the break.

Merstham continued to pile on the pressure in the second half. In the 49th minute Maan dribbled in from the left side of the area and his shot crept just wide of the near post. A minute later, Met Police showed how much of a threat they were on the break as Sawyer was put clean through on goal, this time Chatfield saved at his feet but the Merstham keeper required lengthy treatment after the collision. In the 55th minute, McGlashan picked up the loose ball and looked dangerous as he dribbled past two Met Police defenders but his composure let him down as his shot sailed over the bar. A couple of minutes later, Met Police hit the post once again from a James Evans 25-yard free kick and the follow-up volley by Ron Edwards was well saved by Chatfield. The home side began to find a weakness attacking the Met Police on the right side as good work by winger Michael Gordon allowed firstly Maan and then substitute Julian Owusu-Bekoe to find space for a shot in consecutive minutes. However, both strikers failed to hit the target. At times, panic seemed to reign amongst the Merstham defence. In the 67th minute, a Moody corner lead to a goal-mouth scramble which was eventually cleared off the line by Cole-and a deflated cross from Met Police’s Lee Gledhill left Chatfield back peddling to tip the ball over the bar. In the 81st minute, Packham was lucky to stay on the field after the Met Police goalkeeper obstructed Owusu-Bekoe running towards goal. Moments later the home side were rewarded for their hard effort as Stuart Harte played a long ball down the line to Owusu-Bekoe who chested the ball into McGlashan’s path. McGlashan raced down the right wing, cut across the defender and his mistimed tackle led the referee to award Merstham a penalty. Zak Graham’s penalty was a comfortable height for Packham but the rebound fell kindly for David Smith to tap home for the equaliser. Once again the game became end-to-end with both teams pushing in search for a winner. Met Police almost got a winner in injury time as confusion reigned once more in the Merstham defence as Hamsher failed to clear a cross, but the visitors failed to take advantage of the situation with both teams having to settle for a point.

Next up for Merstham is a trip to Ashford Town on Wednesday night, before the Moatsiders travel to The Belmont Ground to take on Whitstable Town next Saturday.