Merstham 1-0 Whitehawk
Bostik Premier League: Game 19
The Hawks went down to their seventh successive away league defeat at the Specsavers Stadium. Encouraging home performances in the previous two games had lifted spirits a little, but hopes were well and truly dampened by a disappointing performance on a very wet afternoon in Surrey. The Hawks’ side saw one change, with Ky Marsh-Brown starting on the left wing in place of Reece Hallard.
Neither side has won a league game since September, but it was Merstham who looked the more confident side from the first whistle. The Hawks goal led a charmed life in the first half, with the woodwork struck on three occasions and Melvin Minter frequently called into action to keep his side on level terms. The Moatsiders’ wingers Gus Sow and Tayshan Hayden-Smith caused constant problems, with Walter Figueria impressing as the home side controlled the game.
On 24 minutes Calum Davies’s shot ran along the goal line after striking the base of the post and four minutes later a long range effort from Simon Cooper struck the opposite upright.
Hawks only attack of note came when Nat Pinney beat the offside trap but couldn’t round keeper Tangara, who was quickly off his line.
Shortly before half-time Merstham thought they had finally got the goal their dominance deserved when Calum Davies netted from close range, but despite the absence of an offisde flag, referee James Hurst ruled the goal out, following a lengthy consultation. Minter still had time for two more spectacular saves before the half-time whistle.
The interval news that a Whitehawk fan had won the half-time draw prompted speculation that this could be our lucky day. Lucas Rodrigues began the half by going close with a fierce cross shot, but normal service was quickly resumed when Tuto Henriques hit the bar for Mertsham with a header.
Jude Macdonald used all three substitutions in an attempt to get a foothhold in the game and Jason Williams, on for Nat Pinney after 71 minutes, had a shot saved with his first touch after the Hawks finally put a couple of passes together. He then curled an effort wide after being set up by James Fraser.
Just after Minter had produced a superb finger tip save from Figueira, Merstham finally got the break through ten minutes from time. A quickly taken corner on the left ended with Kenny Beaney netting from close range. The home side held out comfortably for the remainder of the game.
Moatsiders: Tangara, Samuels, Harrison, Cooper (c), Henriques, Kavanagh, Sow, Beaney, Davies (Guimaraes 89′), Figueira, Hayden-Smith (Bird 80′)
Subs not used: Cook, Kirwan, Saraiva
Hawks: Minter, Goode, Cooney, Muggeridge (c), Drage, Christie, Rodrigues (Hallard 59′), Emberson, Pinney (Williams 71′), Tighe (Fraser 59′), Marsh-Brown
Subs not used: Walsh, Unwin
Yellow cards: Beaney (Merstham); Goode, Muggeridge, Marsh-Brown (Hawks)
Man of the Match: Melvin Minter
|Ky Marsh-Brown||Yellow Card|
|Henry Muggeridge||Yellow Card|
|Aaron Goode||Yellow Card|