Redhill FC, of the Combined Counties Premier League, are known as the Lobsters. That was a suitable name for the home team, on a day when temperatures reached 29 degrees. My failure to sunscreen in the last Saturday game had left me looking like a lobster so today I took no chances and was ready and protected ahead of this 1.00 pm kick off.
The Kiln Brow ground is set in a semi rural location and has lots of free parking. The ground has a decent grass pitch, floodlighting, and a covered seated grandstand.
There is covered standing in the corner of one end, as well as a decent sized clubhouse which is currently being refurbished so was inaccessible today. There is a refreshment stand and good quality toilet facilities within the ground too.
The opponents today were local rivals Merstham FC of the Isthmian league. New boss Peter Adeniyi, moved across to the Merstham hot seat, from local rivals Carshalton Athletic and will be looking to make a real mark on the Isthmian (South-Central) league.
Unfortunately there were no team sheets, boards or Twitter team sheets to see, so I haven’t been able to provide player names for this report.
Despite good chances being created for both sides, in a surprisingly well fought and pacy first half, given the heat, there were no goals to show.
All of the intricate passing and early season darting forward runs had failed to materialise with a breakthrough by half time. The teams went into the break with the scores all level at 0-0.
The second half opened with Merstham FC having made a number of changes. In the 55th minute, after ten minutes of renewed energy and pressure on Redhill FC defence, Merstham forced a corner and their number 20 finished neatly in the box.
As late as the 85th minute Redhill FC got a ball into the Merstham box and it fell to their number 17, who stabbed the ball home to make the score what had seemed for most of the half, an unlikely 1-1. The small crowd became very vocal as they realised a draw against their higher ranked local rivals, was now on the cards.
The goal seemed to squeeze a final ounce of energy out of the Merstham FC players, who began to realise they had turned all their possession into a draw, in a match they felt they should be winning. In the 90th minute a final surge led a Redhill defender to trip a Merstham player in the box and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
This left Merstham FC’s number 14, having earned the kick to take it with a chance of virtually securing the win. The spot kick was hit low to the Redhill FC keeper’s left and the keeper guessed right, pulling off a great save.
When the whistle blew for full time, the match remained tied at 1-1. Both sides had put every effort into the game on a blisteringly hot afternoon.