We've Met Before - Kingstonian

Updated: Jan 11

We've been playing against Kingstonian since the nineteen thirties and first met them in an FA Cup tie in the 1930-31 season (losing 0-4 away). We continued to meet them regularly over the years but only when drawn against each other in cup competitions as we were in different leagues, until we joined the Isthmian League in 1973/74. However, we were in different divisions until we won promotion to the Premier Division for the 1977-78 season and have been meeting them regularly ever since.

More recent encounters have not always gone our way and after winning promotion back to the Premier Division for the 2018-19 season we resumed our rivalry, drawing both league fixtures 1-1, and losing a Surrey Senior Cup tie 2-3 away for good measure. For the following season former Robins manager Hayden Bird took over the reigns at the K's and brought his strong form against with him. In the first encounter of the season, at Colston Avenue in October 2019, we were 1-0 down at half time following a 35 yard shot from Louie Theophanous that eluded the Robin's keeper Kleton Perntreou and we went further behind when former Robin Reece Hall smashed in the ball from 15 yards soon after half time. However, we were back in the game not long afterwards when centre-back Danny Dudley picked up the ball on the halfway line and ran at the K's defence before unleashing a 25 yard thunderbolt into the bottom tight hand corner to give the Robins a toehold. After much pressure Ricky Korboa grabbed an equaliser after Omar Koroma had forced K's keeper into parrying the ball into Korboa's path and he made no mistake from three yards out. This game is significant for two reasons; firstly it was Danny Dudley's only goal for the Robins and secondly, it is the only time a Hayden Bird team has failed to register a win against Carshalton!

The return fixture at King George's Field in January 2020 proved to be the last time the two clubs met and normal service was resumed with K's running out comfortable 3-1 winners with goals from Simon Cooper (former Robin), Dan Bennett (future Robin) and Gus Sow. Lewis White grabbed a consolation for the Robins after the K's had already gone 3-0 up. Played for (and managed!) both teams: There have been a lot a players who have worn the colours of both clubs in recent years, most recently current Robins Dan Bennett and Dan Hector played for the K's under Hayden Bird and former Robins Kershaney Samuels and Nyren Clunis have gone in the opposite direction. Simon Cooper, Youssef Bamba and Reece Hall have also plied their trade for both clubs in recent years. However, as well as swapping players we also have swapped managers with former Robins gaffer Hayden Bird now in the hot seat at the K's. He took over this role in the summer of 2019 after having steered Merstham to the play off final (via a 2-1 semi final victory over Robins at Colston Avenue) at the end of the 2018-19 season. Hayden's record against the Robins is unparalleled, never having been on the losing side in any fixture against us, where he has been the opposition manager, since leaving the club in 2009. Records, however, are there to be broken!