On a cold December Saturday morning, Epsom 2s faced Oxted Men’s 3s in a game where they knew they must get a result following a run of three successive defeats. Epsom had a strong team with a squad of 13 despite Jonny’s best efforts to convince Troy to stay at home!
Epsom started the brighter of the two teams and went ahead after dominating in the early exchanges but a bizarre decision saw Epsom reduced to ten with Howard Cheyne receiving his second yellow card in three games with the umpire judging, much to Epsom’s disbelief, that Cheyne had brought the ball down from above shoulder height.
After being restored to the full strength 11, good work from Troy Leiliard on the right was finished by Andy McNamee tucking the ball through the goalkeeper’s legs to score. 1-0.
Not long after Epsom had got the lead, Oxted got an equaliser. With the Epsom defence controlling possession, the Oxted forward intercepted a pass and went on the round the keeper before scoring as the defence ran back to attempt to block the shot. 1-1.
At half time Epsom were frustrated to be level and went out in the second half determined to restore their superiority. A good team move from a side line hit on the right saw the ball switched to Ant Williamson who passed to David Fletcher close to the baseline in the Oxted D, using the “V-drag” to cut back inside and beat the keeper, Fletcher flicked the ball past the defenders on the line to make the score 2-1.
With Epsom having again taken the lead, Oxted got back into the game with a well executed penalty corner, the Oxted player drag flicking the ball into the corner of the net. 2-2.
With Epsom again frustrated to be level, Jonny Hugo received a yellow card for a rough tackle following an earlier green card. Despite protesting his innocence Hugo was sent off echoing “But I got the ball!”
Epsom held on despite the disadvantage in numbers and when restored to 11 men took the lead for a third time. Hugo played the ball out of the defence to McNamee who passed it on to Sean Hebden. Hebden beat his man before teeing the ball up and hitting it on the half volley from the top of the D into the bottom corner.
Epsom held on despite a late surge from Oxted and secured a well deserved victory. Epsom 2s will hope to make it two wins in two with the last game before the Christmas break away at Woking Men’s 2s on Saturday 8th December.
MOM – David Fletcher
COD – Dave Powell – unable to open the changing room door!