Epsom: 3 (Smith, Vermeulen, B.Hildrey)
Epsom combined a strong defensive effort with some clinical finishing to take a 3-2 win at Basingstoke on Saturday. Basingstoke are a strong side and they dominated first half possession, but Epsom defended tightly for long spells and worked a decent chance on 15 minutes with a quick counterattack seeing Mike Atkinson flash just wide. Basingstoke continued to apply pressure and just before half-time Ed Burton-Brown made a brilliant double-save at a short corner to keep it 0-0.
Epsom started the second half well, just 30 seconds in a counterattack was worked to Tom Smith who finished smartly for 1-0. Soon after, Mike Atkinson won a short corner which was crashed home by Drew Vermeulen for 2-0. Epsom again sat tight for around 15 minutes but Basingstoke kept coming and cut the deficit to 2-1 after a goal-mouth melee. This could have shifted momentum but Epsom struck back with a superb goal, Mike Atkinson drifted right before playing in Ben Hildrey whose stunning finish found the top left-corner for 3-1. Epsom redoubled their defensive efforts in the last 10 minutes and held out until conceding a late short-corner, Basingstoke flicked home for 2-3 but the final whistle went just seconds after the restart. The win was helpful for morale on a 2 hour return journey where the M3 was closed!
Following some mixed results from occasionally promising performances, this was a more disciplined effort from Epsom whose squad of 12 worked tirelessly. The side take on Haslemere at home next week at Epsom College (12:30).