Epsom: 4 (Culff, M.Atkinson, B.Hildrey, Barton)
Havant 2s: 5
Epsom never really got going at home to Havant 2s, eventually succumbing 5-4 to a more disciplined and inventive away side. Havant adapted much better to the hot conditions and a slow pitch, racing into a 2-0 lead after 6 minutes through neat attacks led by key forward Tomasz Nowicki. Epsom fought back and some good work from Alex Pizzey set up Alex Culff to finish at the backpost for 2-1. Soon after, Mike Atkinson converted a well-worked short corner move for 2-2 on 20 minutes. Havant almost immediately won a short corner and an accurate drag-flick made it 3-2. Just before half-time Epsom won a short corner and Ben Hildrey fired home a dragflick for 3-3. Epsom had been by far second-best but at least had a platform to build on.
The second half saw Epsom again strive hard to force the pace but they continued to make a frustrating number of errors. On 40 minutes Havant made it 4-3 from a well-worked short corner move. Soon after, Havant broke through again and the dangerous Nowicki forced an obvious short corner and yellow card. The short corner flick crept agonisingly in for 5-3, and a subsequent period with 10 (and then 9) men seemed to subdue Epsom who never really mounted a meaningful fightback. Right on full-time a final Epsom short-corner saw Culff’s dragflick hit a defender on the line. Scott Barton converted the subsequent penalty stroke for 5-4 but it was virtually the last action of the game and Epsom were left to rue a disappointing performance.
Havant’s inventive side fully deserved the win and Epsom will hope to improve next week away at Hamble in Week 4 of the Surrey / Hampshire League 1.