Epsom: 1 (Midmer)
Epsom travelled to Down Grange to take on a strong, well-organised Basingstoke side. Basingstoke started the game at pace and soon went 1-0 up from a quick free hit and neat finish. Only a brilliant double-save from James Tuck kept the hosts out a few minutes later. Following this, Epsom stepped up their play and had a long spell of attacking pressure, but unfortunately couldn’t make it count, and Basingstoke then scored a breakaway goal to make it 2-0 at half-time.
Epsom responded well to the setback and controlled possession in the second half, even when down to 10, and then, 9 men for sections of it. They made it 2-1 with a well-worked short corner move that Johnny Oliver had dreamt up that morning watching BT Sport. Drunk on its success, they then tried the move again and it broke down. They then tried a third more trusted routine that slotted in James Hunt but his effort was brilliantly cleared off the line at shoulder height by a defender. Epsom threw everything forward in the final stages but couldn’t get the equalizer. They were also indebted to more brilliant work from Tuck to keep Basingstoke out from a number of late counterattacks. There was no lack of effort but ultimately a 2-1 defeat and only the best teas in the league for consolation (Lasagne).
Both Purley and Bournemouth won to raise the pressure on Epsom, who now need a better result at home to Reigate, who have been on top in every recent encounter between these sides. All support would be welcome at Old Schools Lane next week at 1:30.