Epsom: 1 (Midmer)
Old Cranleighans: 6
Epsom slumped to a heavy home defeat against Old Cranleighans to all but end their hopes of making the playoffs. The first half was a tight affair- Cranleighans dominated possession, but Epsom defended well and were creative on their rare attacks. The home side took early lead when Scott Barton’s cross was chipped home on the reverse by James Midmer and this could have been added to with two good chances going astray. However, Cranleighans’ kept the pressure on throughout the half and it finally told when a persevering forward eventually got off a reverse stick shot which went in off Tom Tredwell. The teams went in at 1-1. The second half turned into one to forget for Epsom, who were soon 2-1 down to a clinical short corner conversion and then saw two players shown yellow cards in quick succession. The subsequent period with 9 men saw Cranleighans overrun Epsom with two well worked goals to effectively finish the tie as a contest at 4-1. Epsom piled men forward in search of a way back, but it was all a bit frenetic and holes had started to appear at the back even before another yellow card for Brett Hosken. Cranleighans scored two more clinical goals near the end to make the final score 6-1. Cranleighans fully deserved the win, allying a strong possession retention system with some clinical forward play. Epsom could possibly have done without playing the whole second half shorthanded but it did not affect the result. The result saw Cranleighans win the league with four games to spare, and they look well suited to challenging in South Prem 2 and a consistency blueprint for Epsom to try and emulate next season.