Epsom: 5 (Hildrey 2, P.Atkinson 3)
A Paul Atkinson hat-trick helped Epsom to a 5-3 victory against Wanderers in Battersea Park on Saturday. Epsom raced into an early 2-0 lead from two short corners; Oli Hildrey firing home a dragflick after 3 minutes, and Paul Atkinson bundling home another almost immediately after. Epsom had further chances in the first ten minutes but then faded, allowing Wanderers to find their way into the game. Wanderers zipped the ball around nicely in the sunshine, cutting the deficit with a powerful short corner dragflick, and bossing play for a while. Just before half-time Epsom were gifted their two-goal cushion back when Mike Atkinson’s run drew a blatant infringement and Paul Atkinson calmly converted the resulting penalty stroke for 3-1.
Epsom again started brightly in the second half, two flowing moves almost extending the lead, before a third one played in Paul Atkinson to thump home his third of the afternoon for 4-1. Again however, Epsom faded and Wanderers fought back; midway through the half they cut the deficit to 4-2 with a superb individual goal. Wanderers were by now on top; several more chances coming and going as the match wore on and Epsom losing two players to the sin-bin. With just two minutes to go Wanderers cut the deficit to 4-3 via a crash ball which was deflected in through a ruck of players. However, Epsom responded immediately, with Steve Turnbull and Mike Atkinson skilfully combining to win a short corner, which Hildrey clinically drilled home for 5-3.
This was a clinical performance from Epsom, who remained in 5th in the Surrey / Hampshire League 1. They face another tough game at home to Trojans on Saturday.