Epsom went down to a 2-0 defeat away to a very strong Bournemouth side to head into Christmas in third place in the Surrey / Hampshire League 1. Epsom were light on resources for what is always a very long, difficult trip but they competed well in the early stages with Jack Marfleet’s reverse stick shot drawing a strong save from Bournemouth’s keeper. However, Bournemouth’s young side steadily upped the tempo and after 20 minutes they took the lead from a short corner. Bournemouth then dominated the play in the run up to half time, winning several more short corners, and only some heroic defending allowed Epsom to go in only 1-0 down.
Epsom were still in touch but the second half quickly turned into one to forget. Soon after the restart Epsom lost the ball on the half-way line and Bournemouth put together a lightning fast counterattack to make it 2-0. Bournemouth continued to up the ante with slick passing and movement. Epsom then lost Steve Turnbull to a hamstring injury and it then started raining very hard. Epsom kept going but a depleted squad was now being outplayed and outrun and despite getting into some promising positions they couldn’t create anything of note. Ultimately it just wasn’t their day and Bournemouth ran out worthy winners. The sole bright spot of the day was the number of McDonalds outlets on the way back down the M3.
Despite two recent defeats Epsom have still had a strong start to the season, currently lying third, and only one point off Purley. Epsom will hope to rest up over Christmas, get some injured players back, and get some momentum back in the New Year.