vs Woking 2s: Won 3-0 (Midmer 3)
vs EUGHC: Won 5-2 (M.Atkinson, Turnbull, Midmer 2, Barton)
vs HAC: Won 5-2 (Culff 2, Turnbull, Pizzey, P.Atkinson)
Epsom made their first outing of the 2015/16 season in the Surrey Cup preliminary qualifying round at Woking Hockey Club. Epsom fielded a strong squad featuring three debutants, Chris Allison, Alex Bond and Ben Hildrey, with the rest of the Group comprising a strong Woking 2s side (featuring a number of first team regulars), Edinburgh Uni Gamblers and the HAC.
Epsom showed signs of rustiness in the group’s opening match vs Woking 2s, but were sharp on the counterattack and two goals from James Midmer put them 2-0 up at half time. Midmer added a third soon after half time and Epsom started to play nicely as the game wound down to a 3-0 win.
Following a short break, Epsom started their second fixture against Edinburgh Uni Gamblers poorly, conceding almost straight away from a short corner and going in 2-1 down at half time; a well-worked goal finished by Mike Atkinson one of few highlights. The second half saw a much sharper Epsom performance with Gamblers’ useful keeper in regular action before Steve Turnbull fired home for 2-2. Epsom seized control in the closing stages with a double-strike from James Midmer and a short corner from Scott Barton making the score a slightly flattering 5-2.
After a near two-hour break Epsom’s final fixture with HAC was predictably attritional. HAC needed a win to qualify and scored via an early short corner dragflick. Epsom equalised with a neat open-play deflection from Alex Culff, who then followed up with a high short-corner dragflick for 2-1. Steve Turnbull’s superb dummy and strike quickly made it 3-1. HAC cut the deficit to 3-2 but Alex Pizzey deflected home to make it 4-2 at half-time. Both sides tired in the second half, HAC saw more of the ball but Epsom defended solidly and added a fifth goal from a Paul Atkinson penalty stroke.
Epsom qualified top of the group and now move into the second round of the Surrey Cup, along with Woking 2s.