Back to Hockey for me and having missed the first 4 friendlies and 1 league game, I was not just looking old, but now feeling old. Great to be back and missed you guys. So hey, my routine is now back to run around a pitch on a Saturday having a mid-life crisis, followed by match reports on a Sunday – so that’s why I am in the team then….
Epsom always struggles against Reigate and funnily enough the last game I played was our game v Reigate end of last season when we turned up and simply got turned over. So not looking positive but Jack informed me, the team was better, we were on a winning streak and can win this one – oh the optimism of youth……..
Long delays getting the pitch, and perhaps Reigate had sabotaged the roads as knew we were up for revenge. Anyway most were on time, and just leaving Captain Email to bring up the rear (at least I think that’s what was heard after the game when he spent 35 minutes in the showers?). Anyway better get back to the game. We started really, really well, indeed we were awesome and had total control. Mazza (aka roadrunner) ripped them apart, and between Mazza, Jammo and Jack we could and should have gone perhaps 4 clear goals up. But Reigate had clear quality to counteract our brilliance and otherwise total domination of the game. We went one up thanks to an impossible angled smash by Mazza, but Reigate levelled fairly soon afterwards. It was then Epsom showboating time, with a well placed turn and flick by Jack against the inside of the post, and then Jammo’s OK goal to make it 3-1 up.
Let’s rewind that OK goal shall we? Now I hate to boost his ego too much, and I would say this was goal of the season potential, but actually after playing Hockey myself for near on 25 years (yes I should be better at it by now – I know), I have to say this was simply the most skilful, daring and just arrogant goal I have ever come across. Just for the record, in the heat of the game he got the ball on the P-spot got, got rushed by the keeper, but lazily looped the ball up and over the keepers head which fell down just below the crossbar into the back netting. It was beautiful to watch and deserved the applause from both sides. He then scored a second (boring goal and can’t be bothered to describe it here – other than a good run and pass by Gary and a deflected tap in by Jammo on far post). So 4-1 up at half time and we were clear winners and had total control.
Epsom team talk was a joint effort by Captain Email (Maj) and Breesey the elder (Chris) who had become self-nominated manager for the day. To cut a long and painful story short, Breesey’s strategy and direction started as brilliance with players being kept fresh (mainly meant me being sidelined) the various subs moved around to match the game being played out and this maintained our dominance and to be fair was instrumental for our 4-1 win into half time. However like a kid in a sweetie shop he got a bit greedy and could not decide between a marathon and a flake (snickers and twirl for you youngsters) . At one point Chris asked who was out of position, and would have been easier to state who was in position. So in good old Epsom fashion we tried our best to throw this already won game away. Reigate scored 3 goals in the second half bringing the score level at 4-4 and were on a final push for the unlikely win.
Not allowing this to happen, we managed to hold strong, regain our composure (think with 2 injuries to Gary and Rich, Chris had less options to switch players around) and we retook control of this game. In the dying moments of the game we pressed on and the ball was passed from Jack to Jammo who deflected it on (not sure if deliberatekly) to good olde me at the far post who with just the keeper to beat (actually he was already beaten and flapping around on the near post) neatly lifted the ball over the line for the 5-4 win. So (1) you do not need to break the net to score a goal and (2) experience triumphed over youth.
Deserved win by Epsom and 5-4 it was. Didn’t get to vote MoM or TFC so my own short-lists are attached and you can make your own minds up :- MoM contenders were many, but for me in no order (1) Matt Smith and (2) Rob Pringle – both awesome in defence as always, (3) Mazza just brilliant today, (4) Matt Breese (Junior Breesey) was great apart for the one late tackle which was a bit ugly but funny, and (5) Jammo ran around everywhere and that goal was just sheer perfection itself. TFC well, in case we have forgotten the rules here – just remember the author and pen does not lie – (1) Maj for turning up late, for bringing Rob Pringle off when the defence was solid, and then taking 7 touches to control the first pass to him – scary stuff (2) Gary for his double wardrobe malfunction – turning up in his lycra pants and forgetting to wear shorts, for coming on in the second half in the wrong coloured shirt (temporarily), and for taking Jammo out in the first half when he had a clear goal scoring opportunity, and (3) our strategist Chris Breese who started really well, but then got a bit carried away . Great to be back, great to be winning and see you all next week. Steve.