It was being touted as the ‘Battle of the Giants’-Top of the league Surbiton, who had lost only one game all season against the league’s form team Epsom, who where unbeaten in the last 11 games. The supporters were expecting a corker with a record home attendance of 4 in the form of Graham, Dave (banned by his wife from playing), Simon and of course our very own mouthy Saffa-Darron. Would it live up to the hype and could Darron escape his 20 th Card of the season?!
Carlos gave us the usual motivational speech, reving the players up with some classic garbage and we were primed and ready to send Surbiton packing with nothing
For those not involved in the game, you may be wondering how such a supreme player could possibly have picked up the TFC award and I am still questioning that myself as Adam H was also playing but I have been told that a clean sweep of nominations is unanimous so here I am!
The game started with end to end play but Epsom soon got a hold of the game and started dominating mainly thanks to the quite superb distribution in Midfield (that would be Ross and I), utilising the pace and engine of Rob down the right flank. Many attacking opportunities were presented to the strike partnership of Captain Carlos and Welshy but the back of the net was still not quivering at the threat and the clocked ticked away with the score remaining at 0-0 for some time. Despite the dominance of an Epsom XI clearly thriving from a superb run of form and the thought of over taking the 6s, Surbiton broke and had a rare passage of play that resulted in a short corner being awarded. It should be noted that Epsom had been awarded a free hit but Mr Honest decided he would own up to his nifty footwork and the decision was overturned and Surbiton struck from the short to go 1 up.
I think Surbiton had forgotten that Epsom were playing at Home and soon Epsom were once again pressurising, ending in a short corner being awarded our way. Up trots the mighty Nick Payne as our specialist ball striker, but he would have to wait 4 attempted corners from Carlos before the ball would get anywhere near him. However, when Nick got his chance he sort of took it, scuffing it horrendously which completely deceived the defence and found Carlos loitering with intent to poke it home 1-1. After this the game was very much in the balance with our keeper making some key saves but Darron did not think that the ref was performing to the levels expected of him and told him so. The end result being a straight red for Darron and a request for him to leave the sidelines. This request was rejected by Darron who stipulated that he had travelled a long way to watch this game and an agreement was reached. That is pretty much how the first half ended and nothing else really happen as far as I can remember. I was told however that I may have missed what some people have regarded as a ‘sitter’ whereby I had beaten 20 men (yes I beat them all twice) then played a delightful pass to Carlos who instead of passing it first time, took the ball to an impossible angel and took on the shot himself. This shot came off the goalie and dribble across the open goal and at this point Adam’s girlfriend took all her clothes off and run in front of the goal, clearly desperate for me (which nobody else saw), and put me completely off my shot. The end result was a ball in the back of the net but unfortunately it was the net of the big football goal behind and even that was nearly missed. Half time 1-1, and if I didn’t feel bad enough I was substituted….well that is great for moral!
As I was substituted, I completely lost interest in the game and Epsom quickly went 2-1 down. At this point I turned my attention to distracting Darron from making any more outbursts that might cost us league points while counting the minutes before I was begged to come back on. 15 minutes into the second half and that request came……..was a dramatic victory still possible? Of course it was now that the prematurely nominated TFC was back on the pitch and with and assist to the assist we had levelled the score. Caggers, who had another superb game, charged up from the back and upon realising that it would take him until the end of the game to get back to his rightful position decided to hold his attacking position, receiving the ball from TFC and belting it into the D where Super Ross (who should think twice about ruining his life and upgrading to the 4ths) slotted home.
With 10 minutes still on the clock, the momentum was with Espom and we peppered there box until another short was given. Again we had to wait 3 attempts before the ball reached Nick and this time he struck it superbly well giving the keeper no chance at all. 3-2 Epsom
The last 5 minutes were a little nervy but Epsom held on a record an historic victory that put us in a strong position to finish in the top 4.
MOM went to our keeper who despite not being called upon regularly, kept us in the game at some key points
Good Luck in the next game and I am already looking forward to next season