On a sunny Saturday morning 11.5 Epsom players travelled to Croydon to play Croydon (what a coincidence). After a draw against Leatherhead we were reeling to get back on winning ways which is why the captain made sure the team had jelly babies and a decent (ish) umpire. The pitch (?) was a mixture between a Caribbean island and the swamps in New Guinea… brought me back memories of my early hockey days, dribbling coconuts round palm trees.
It seems the early start time had an effect on both teams as we barely managed to show up with enough players while Croydon only had 9 and an umpire. After a slight technical delay the game started and from the start is seemed like Croydon may just sit back and try to take in everything we threw at them. But it wouldn’t be long before Matt scored from top D and then Darron threw the complete kitchen sink at them and scored the first of his innumerable goals, so many in fact that one just seems to blur into the next. I must say that this week our formation, with 3 up front, worked wonders as Adam was continually running past his markers and crossing the ball, while Darron on the other side was receiving wide, and then making dashing runs into the D. Their central defender also decided to man mark the captain, and this again made things easier for the other forwards and the midfielders behind him. The midfield were also controlling all Croydon’s efforts at reaching our goal and their solitary forward (wearing some sort of knitted cap – a family heirloom?) time and time again just crashed against “The Rock” Etherington. On the other end Epsom scored 2 more goals (most likely by Darron). Nearing half time Epsom broke loose and the captain, dashing down the middle dribbled past the keeper and calmly passed to Adam who scored his first goal of the year (or least it felt like that). The first half ended 4-0.
The second half started just like the first half ended, with Epsom in control. Adams newly found ability as a goal scorer pushed him to new heights and he subsequently scored one more! Darron then scored a few more, some from ridiculous angels and one even from a rare pass by the captain! Nick Cheyne then put one in with a nice hit from top D and David Pike almost scored a cracker, but instead cracked his stick by hitting the pitch instead of the ball. By this time the captain injured his injury, but valiant as he is he just kept on. In all honesty the captain should have stayed in bed that morning, feeding on his drip and taking pain killer intravenously, but no, he decided to get up, have a cocktail of painkillers and just take one for the team…and the result? He gets TFC!. Well, it seems his innumerable shots (not scored) on goal may have also contributed – but hey, what can you expect from a cripple?
The game ended with an emphatic 9-0 score and after it the captain rewarded the star goalscorer with a VIP ride to his next destination: Dulwich College. On the way back a water main burst which meant the captain only got back after almost two hours stuck in traffic… but at least all his painkillers made it all look so colourful and fun!
Overall a truly great game. Since our game vs the 6’s we have scored 28 and only let in 4. After Cheam’s 4-1 loss to PW we not have a better gd than they do and in theory also easier games, so third place is still the aim!