On a cold “Spring” night Epsom 2s prepared for their mid week rearranged match against Camberley & Farnborough, the most potent attacking force in the league. A win for Camberley would take them top of the league, so we knew that no inch could or would be given. Epsom’s confidence was high, having only a few days before come back from a 2 goal deficit to defeat the 3rd placed team Wanderer’s, and with the knowledge that we are a “night” team.
The game started off at a high tempo, with Camberley showing why they were challenging for the league title and pressuring the Epsom team. Our forward line up was forced deeper and deeper to help the defensive effort. An early passage of play saw Camberley strike the post, with the rebound hitting the forward’s foot.
10 minutes in Camberley won a short corner and the subsequent drag flick flew in to the top right corner. It was now that Epsom had to dig deep, in some previous game heads have dropped on conceding the early goal, tonight was not going to be one of those occasions. Whilst Camberley maintained pressure on our defence we started to ask questions of theirs. Gradually chances started to come our way but that final bit of finesse was just missing in the D.
The half time talk saw evidence of confidence in the ranks, we had come through the first half and the balance of power was starting to shift. Whilst Camberley had created some chances our team’s tight defence meant they hadn’t looked like the all conquering goal scoring machine.
Some aerial exchanges between the side began with Ali leading the way, but Howie was keen to join in on the act and threw one of his own. Ant feeling left out threw one his own, two foot off the ground and straight to their player. The umpires bored of the aerials very quickly and soon blew in the defence’s favour every time.
On an Epsom attack a Camberley defender came in with a poor tackle and a penalty flick was duly awarded. Up stepped Sean, the team’s leading goal scorer with over a goal a game average. Determined to maintain his record he fired it to the keepers right and the net bellowed wobbled as the ball flew limped in.
Our midfield worked exceptionally hard, with Macca now resigned to his role at left midfield as our 5th defender. Kai, Dave and Syds all did long stints tracking the numerous attacking forays by the opposition, but still pilling forward when we had possession.
The game began to open up as Camberley desperately came forward searching for the winning goal, but all four of the defensive line up pulled off some huge tackles to time and time again deny the opposition. Increasing numbers of chances were coming Epsom’s way as a victory became a definite possibility.
Sean received the ball open on the p spot and fired the ball agonisingly wide. Fletch drove dangerously in to the D and turned the defender but the move broke down. With a couple of minutes remaining Macca slapped a firm shot low to the keeper’s right, but was excellently saved.
Epsom won a short corner in the final passage of play. Having scored in just such a situation two weeks before we knew anything was possible. With a 4 called the ball flew back to Kai the injector, but with the pass slightly behind him the ball went out of play and the final whistle blew.
Whilst we were disappointed not the steal the win the team should be very proud of a strong performance against a team who are probably the best in the league. The last two games demonstrate that we can compete and beat the strongest teams in the league.
MoM – Alex
TFC – to be decided by drink off