Men’s 1s draw 5-5 in action packed game at Barnes

jimmy_m Match reports, Men 1st XI

 

Barnes: 5

Epsom: 5 (M.Atkinson, Midmer 3, Hildrey)

 

Epsom drew 5-5 at Barnes on Saturday- in an action packed game where attacks were always in the ascendancy over defences.

After a flat opening day defeat against London Academicals, Epsom travelled in need of a result. Following a minute’s silence to mark the passing of Epsom’s Julia Gill, the Surrey side flew out of the blocks, with Mike Atkinson crashing home a penalty corner strike in only the second minute to make it 1-0. Barnes struck back almost immediately, their skipper Sam Druce firing home a low short corner dragflick to level the scores, before a Barnes forward slotted home a reverse stick shot from a tight angle to make it 2-1 after just 5 minutes. Barnes’ young, energetic side were starting to put lots of pressure on Epsom, but the Surrey side fought back and James Midmer deflected home a short corner to level it up at 2-2 after 10 minutes. A crazy game then continued with Barnes making it 3-2 with a well worked move from open play, before Oli Hildrey followed up a short corner rebound and lifted the ball home for 3-3 after 20 minutes. Barnes made it 4-3 just before half time, with another clinical goal from open play highlighting that Epsom simply couldn’t afford to give the ball away or miss tackles against a strong side flying forward at every opportunity.

Epsom regrouped after half time and started to sort themselves out defensively. At the same time, another Epsom short corner saw Midmer again get a touch on a short corner strike which crept in through a ruck of players to make it 4-4. This soon became better for Epsom as right back Scott Barton advanced through the middle and picked out Midmer in the circle, who deflected a first time shot past the Barnes keeper to make it 5-4 after 45 minutes. Barnes were not finished however, and a loose period of play from Epsom saw Barnes attacking and from a short corner, Druce again converted to make it 5-5 after 55 minutes and at the same time Epsom keeper Matt Tuppen was sent to the sin bin for dissent. With a very ropey substitute keeper in for 5 minutes, Epsom did well to not let Barnes have a shot and could even have scored themselves. Barnes then finished the game in the ascendancy, missing a glorious chance from a short corner in the closing stages and Tuppen redeeming himself on his reappearance  with some good saves up to the final whistle. This game could well have finished 8-8 and a draw was probably the fairest result. Epsom will hope to tighten up a bit in time for next week’s visit of Wanderers to Epsom College.