London Academicals: 1
Epsom went down to London Academicals on the first day of the Surrey / Hampshire league season.
Following a fast start to the game, London Academicals looked brighter in the opening stages with a number of accurate aerial balls finding some intelligent forward runners and exerting pressure. However, Epsom soon found their passing range and started to exert some degree of control as the half went on, creating several good chances. Academicals had retreated onto the defensive before half time came, but despite forcing a number of penalty corners Epsom could not find the opener.
The second half continued in a similar vein with the Academicals goal leading a charmed life as some rusty finishing from Epsom, and inspired goalkeeping from the visitors keeper, combined to keep the scores level despite waves of Epsom pressure. Having had numerous chances, Epsom began to get frustrated and a loss of discipline saw a succession of players sent to the sin bin and the side reduced to 10 or 9 men throughout the closing stages. Towards the end of the game, Academicals began to take the initiative and started to play as they had at the start, and with 5 minutes to go the visitors won a penalty corner, and a well worked move saw their captain Ali Francis thump a shot into the roof of the net. Epsom pushed hard for an equaliser but it just didn’t happen on the day. The Academicals fully deserved the win as they defended well and took their chances when they came. Epsom will be looking to bounce back next week away at Barnes.