Men’s 1s: Epsom draw dogfight away at Hamble

jimmy_m Match reports, Men 1st XI

 

Hamble: 3

Epsom: 3 (P.Atkinson, Murrell, Midmer)

 

Following a bright start to the league season, Epsom made fairly hard work of a trip to newly promoted Hamble and were fortunate to emerge with a point after a last minute equaliser. A rejigged Epsom started the match brightly but fell behind when Hamble fired home their first short corner to take a 1-0 lead on the 20 minute mark. Epsom were gifted an equaliser almost straight away from the penalty spot; Paul Atkinson calmly converting after a lengthy injury stoppage to make it 1-1. The match was turning into a real dogfight in the run up to half time and it continued to be a real scrap in the second half as both sides seemed to have more ideas for destruction without the ball than creative ideas with it. Several heavy challenges flew in around the park whilst neither goalkeeper really had much to do. Epsom went 2-1 up midway through the half when centre half Ali Murrell bundled home a scrappy short corner. Sensing that could well be that on the goals front, Epsom pragmatically decided to sit back and look to counterattack. This worked fine for a while but the narrow lead was always vulnerable, and eventually after 60 minutes a turnover allowed Hamble to make it 2-2 through a swift counterattack down the left. Hamble then saw one of their players receive a red card and retreated themselves. For most of the final 10 minutes it looked like neither side really knew whether to stick or twist. However, with just two minutes to go, Hamble took a 3-2 lead when a quick free-hit outside the circle found a forward free at the back post. There were jubilant scenes from the home crowd, but Epsom attacked immediately from the restart and fired in a quick free-hit on the left that looped through to James Midmer who bundled home to make it 3-3. There was barely time to restart.

A point was in all honesty a good result for Epsom who, a good first 10 minutes aside, did not really set the world on fire. Hamble proved tough opposition who will surely give all sides in the league a real match. Epsom will look to regroup and face Chichester 2s at home next weekend.