Epsom: 2 (Midmer 2)
Epsom started the second half of the season with a local derby at Woking. Epsom welcomed Martin Wales to the managerial bench; the former defensive legend’s second spell in charge of the side in recent years. Speculation on whether he would arrive in Pep Guardiola-style suit and tie ultimately proved unfounded.
Epsom flew out of the blocks and for 20 minutes were excellent; some slick passing and movement saw James Midmer fire home an early opener, and on 10 minutes an incisive counter-attack saw Mike Atkinson play in Midmer to make it 2-0. Epsom were flying at this point with Steve Turnbull and Scott Jones both causing problems and the away support (potentially including local boy Chris Burton-Brown) in good voice. However, Epsom crucially couldn’t add to the scoreline in this period and Woking gradually started to take a stronger hold on possession, forcing a run of chances and short-corners in the run-up to half-time. Epsom went into the interval 2-0 up but needing a shift in momentum.
The second half instead saw Woking continue to seize the initiative, with Epsom forced to sit deep and rely on rare counter-attacking chances. Epsom were holding out in reasonably organised fashion but with 15 minutes to go home talisman Andy Pike spun sharply and fired home for 2-1. This moment of magic seemed to inspire Woking who started to pour forward and with 7 minutes remaining Pike fired home an improvised short corner strike to make it 2-2. The force was by now firmly with the home side and with 2 minutes to go Woking won another corner which was converted with a well-executed routine. There wasn’t time for Epsom to respond and this will go down as a disappointing defeat for the men in maroon.
Epsom will hope to build on the start they had to this game and find some form quickly in what is turning into a very tight league table. They will hope for an improved showing at home to Havant 2s next Saturday.