A flat looking Epsom fell to a heavy 5-0 defeat away at Winchester on Saturday, rounding off a fairly terrible run of away form in Hampshire over the season. Epsom appeared to start the match brightly, playing some attractive passing hockey, but in reality they created few chances in the final third and a small squad gradually started to tire in the heat. Winchester began to sense the game was there for the taking and took a 1-0 lead with a fine finish close to half time. There had been little to suggest the complete car-crash start to the second half which saw Epsom go 5-0 down within five minutes, but contrasting motivation and energy levels were comprehensive exposed by a rampant home side. Some weak defence allowed two rocket strikes from Winchester’s central midfielder Mark Maunsell to put the home side 3-0 up before two more goals followed as Epsom disappointingly seemed to throw in the towel and the home side accepted the invitation with glee. Epsom eventually regrouped and played out the last 25 minutes a lot better, with numerous chances not quite falling their way to cut the deficit. However, they were still relying on debutant ‘keeper James Tuck to make some fantastic saves and clearances to stop Winchester extending their lead, including one contender for save of the season. Whether it’s better to lose 5-0 or 8-3 is a moot point and the bottom line is Epsom were flat and have slightly coasted the end of the season in mid-table. The result made Epsom’s away form south of Surrey P:7, W:0, D:2, L:5 so it’s clear where improvement for next season can be found.
The side have one more home game this Saturday vs London Academicals and will be looking to play much better to go out on a high. Any support as always gratefully appreciated!