Men’s 1s: Epsom hit top gear at Croydon

jimmy_m Match reports, Men 1st XI

 

Croydon and Old Whitgiftians: 3

Epsom: 7 (Turnbull, W.Hunt 2, Midmer 2, Hebden, Marfleet)

 

Epsom eventually found top gear to record a 7-3 win away at Croydon and move to the top of Surrey / Hampshire 1. Epsom saw a lot of the ball early on at Trinity School, but couldn’t make any inroads and Croydon then scored two quick goals; the first a well-crafted counterattack move finished at the far post and the second a sharp reverse stick finish. 2-0 down, Epsom were in need of inspiration and some great skill from Steve Turnbull cut the deficit to 2-1. Soon after, Will Hunt leveled things up at 2-2 following a short corner melee. Epsom were now in the ascendancy and they created a flurry of chances going into half-time. Though they couldn’t take any, the message at the break was to stay calm.

The second-half saw Epsom step up their attacking play; after five minutes James Midmer forced home a short corner rebound for 3-2, and shortly after a flowing move down the left saw Sean Hebden touch home Paul Atkinson’s cross for 4-2. Another sharp passing move then saw Hebden play in Mike Atkinson whose fierce strike was blocked by a body on the line; Jack Marfleet converted the subsequent penalty stroke for 5-2. Epsom were flying forward now and from another short corner Will Hunt improvised brilliantly to slide home a low shot for 6-2. Midmer then followed up a Marfleet aerial to slot home for 7-2. Croydon kept going and made it 7-3 near the close at a short corner with a strong low dragflick. This was a strong performance from Epsom who finally found some finishing touches, with Marfleet in particular very impressive in midfield. They remain on the road next weekend at Sunbury and Walton Hawks, and will hope to keep improving.