Epsom: 5 (Vermeulen, Barton, Midmer, P.Atkinson, B.Hildrey)
Some clinical second-half finishing saw Epsom eventually beat Hamble 5-3 on Saturday, although the result was in the balance for some time on the south coast.
Epsom dictated play in the first half but couldn’t break down Hamble’s disciplined defence until just before half time, when Drew Vermeulen fired home a neat reverse-stick shot for 1-0. This lead didn’t look secure and sure enough Hamble came out firing in the second half, soon equalising when a crash ball into the circle found a forward on the back-post for 1-1. Epsom, who had looked comfortable, now looked set for a dog-fight but fortunately they finally clicked into gear in front of goal in a 10 minute spell. First Mike Atkinson intercepted a loose pass and set up Scott Barton to crash home for 2-1, before a decent move down the left saw Alex Pizzey play in James Midmer for 3-1. Mike Atkinson then drove in from the right to tee up Paul Atkinson who swept home from close range for 4-1 and Ben Hildrey then deservedly got on the score-sheet with a rising short-corner dragflick for 5-1. Epsom were flying at this point, with Ben Hildrey hitting the bar at another short corner, but Hamble held out and fired home two fiercely-struck short corners in the last 10 minutes, leading to a slightly nervy Epsom holding out for a 5-3 win.
Epsom stayed third in Surrey / Hampshire League 1 and this week host league-leaders Bournemouth at Therfield School.