Men’s 1s strike late for opening day win

jimmy_m Match reports, Men 1st XI

Saturday 29 September 2018 – Old Schools’ Lane

 

Epsom: 4 (Midmer 3, White)

Oxted 3s: 3

Epsom struck late to record a 4-3 win over Oxted 3s in what was an eventful first league match at the new Old Schools Lane pitch.

Epsom started off looking assured in the Autumn sunshine, controlling possession and taking an early lead with a slick short-corner routine finished off by James Midmer. Slightly against the run of play Oxted won a short corner, dispatched by Joe Kourea for 1-1. Soon after, Oxted’s skilful left winger won another short corner, and Kourea again converted, this time via a deflection off first-runner Nico Orr. Oxted by now had ex-double Olympian dragflicker Calum Giles on the field so it looked set to be a tough afternoon if they could keep winning corners. Epsom were still playing well and attacking dynamo Will Hunt worked a chance for Midmer to slam home for 2-2. Soon after, a slick counterattack saw Midmer play in Liam White, who spun a defender and flicked high into the corner; a fine finish which made it 3-2 at half-time.

Epsom flew out of the blocks in the second half, determined to kill off the tie. A near 20 minute attacking burst saw Oxted’s ‘keeper made three brilliant saves and a number of other chances come and go. It looked like it might be one of those days as Oxted, down to 9 men, counterattacked to win another short corner and Giles made no mistake to level it up at 3-3. Epsom kept coming however and some sustained pressure enabled Midmer to fire home on the turn for 4-3. There was late drama with two minutes remaining as Oxted won another short corner. This time their routine broke down, but some brilliant improvisation from Giles had the ball in the net. However, the ball had not left the circle and it was ruled out. Epsom breathed a sigh of relief and closed out the game.

This was a decent performance against a disciplined Oxted side with no shortage of goal threat. It also marked the final game (for a while) for Liam White, who has played with great credit for the past three years and now heads on a gap year to New Zealand, we wish him well. Epsom next week travel to Fareham 2s and will be hoping to improve again.