Bradley Brown brace secures Boars victory
The Boars collected all three points at Fox Lane on Saturday afternoon, beating high standing Epsom and Ewell 2-1 in a gritty league tie.
Match report by Ben Thomas
The bitter weather ensured the game began with both teams looking lively, each side were pressing high and playing the ball about with urgency – keen to get the blood flowing. It was the home side who dominated the opening ten minutes however, Eversley held a majority of possession and had the best of the chances in the opening exchanges; four minutes in Aaron Rowland found himself through on goal but his powerful strike denied by the post.
Despite this miss, the Boars sustained their attacking pressure and just seven minutes later managed to open the scoring. Clive Akem-Che received the ball on the left flank and crossed with his weak foot, picking out well-positioned Bradley Brown, who was able to adjust his body position and angle the ball into the bottom corner, giving Eversley and California an early, but well-deserved lead.
Twenty minutes in and Epsom and Ewell were still struggling to get going, the Salts were slow reacting to loose balls and couldn’t maintain any form of possession, failing to string two or three passes together. The Boars were therefore able to continue their comfortable control of the match and found success on various occasions on the left wing, Clive Akem-Che and Mo Davies linking up well to exploit the Epsom right-back but couldn’t quite find the finishing touch when it came to goal-scoring opportunities.
Eversley failing to capitalise on their chances came back to bite them when completely against the run of play, Epsom and Ewell created a sudden flowing attack - leading to them equalising in the 29th minute. Attacker Liam Roberts slipped in Robert Hendry, who cut the ball back from the left side of the 18-yard box to oncoming Adam Heagney, who was able to finish competently in the bottom right-hand corner.
After this shock, the previous pattern of play continued, the Boars dominating possession and the number of dangerous attacks but again failing to score and regain the lead. This saw the first half conclude at a rather undeserved 1-1 – a score which would’ve frustrated the Boars going into the break.
In the second half, the quality of football from both teams seemed to deteriorate. Any passing or interplay looked scrappy and the was ball going from end to end without seeing much of the midfield third. It was at the nine-minute mark which saw the first noteworthy chance of the half. Clive Akem-Che danced around 3 players in the opposition box, laying it to Mo Davies who rattled the crossbar from close range. The ball was then collected by midfielder Pete Shay and laid neatly to Bradley Brown, who was able to put the ball in the back of the net for the second occasion in the match, putting Eversley and California 2-1 up.
From this point, each team had spells where they dominated possession and controlled the tempo of the game, but it was again the Boars who were crafting the best of the chances. Epsom and Ewell had spells of ball retention after they conceded for the second time however didn’t threaten the goal of Charlie York on very many occasions, all their passing going safely along the back line and deep-sitting midfielders.
The last twenty minutes saw another massive decline in game tempo as well as quality due to heavy legs – Eversley were attempting ambitious long balls which were easily cut out and Epsom just couldn’t keep the ball for a period long enough to create any real goal scoring opportunities.
The lack of intent and quality from either side meant the game fizzled slowly out and eventually ended in a 2-1 victory for Eversley and California. This was a deserved win for the Boars as they showed up on the day and outplayed an Epsom and Ewell side who looked out of ideas, perhaps not yet accustom to the winter temperatures.