Epsom and Ewell won their first trophy for 32 years amidst jubilant scenes at Farnborough FC on Friday night.
Manager Lyndon Buckwell and his coaching team will have been delighted with a fine all round team performance to finish a good season in style . Whilst league form has tailed off a little lately and South Park got past Epsom to claim a top 4 place the Combined Counties League Cup of 2013 is the Salts first silverware since the 1981 Surrey Senior Cup.
Epsom and Ewell started the game on the front foot with all the chances in the first 20 minutes .Ben Hayward hit the bar with a header after 12 minutes with the break away givng South Park their first attacking moment. Several Epsom players were standing out by this point Robbie Burns fast footwork creating several dangerous moments and Sam Currie and Dale Marvell threatening from wide positions .
Epsom keeper Joe White was needed in the 21st minute to save one on one from South Parks Chris Smith but Epsom were making more chances and received their reward in the 29th minute when Kyle Hough beat South Park keeper James Wastell to Dale Marvells through ball poked in past him and tapped into the empty net with Wastell appealing unsuccessfully for a foul on the keeper.
Five minutes later Epsom had a strong penalty appeal waved away when Robbie Burns appeared to have been wrestled to the ground in the box . He was not thwarted for long as he latched on to Kyle Houghs through ball and lobbed over Wastell in the 42nd minute .
So 2-0 at half time and we could expect a reaction from South Park and they put Epsom under a lot of pressure in the first 15 minutes of the half. They came closest in the first minute after the break when Smith hit a one on one chance against the foot of the post.
The Salts weathered this with Alex McKay and George Murphy impressing in the centre of defence and they gradually worked their way back into the game.
The golden moment of the game arrived in the 77th minute . Sam Currie won Epsom's players player award for his consistency at right back and the amount of good crosses and passes he has given his teammates . He had not up to this point scored for the club . He was played in near the right hand bye line and lashed in an unstoppable volley from a narrow angle. Marco van Currie or Sam van Basten take your pick . To score the last goal of the season and make it the best is stylish.
The third goal somewhat deflated the South Park challenge which had been stiff in the second half and there were chances to add a fourth late on but that would have been harsh on South Park .
The FA Cup final is tomorrow and is a big occasion but when Jamie Hatfield lifted the trophy the cheer was enormous . The happy scenes in the clubhouse afterwards as players and supporters had their photos taken with the trophy showed the heart and soul of football is alive and well in the combined counties league .
We won the cup! and having beaten three of the top 4 teams in the league in the cup run it is truly deserved . Well done boys .
Epsom and Ewell:- Joe White,Sam Currie,Jamie Hatfield (Captain), Alex McKay (Anthony Panayi 88),George Murphy,Nathan Ayling (Ali Dewar 83)Carl Downs (Alex McGregor 75),Robbie Burns,Kyle Hough,Dale Marvell. Subs not used Billy Ramsey, Freddie Myers ,Josh Gallagher.
South Park:- James Wastell,Jerry O'Sullivan,Justin David,Nathan Miles(Captain),Steven Wilson,Charlie Smith(Alec Brown 85),David Smith (Daniel Bastin 85),Michael Smith,Kieran Lavery,George Smith(Dale Burgess 62),Chris Smith Subs not used Carey Bow
Combined Counties League Man of the Match- Nathan Ayling
View Gemma Jarman's photos of the match
Updated 20:32 - 11 May 2013 by EEFC Webmaster