Saturday 29th January – This week was a very big week, away to Racing Epsom who were having a very good run in the league and were right on our heels for the top spot. We were at Tattenham Way which is not a great pitch but it was quite firm and would suit our style of play.
We were restored to 14 players this week with only a couple of players not available. We started brightly and had a couple of attacks in the first few minutes but then we had a bit of a disaster as Pete Williams pulled up with a hamstring problem, so Foxy came on very early to play with Ash up front. Racing Epsom were a very good side and were pretty strong in all areas of the pitch, however we were battling hard and matching them in the middle of the park. We were working hard but not really creating any real chances, however we were also managing to stifle Epsom and frustrate them. Epsom were making us hurry our passing and the ball was spending much too much time in the air rather than easy passing along the floor. We went in at half time at 0 0 but Epsom had had the best of the play.
It was going to be a tough 2nd half and the most important thing was going to be having a very tight 10 minutes to settle us down. Unfortunately that didn’t happen !! After 3 minutes Epsom had a shot which Keith did well to stop but he couldn’t hold it and it fell right to the feet of an Epsom striker who blasted it into the top of our net. 1 0 down straight away was not good but worse was yet to come. From kick off the ball came back to the defence where Ollie tried to slip the ball past Epsom’s best player who won the tackle and then hit an absolute blaster past Keith who didn’t have a chance. 2 goals in about 1 minute and the result of the game looked fairly bleak!! We did recover and continued to battle but with no real goal threat it wasn’t looking like we were going to score. We were pressing which gave Epsom space to attack us and that called for some stalwart defending, Jack Fortune and Ollie both hitting some absolute crunching tackles. We needed something out of this game so I pushed Ryan up front, Ryan was working incredibly hard chasing everything 100%. I knew this would leave some gaps at the back but we had nothing to lose. Inevitably Epsom got another break and won a corner, from the corner we had a bit of a mix up and our luck continued when the ball dropped to an Epsom player who buried the ball in our net. So it finished 3 0 and everyone was very disappointed, we hadn’t played our best game of the season by a long shot but we had come up against a very good side and we had been well beaten on the day. The season still has a way to go so all is not lost, we need to regroup and increase our drive and will to win.
Man of the match. Andy Wadsworth and Ryan Edwards, Andy had a great game at the back and Ryan put in a huge shift running and chasing everything.
5th February – Chipstead A away in the Cup