We travelled for our last regular league match of the season to the home of Billingshurst FC; we still needed a point to secure a home tie in the first semi-final of the play offs next Saturday (29th April), although in truth the Wick FC result would have had to be massively in their favour and we would have to lose for this to become a reality.
We made several changes to our team who had played approximately 34 hours previously in a hard-fought victory over our local rivals, Chessington and Hook FC. We even had to make a change to the starting line up with only a few minutes of the start of the game when Jonny Akoto did ‘not feel right’ to start the game. A surprise addition to the starting eleven was Athan Smith-Joseph who had recovered remarkably quickly from a leg injury the previous Saturday.
We started well and went ahead in the 4th minute after a run and cross which the keeper could only parry and there was George Owusu to put the ball into the back of the net rather acrobatically. As soon as we had gone in front, we found ourselves level in the 11th minute which was very disappointing. We were causing our hosts all sorts of problems especially with our pace up front and had several chances where a better decision by our attacking players might have produced a goal – we must learn from this with the play offs coming up. HT 1-1.
We made no changes at half time and here was no doubt that the slightly warmer temperatures were beginning to take its effect on all the players. We had once again several good chances to take the lead and eventually did so in the 73rd minute when Jaevon Dyer scored with his first kick of the game after coming on as a substitute with a wicked deflection which took the ball into the net. It was then 6 minutes later that we sealed the game rather fortuitously when Athan Smith-Josephs shot went through the keeper’s hands and into the net. We saw the rest of the game out easily and when we left the pitch, we discovered that we had actually ‘pipped’ Dorking Wanderers ‘B’ team to second place.
What does this mean? We have a home semi-final tie against Selsey who we have beaten twice this season on both occasions 3-2. There are no easy games at this time of the season with what is at stake, and we will need to be totally focussed if we want to get to the play off final.
The match will be played next Saturday at Fetcham Grove (Leatherhead FC) with a 3pm kick off, it is now the time for the Borough of Epsom and Ewell to get behind their local team and come on down and support ‘the boys’ – it would mean so much to the team to have a great support at the game so why not put the date in your diary and come on down.