We played our first competitive league game at Step 5 at Fleet Town on Saturday 12th August. Fleet Town have a very good set-up for this level and were incredibly welcoming to us.
We came off an outstanding FA Cup victory against Horsham YMCA the previous Saturday and were full of confidence to get some form of result at Fleet Town. There were a few changes from that game but we still had a good lineup to contend with what Fleet ‘would throw at us’.
A healthy crowd of 109 were there for the match and we began very well but unfortunately, after losing the ball in midfield in the 6th minute we found ourselves 1-0 down. After this setback, we grew into the game and began controlling large parts but crucially without creating many chances. Then with halftime approaching, we were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box near the bye line and Jann Stanley looked like he was about to take it only for Rory Edwards to come over and take it instead. We do not know if the change of set piece specialist disrupted the thinking of the Fleet Town defence we will never know, all we do know is that Ollie Thompson was on hand at the back post to make it 1-1 – the half-time whistle blew soon afterwards.
In the second half, both teams had chances, but to the neutral, we were probably shading a lot of the play and had the majority of clear-cut chances to get the second goal. We entered injury time still at 1-1 and then in the 96th minute after a wicked deflection, Fleet Town scored what would turn out to be the winner. The original shot would probably hit one of the floodlight pylons that is how off-target it was. The celebrations from Fleet could be termed as slightly ‘over the top’. However, there was still time for Sirak our right winger to shave the post and from the last corner of the match, we had several shots blocked by the Fleet Town defenders, two of the shots looked like they were handballs, but not to the man in the middle.
So we lost 2-1, a draw would have been a fairer result, but we have to put this to the past and get ready for a game at home to Redhill on Tuesday evening at the Reg Madgwick stadium. Redhill will be full of confidence after a 6-1 win on the same day and will have a few ex-Epsom players in the squad from last season. We should not be too downhearted as we played well enough today to get a result and we should look forward to the Redhill game with some optimism.