The match was in serious doubt on the recently opened 3G stadium due to Monsoon conditions with an hour to go before kick-off. After several inspections and nearly everyone looking at every conceivable weather app, the referee deemed the pitch fit to play but with a delayed Kick off of 1530.
We took the field with a much-changed team from our promotion-winning side of last season and for the first 15 minutes were very much second best with our keeper Harvey Keogh saving numerous attempted shots from our visitors. Therefore, it was no surprise when we fell behind in the 17th minute and to a neutral it was well deserved. There was a break in play shortly afterwards for an injury to a Horsham player; the Epsom players got together in the middle of the pitch to ‘iron’ some of the issues out and all of a sudden we began to play a whole lot better. We had two chances to equalise and eventually did in the 47th minute through Ade Batula who dispatch an unstoppable shot to make it 1-1 at HT.
In the second half, we were far much better and were awarded a penalty in the 64th minute after an opposition player committed a rash challenge on the edge of the penalty box.
Jaan Stanley stepped up and dispatched the penalty by sending the keeper the wrong way. So we had then over 25 minutes to survive and in truth we marshalled the game very well from that point on, we made a couple of substitutions but in fact, we were not bothered by our opponents.
When the referee eventually blew for full-time, we were in the next round which will be in two weeks with the actual date to be confirmed against the Met Police team from Imber Court. Before that we face a tricky away league fixture at Fleet next Saturday and then a home game against Redhill on the 15th; both will be a good test for us. The support today was fantastic with a crowd of over 130 to witness the victory, amongst the crowd was the CEO of our new shirt sponsor, Brian Lee from London Building Equipment (LBE) who was ecstatic about the victory and wishes the team all the best in the forthcoming games.