Yes, that’s right – our third one-goal defeat in a row, which was again very disappointing for the hard core of Epsom supporters in the crowd of 50 that attended last night’s game against Balham FC.
The Epsom & Ewell team showed a further 3 changes from the narrow 1-0 defeat at Tadley Calleva the previous Saturday. Our squad is very depleted at the moment, and was further hampered in the first half of this match, when both Callum Wilson and Ayran Kugathas picked up hamstring injuries in the opening half an hour.
What of the action in the first half? Both teams started well, and we were more than a match for our opponents; Balham had the better chances though in this period. Then in the 21st minute our opponents took the lead, after a misplaced pass which gave James Adebayo a clear run on goal in the left channel, and he was able to finish comfortably beyond our keeper, Harvey Keogh. However, five minutes later, we were level with a goal after a fierce shot by Jabari Ofosu-Hernandez was saved, and Sirak Negassi was on hand to equalise for us. We kicked off having got back into the game, and then just under 30 seconds later, we were behind again after a fortuitous clearance fell into the path of Balham striker Tom Read, who again finished well beyond our goalkeeper – HT 1-2.
The second half was mainly played in midfield by both teams with no real clear-cut chances being made by either. In injury time, Balham’s Adebayo was shown a second yellow card after transgressing onto the pitch, having been substituted earlier, and took a full part in the ensuing melee near both dugouts. This sending-off made no difference to the players on the pitch, so the game ended at nearly 10pm after 12 minutes of injury time, with Balham taking the spoils 2-1.
Our team looked very deflated by the end of the match and with the manner of this defeat, but must ‘pick themselves up’ for an important game against Colliers Wood United this coming Saturday, as they face the team immediately above them in the league table. The kick off is at 3pm at the Reg Madgwick Stadium in Cobham, and with temperatures forecast to be in the mid-Twenties, it should be a great time to come and watch us – the team would certainly appreciate your support.