On a relatively mild afternoon we entertained at home Guildford City who made the short journey up the A3 to the Reg Madgwick stadium in Cobham in front of a crowd of just over 70. Seven days earlier we played at Alton FC in freezing and foggy conditions and then this match was played in temperatures of between 10 and 13 degrees, but there ‘is nothing wrong with the planet’!!!!
We welcomed onto our support staff two coaches with immense experience in Warren Burton and Gwynne Berry to support Steve Springett who took his place in the starting line up in a central defensive berth. We were missing the suspended TJ after he received his 5th booking of the season at Alton FC the previous weekend. Ade Batula came back into the team to lead the forward line.
It was an incident packed match which included both goalkeepers being substituted due to injury; more of that later. We started brightly and began to cause the Guildford defence all manner of problems and it was no surprise when we went into the lead from a close-range header from Thompson Adjemi then ten minutes later we increased our lead after another dangerous cross was turned into their own net by a hapless Guildford defender. Guildford was given a lifeline on the half hour mark when our keeper was sent sprawling off the field and hit his head on the metal fencing that surrounds the pitch; the referee bizarrely played on and Guildford scored. Our keeper received extensive treatment and was clearly distressed but the referee was having none of it and decided to award the goal to the consternation of the Epsom team and their supporters who were watching – the decision was controversial to say the least. Shortly afterwards Guildford were level as they scored from a cross that was mishandled by our goalkeeper who was clearly in distress from the previous incident – the half ended 2-2.
We began the second half with Nick ‘Tricky’ Wilson our midfielder in goal as it was medically assessed that our goalkeeper, Harvey Keogh was suffering from concussion. This is the third time that Tricky has had to go between the sticks for Epsom so he is no stranger to that position. He adjusted yet again to this change very well and was called upon to make a quite remarkable save early on. Then in the 75th minute we regained the lead through an accomplished finish from Luke Miller, this obviously unsettled the Guildford defence as we scored another goal shortly afterwards from Sirak Negassi to make it 4-2 with 15 minutes plus a substantial amount of injury time to go. Our visitors pulled another goal back to make it 4-3 from a corner so we were eft with a good few minutes to play to hold onto our lead which we did. It was a thoroughly deserved victory.
We move onto a big game away at Colliers Wood United next weekend; why not come along and support the team and see if we can increase the gap between us and the bottom of the table.