Our first pre-season fixture took place at the Reg Madgwick Stadium in Cobham on Tuesday, July 2nd, against Raynes Park Vale (RPV). RPV play in a higher division than us and performed very well last season, just missing out on the playoffs, so we knew we were in for a tough test.

Of course, with it being our first pre-season game, there were a number of trial players on show for both sides. It was great to see several Epsom players from last season in the starting line up.

As with most preseason games, it is more about ‘match fitness’ than the result, with players on both sides getting some competitive action in. RPV started well and were 2-0 up within 30 minutes, one goal coming from a very good move and the other from a slight mistake by our goalkeeper. It should be noted that one RPV player was rather overzealous in two challenges within a short space of time, and the referee had no choice but to show him a yellow card, which is a rare occurrence in a pre-season friendly.

Both sides made changes in the second half to give more match time to other players. We got a goal back midway through the second half with a superb move that was finished by Carl Oblitey with a powerful glancing header into the RPV net. We had another chance or two to equalize, but the match finished 2-1 to RPV.

Our next preseason fixture is at the Reg Madgwick Stadium this coming Saturday at the earlier time of 11:00 AM. Why not come down and watch us against the Metropolitan Police Football Club? It must be better than doing the shopping!