Ding dong battle ends in draw; Mids go top
By Callum Thorner
Mids 4 - 4 Epsom 2
Following straight on from a 5-0 mauling of EUHC Gamblers last week the 1s found themself over at a rain soaked Epsom on Saturday. A warm up that entailed cosying up in a Portakabin that represented a makeshift changing room and the horrific weather didn't stop us making an extremely fast start, as an early goal via a p-flick from Brady, a great finish on the breakaway from JD Price and a short corner from Chris Clark saw us storm into a 3-0 lead, with most of the players on both sides wondering at this stage just how many we might score. However, Epsom 2s at home were a different proposition to last week's oppo and perhaps a little touch of arrogance crept in as we allowed a decent opposition back into the game. Once they got to 3-1 their heads went up as our passing became a little slow and lazy and we began dawdling on the ball and in a 10 minute blitz they got back to 3 all.
Halftime came with no further damage but the need to go back to passing the ball around properly was re-iterated. And as it was we started the half strongly, putting Epsom back under pressure without the goals from the first half flowing. The key moment in the game came a 3-3; having beat the keeper JD hit the defender on the line but no p-flick was forthcoming and they went down the other end and scored. 4-3 Epsom.
Having suffered a bruising reversal in fortunes what was perhaps more pleasing than the first 15 minutes was the response to adversity. Rather than panic we kept knocking the ball around and created a number of chances, followed by successive short corners, the 2nd of which we scored from with Cookie slipping to Tyler to score with 5 minutes remaining to make it 4 all; all to play for. With Epsom being the ones to now lose their heads they went down to 10 which meant we had all the pressure for the rest of the game, including another short with a chance to win it, which went wide - and a final short that wasn't given as the final whistle blew.
A great game of hockey, frustration on one level that we let such a good start slip but we can take a lot of encouragement from the 2nd half performance. In coming back to rescue a point we took ourselves top of the league in the embryonic table, with a good chance to make a big statement at home to Surrey Spartans on Saturday.