Saturday 28th September 2013
September turned out to be a disappointing month for The Stags. The only highlights being two FA Vase victories over Frimley Green and Camberley Town. Even Epsom & Ewell???s form coming into this match was not spectacular for a team top of the league so a close encounter was expected.
The game started slowly with neither side creating any clear cut chances. That???s not to say that Windsor did not get into some good positions. Both Kyle Jeffrey and Ben Harris had half chances but these were dealt with effectively by the visitor???s defence. However, midway through the first half, Epsom really should have taken the lead when dangerous front man Kyle Hough took advantage of some sloppy play by Jason Sheehan. Thankfully, Hough shot tamely at Carl Dennison. Having got away with that one, Adam Kirby failed to make any contact with a long ball and this allowed Hough the opportunity to nip in behind the Windsor defence, coolly round Dennison and casually stroke the ball home. This goal was not too dissimilar to the first goal conceded against Badshot Lea.
The hosts were granted a great opportunity to gain parity following a strange incident where Epsom???s captain Jamie Hatfield fell awkwardly. Most of Epsom???s players stopped, including our own Ben Harris, as the ball was played across the area. Had Kyle Lucas scored what would the reaction have been from the visitors?
Even though there was plenty of effort, Windsor had nothing to show for their endeavours in a dull first half. Very few chances had been created by either side and Epsom appeared content to sit on their 1-0 lead. Surely the second half would be an improvement.
At the start of the second half, Tom Carlin was brought on for his Windsor debut as he replaced Matthew Lazarczuk. Almost immediately, Windsor were given a perfect opportunity to equalise as Ben Harris was clipped from behind in the area. Having successfully converted a penalty last weekend against Camberley, Dan Hicks took responsibility but as has become too much of a regular occurrence, his tame spot kick was easily saved by Kieran Campbell. Thankfully, Rob Lazarczuk picked up the rebound on the right hand side of the area and drove the ball across. A cluster of Epsom players all converged on the ball which resulted with Windsor equalising.
This equaliser gave Windsor confidence as they started to snap into tackles and impose their authority on the game. Clear chances though remained at a premium. Sam Currie and Antony Myers both failed for the visitors to trouble Dennison in goal; meanwhile Ben Harris should have squared the ball when there were teammates better placed. Windsor looked at their most dangerous on the counter attack but final delivery did not meet the standards of some impressive build up play.
There was time though for some light hearted humour on the pitch when the referee accidently stood on Tom Carlin???s foot. What the official would have done had he seen Carlin???s reaction remains unknown; rest assured, some would not have seen the funny side.
With Windsor pushing on striving for the chance to take the lead, Dan Hicks needlessly handled just inside the area. The shot appeared to be going well wide and there was no-one anywhere near him. Hough scored his second of the game from the spot as he sent Dennison the wrong way.
As Windsor poured forward in search of an equaliser, Epsom broke away and Myers hit the post. The ball was not properly cleared and it fell, eventually, to Mark Jarman to make it 3-1. Into stoppage time and after good work by Rob Lazarczuk, birthday boy George Gould saw his effort well saved.
Things went from bad to worse in stoppage time when Ben Harris was shown a straight red card for a lunge at Epsom???s right back Sam Currie.
The final score line was harsh on the hosts as the least that we deserved was a draw from a highly entertaining second half performance. Thankfully, there is the chance to get back to winning ways on Tuesday night as we host Alton Town in the Premier Challenge Cup.