The ‘Salts’ rise to the top

After a very convincing win this morning at Oakwood FC we have risen to the top of the table and is a complete turnaround after our first-day loss at Shoreham; we do not play this coming weekend so we will probably see us take a drop from first place, but it is still a good sight to see as I write this match report.

There were a few changes from our unfortunate FA Vase defeat to Redhill FC the previous Saturday.  We started on the front foot and had a great chance as early as the 3rd minute when Josh Alder just missed the target.  However, we went ahead in the 8th minute with a superb goal from Jubril Adamson from just outside the penalty box and nothing more than we deserved.  The game settled down with our front line causing all sorts of problems for the Oakwood team and it was no surprise when we went further ahead in the 37th minute with a debut goal from Josh Alder who fired the ball between the goalkeeper’s legs.  The half ended with us 2 goals to the good.

We needed a third goal and that promptly came in the 55th minute after a great move involving at least four players. It ended with Athan Smith-Joseph producing a fierce shot that the Oakwood goalkeeper could only parry into a defender and it bobbled into the net.  We went 4 up seven minutes later in the 62nd minute after a free-flowing move which ended up at the feet of a second-half substitute,  Riccardo Fernandes who calmly slotted the ball into the net; it was another very good goal.  The 5th goal duly arrived but from a very unlikely source in our Captain Gideon Acheampong who was on the end of another great pass and move to slot it into the net for his first ever goal for Epsom and Ewell; his goal celebration needs some work though!!!!! 

All in all a very satisfying win on a pitch that was in desperate need of a mow, but that said we must recognize the welcome you get at Oakwood from their owner/director/electrician/tea maker Mark Gilbert aka Gilly who does so much for that football club – he is true gentlemen.

So the result puts us top of the division and we play next in the league at home to Selsey on Saturday 10th September, it would be great to see more supporters come along and see their local team play.  However, before that, we are in a cup competition next week away at Crawley Down next Tuesday evening.

‘Up the Salts’

Reported By Peter Mutton

No Vase run for the Salts

We faced a tough assignment in the first qualifying round of the FA Vase away at Step 5 club, Redhill FC. 

There were a couple of changes from our win at Worthing United last weekend with Jonny Akoto coming in for the injured Steve Springett and Aaron Bogle replacing the absent Andy Hall. We welcomed back Gavin Quintyne to the club as a new signing with Josh Alder and Riccardo Fernandez being named on the bench for the first time this year.

The first half was a well-fought-out 45 minutes from both sides with ourselves having the best of the chances, but it ended 0-0. Of particular note was the performance of Jaevon Dyer who terrorized the opposition right back and was rightly booked for fouling him not once but two or three times.

We began the second half very well and it was no surprise that we opened the scoring in the 51st minute after a superb headed finish by Brad Peters from an excellent corner. Redhill came back at us forcefully and equalized after a through ball and beat our goalkeeper into the right-hand corner. Midway through the second half, there was a handball by the Redhill No 5 in the penalty area but the referee waved play on. There were very few chances after this and then in the 79th minute after a mixup in our defence Redhill went ahead which is how the game finished.

Another notable incident was when our Captain was sent off as the game entered injury time for a second bookable offence. In truth, it was questionable if it was a foul but the referee thought it was and warranted a second yellow card. This was an incredibly harsh decision by the officials; the opposition supporters near the incident were in agreement too.

So our Vase run for this season ends before it gets started.

Reported By Peter Mutton

Salts Progress in the Cup

We played Crawley Down in the Peter Bentley Cup on Tuesday 6th September at their picturesque ground ‘The Haven’. Our opponents are in Step 5 so it was another good chance for us to test ourselves against higher opposition.

There were a few changes from our last game against Redhill with a few absentees. Riccardo Fernandez took the Captains armband.

We started brightly just as the heavens opened and got off to the perfect start with another goal by Brad Peters from a well-worked corner delivered by Butch Smith in the 5th minute. It was a well-taken goal. We continued to dominate and our opponent’s defence was put under relatively constant pressure; we had plenty of opportunities to increase our lead but the first half ended with us leading 1-0.

We increased our lead shortly after the break with a goal from Josh Owens, his first for the club after a smart finish from around the six-yard box. We began to look very good value for our 2-0 lead, however, we conceded a goal to make the score 2-1 shortly after going 2-0 ahead. The pressure was on now from the home team, however, only a few minutes later we restored our 2-goal advantage by our Captain in the evening scoring our third after a great ball from Richard Pingling.

However, as is sometimes the case we found ourselves pegged back again in the 78th minute. With over 12 minutes to go and injury time we were expecting a bit of an onslaught from the Home team, but this did not materialize apart from a very good shot which was excellently turned over by our goalkeeper, Matt Walton.

It was a great win from the team amidst some strange decision-making by the officials which we were to overcome and progress into the next round where we face Broadbridge Heath FC at home on the 4th of October.

Lastly, we were the only first division club to beat higher opposition in the cup in this round.

Well done ‘boys’

Report by Peter Mutton

3 More Points & 3 More Goals

We travelled to the very picturesque ground of Worthing United for our fourth game of the season last Saturday.

Before the match started our players joined in a very respectful moment of silence to remember the two Worthing United players who were so tragically killed in the Shoreham Air Disaster in 2015. The two players concerned Jacob Schilt and Matthew Grimstone will always be remembered and it was a privilege to be at the ground for this act of remembrance.

Back to the match, we made one change from the team that beat Forest Row on Wednesday evening, with Athan Smith-Joseph dropping to the bench with Jaevon Dyer making his full debut after coming on as a second-half substitute in midweek.

We began the match very much on top and it was a bit of a surprise that it took us until the 17th minute to take the lead. Richard Pingling set up the goal after beating two defenders and then crossing for Adam Grant to register his first goal of the season with a header into the corner of the net. The next notable incident was when Steve Springett went down after a clash with one of his own teammates and we learnt that he had dislocated a thumb; after lengthy treatment, Steve was not able to continue and was replaced by Louis Chin. Some better news was to follow as Jaevon Dyer scored his first goal for the club on the stroke of halftime; the scoreline was a fair reflection of the play in truth.

In the 55th minute, we made the game safe with Jaevon’s second goal after good work from Brad Peters in the penalty box. We were never troubled again in the half and ran out comfortable 3-0 winners.

The only other incident of note was the sending off by the referee of Richard Pingling after he had been substituted; it was not clear what for but something was said to the referee’s assistant on that side of the pitch which the referee adjudged to be a red card offence. Some supporters near the incident were incredibly perplexed by the decision.

Be that as it may, this result took us to 2nd in the table and 3 points behind Wick. We take a rest from league action next Saturday when we travel to Redhill FC for a cup tie in the FA Vase. We follow that with a quick turnaround to play Oakwood on Bank Holiday Monday with an 1100 kick-off.

We need your support more than ever as we try to consolidate our position in the league

‘Up the Salts’

A Peter’s Brace Seals The Win

We entertained Forest Row at Fetcham Grove for our first home league game of the season in front of a good crowd for a Tuesday evening. There was one change from the Epsom lineup that played at Seaford the previous Saturday with Adam Grant replacing Tiago. Our opponents on the evening registered a fine 4-1 victory against one of the last years off teams, only 11 days before.

After the opening exchanges, we took the lead in the 10th minute through Richard Pingling’s first goal for the club with a perfect finish which curled around the keeper’s desperate effort and nestled into the net. In the next 30 minutes, there were very few chances for either team and then our opponents scored an equaliser in the 42nd minute with an unstoppable shot. This setback appeared to galvanise us and we retook the lead in the 4th minute with Jabril Adamson with a low try that beat the goalkeeper. The halftime whistle sounded and we were leading 2-1.

No sooner had the second half started, we again increased our lead with a fine finish from our marauding left-back Steve Springett; it was a good goal after some excellent build-up play. We looked comfortable for the next 10 minutes until an in-swinging corner from our opponents was headed into our net, 3-2.

We expected to face an onslaught from the visitors from that moment on when in fact the case was that we did most of the attacking and created various chances. As we all know 3-2 is never a safe scoreline, however with 13 minutes to go Brad Peters rose at the far post and headed in our 4th goal of the evening- shortly afterwards in a repeat of the move he headed our 5th goal this time from a free kick and not a corner.

The final whistle sounded and we had won convincingly 5-2; it was a good performance but still with room for improvement which we hope to do in our next match which is away against Worthing United next Saturday.

‘Up the Salts’

Cup Tie Dates Announced

Our cup tie dates for the Peter Bentley Cup and the SCFL Division One Cup have been announced.

We will face Crawley Down Gatwick (SCFL Prem) away on Tuesday 6th September whilst we will have to wait until Saturday, December 3rd to face Dorking Wanderers ‘B’ in the SCFL Division One Cup.

More information on those fixtures will be available closer to the time.

Next at the Grove

We host Forest Row in our next SCFL game this Wednesday at Fetcham Grove, Home of Leatherhead FC.

After playing ‘The Frow’ three times last season, you would say we are familiar opponents, but like us, with several changes coming in and out of their squad this should be a great game.

Why not join us at the Grove for our first mid-week game under the lights?

Up and Running

Up and Running

Another difficult fixture faced us today with an away game at last year’s play-off semi-finalists, Seaford Town. And for our supporters the second long journey in a week. When we arrived a similar pitch awaited us with hotter temperatures than last week.

Our formation changed slightly from last week’s defeat and we found ourselves behind after 6 minutes to a goal from Seaford after a smart turn and finish from their striker; it was not the start we were looking for. However, we were soon back on level terms after a great finish from Jubril Adamson who beat their central defenders for pace and left the goalkeeper flat-footed as the ball nestled in the net. Only a few minutes later we were ahead after a superb volleyed finish from Tiago Andrade; the ball fell to him on the edge of the penalty box and his finish was sublime, again the goalkeeper had no chance with the shot. 

For the rest of the first half, no team really got into the ascendency and it was being played out in searing heat even though there were plenty of opportunities for the players to take water breaks either official or unofficial, the game took on an attritional sense.

We entered the dressing room at halftime with that precious halftime lead. The heat never dissipated throughout the whole match and with the hard pitch, there was little chance of a free-flowing game. The second half produced very few chances for either side and all the players who took part should be congratulated for playing in the intense heat.

So we registered our first win of the season at a very tough place to go. The team played well and showed incredible game management to see the game out in the latter stages. 

We move to our next fixture at home to Forest Row this coming Wednesday; it would be great to see a good attendance as we try to build on this success. Come on you Salts

Tiago Andrade looks to add to our lead in the first half.