Epsom men start the year on a winning note

Get the ball rolling: Steve Turnbull opened the scoring for Epsom

Get the ball rolling: Steve Turnbull opened the scoring for Epsom

First published in Sport

By Jack Miller

Epsom faced rivals Reigate Priory on Saturday in the first of a series of important games for the side in a tightly packed Surrey/Hampshire League One table.

A 3-1 win - thanks to goals from Mike Atkinson, Steve Turnbull and James Midmer - keeps the side fifth in the table, six points behind leaders Trojans.

Epsom started the brighter of the two teams and Turnbull rewarded the hosts for their early pressure, sliding home a clinical finish from a well-worked attacking move.

The hosts bossed a fast-paced opening 25 minutes and a second goal seemed imminent for some time, but Reigate’s skipper and keeper Henry Williams made a string of fine saves, before and Mike Atkinson put a penalty stroke narrowly wide.

He soon atoned with a fine run from the left seeing him beat several Priory defenders and fire the ball into the corner of the goal to send Epsom into the break 2-0 up.

Knowing the first goal of the second half was vital, Epsom surged forward and were denied only by a combination of erratic finishing and some more great work from Williams.

The third goal eventually came as skipper Midmer glanced home the influential James Harris’ shot to make it 3-0 with 15 minutes to go.

Reigate refused to back down and came into the game late on - with short corner specialist James Chesterton first drawing a superb goal-line clearance from Oli Hildrey, before working keeper Jack Miller down to his right.

With five minutes to go, Chesterton fired home an angled drive from open play, but this proved to be no more than a consolation as Epsom tightened up and kept the ball for the remainder of the game.

This was a good attacking display from Epsom which might well have yielded more goals on a different day, backed up by a very solid defensive performance.

The side now face a tough trip to fourth-placed Fareham 2s at the weekend.

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