Match Report
Epsom College Girls-1st XI vs  Brighton College
On: Friday, 10 Sep 2021
Venue: Away

WON 12-0

The 1st XI travelled to the south coast in high spirits. After several positive training sessions in the week and on the back of a successful pre-season West Country tour, the squad was keen to get their season off on the right footing. The initial exchanges saw the two top Epsom and Brighton sides well-matched, with chances at both ends. The pick of the opportunities arguably fell to Brighton but goalkeeper Delphine Ayitey-Hammond (Rv) produced two outstanding saves to keep the scores level. After nearly ten minutes of even play, where at times the Epsom side looked a little shapeless and edgy, the deadlock was broken as Epsom converted a penalty corner and the team never looked back. Jessica Dyson (Wh) pounced on the rebound from a half save and opened the season’s account with a super finish. Cohesive team play, with high-quality effective passing, culminated in more well-taken goals and the half finished with Dyson and Emily Long (R) both scoring twice to see Epsom lead 4-0. The second half saw Epsom up the tempo and within seconds of the restart, after a slight mis-trap from Brighton, they move further ahead as Dyson was first to react and bury the ball past the Brighton keeper securing her a hat-trick on her debut. Superb passages of play saw the Epsom full backs Tabitha Evans (M), Paige Chamberlain (M), Emma Tyson (R) and Polly Campbell (Rv) provide a solid platform from which to mount numerous forays into opposition territory. Productive ball transfers meant Epsom created more space and width from which to attack - and attack they did! The midfield marshals of vice-captain Gina Liebenberg (Rv), Katya Millard (Wh), India Gould (Rv) and captain Alex Nienow (R) all caused real problems for the Brighton side, particularly in the second half. Epsom moved the ball well out of defence and posed a constant headache to the team from Sussex with their precise penetrative passes into the opposition circle and decisive breaks down the right from Bea Nalder (R). Brighton were unable to cope with the pace of the Epsom attack as wave after wave swarmed the opposition circle, but to their absolute credit they never gave up and worked hard to the end. The Epsom second half tally was added to many, including Katya Millard (Wh) with a superbly executed penalty flick and Kitty Ellis (Wh) with a cracking reverse stick strike. An emphatic first win for the 1st XI squad and with intense competition for places in the top girls’ teams this season, all cannot wait for the next opportunity to play. Gracious in victory, this talented squad of players made a stellar start to their season.

Goal scorers: Dyson (Wh) x4, Long (R) x4, Liebenberg (Rv), Fairn (R), Millard (Wh), Ellis (Wh)
Players of the Match: Emma Tyson (R) - instrumental in turning defence into attack and Jessica Dyson (Wh) - who rocked the opposition with her blistering pace and ruthless precision in front of goal.