Ruthless Epsom Hit Moles For Four

by Andrew Finch

Molesey 0-4 Epsom & Ewell

Two own goals set Molesey on their way to their biggest home defeat in two years against in-form Epsom & Ewell.

Although Epsom were deserving of their win on a night the Moles would rather forget, the scoreline was slightly baffling on the basis that the home side had six efforts on goal but failed to seriously trouble to the ever-impressive Paul Borg, whilst the visitors had just three and managed to score four times.

The turning point of the game occurred six minutes before half-time.  Epsom were already a goal to the good thanks to a tenth minute corner that deflected off a Molesey head into the net, when James McShane burst through on the Molesey right.  He was clipped in the box but admirably opted to stay on his feet, cutting the ball back to the advancing Ross Defoe, who from a tight angle and with the ball bobbling did well to keep his volley down but it fizzed just the other side of the post.  Barely thirty seconds later Robbie Burns exposed a gaping hole in the Molesey backline to fire the visitors into a two goal lead.

There was precious little action in between the two goals.  Wester Young tipped a fierce Burns drive over the bar, whilst Defoe sent a header from a McShane corner goalwards that Borg tentatively parried away with Lewis Ackerman lurking.

A lack of communication between Young and Rob Lewis saw the makeshift captain head the ball beyond his keeper from the edge of the box but luckily it had just too much on it to enable the onrushing Kyle Hough to capitalise and the ball drifted just the wrong side of the post and out for a corner.

Farid Ebrahim-Zadeh, who made an immediate impression on his debut in the reverse fixture between the sides, came on as a half-time substitute in place of Lewis and added a bit of life to the Molesey side, and it was his drive that was deflected over for a corner that nearly got the Moles back in the game.

Defoe once again headed McShane’s corner into the danger area where Ackerman swivelled and poked the ball towards goal.  Borg made himself big, and luck was on his side as the ball got trapped between his legs.

Defoe combined with Arnold Tawonezvi on 73 minutes to set up another chance to Ackerman, but Borg once again denied him.

Epsom rarely threatened until the closing stages, although they were extremely assiduous in possession and lived up to Molesey boss Steve Webb’s assessment as the best side his team have faced this season.

More calamitous defending allowed the visitors to put the gloss on their evenings work with two late goals.  Firstly, Ebrahim-Zadeh played a hospital ball in midfield that within moments had set Burns clear down the right.  Andy Graves, making his 75th start for the Moles got back and prevented substitute Andy Amfo-Brobbey from a tap-in, but in doing so turned the ball into his own net.

Moments later Amfo-Brobbey picked the ball up on the touchline halfway out and his scorching pace took him in on goal without a tackle in sight.  Young was equal to his first effort but he made no mistake with the rebound. 

Epsom’s recent form is only bettered by Wembley, who will be the next opponents to Walton Road on Saturday, hoping to avenge the 3-2 defeat the Moles inflicted on them earlier in the season.

Line up:  Wester Young, Andy Graves, Luke Elliott, Paul Gough, Rob Lewis [C] (Farid Ebrahim-Zadeh), Dan Coombes, Ross Defoe (Gareth Witter 81), Sam Lampard, Arnold Tawonezvi, Lewis Ackerman, James McShane.  Sub (not used) Mickey Hughes, Billy Pamment, Joe Pratley-Jones