On 26 Sept 2021 and after nearly 10 months of waiting it was great to be finally hosting another SYL Premier Elite fixture. Ironically it was Epsom & Ewell Colts who we welcomed again who happened to be the last team to visit us in the league back in December 2020. The weather was absolutely perfect and we hoped for an entertaining encounter. We started brightly and soon opened the scoring after Zahir pounced on a poor clearance from their keeper. He played in Luca who’s shot rebounded off the post and fell to Freddie. His first touch was great and allowed him to stroke home into the far corner. Our strong start continued and it was soon 2-0 after just 11 minutes. Luca again picked up the ball in the centre of the pitch and drove forward only to see his attempted through ball blocked. However the clearance only found Erim and he drove past 2 defenders on the right edge of the box and floated a great ball to the back post where Oli pounced to drive home a header from close range. After our great start we seemed to take our foot off the gas and conceded a penalty which was converted to make it 2-1. We had a few half chances before half time with Luca going closest but his left foot effort could only find the side netting. HT 2-1. After a bit of a half time pep talk the boys came out with renewed purpose and controlled the game from the outset. We went close when a good driving run down the left from Freddie saw a great low cross find Oli but his first time finish flashed over the bar. Lewis then came on to replace Erim who again had worked hard in the midfield and produced a great assist. We regained our two goal cushion in the 49th minute when good pressure from their goal kick saw us force the mistake high up the pitch enabling JJ to play a great lofted ball over their right back. Oli was on it in a flash and drove towards goal and found a neat finish at the near post. This eased any nerves that remained and we made it 4-1 soon after. It came down our left again when Kris - who again worked tirelessly in the midfield found Freddie who again drove and found a great pull back that found Lewis at the back post. His first time shot deflected off the shin of Zahir and into the back of the net. With the game all but safe we re-shuffled slightly. Luke replaced Oli, James came on for Zahir and Josh slotted in at left back for JJ. More changes followed when Freddie made way for Zahir to come back on and Oli replacing Luca. Everyone was now relaxed and full of confidence. Following good pressure in the final third we forced a mistake when a defender handled in the area. Oli stepped up and buried the penalty to complete his hat trick. We went very close to getting another when Luke headed just wide from a great Hayden cross and James also going close with another header from a right wing cross. JJ came back on for Isaac who came off with 5 to go having been solid and assured alongside Alex, Josh, Hayden and JJ. Credit to Epsom though and they kept going till the end, forcing a smart stop from Dom who tipped over a header that was heading in. That was the only real save Dom had to make but he again showed good footwork and concentration levels when called upon. FT 5-1. A comfortable score line in the end against spirited opposition. A much improved display compared to the previous week with some good football in patches. Still lots to work on though as we look to improve as the season progresses.