By Tempest Ward
14th August
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Horsham YMCA next up for Sarnies in Cup

Lewis Finney 2 (20, 25 pen), George Mitchell (98), Conrad Honore (118)
Omar Hassan (37), Anthony Thomas 3 (45, 106, 115)

Egham Town won 4-2 on penalties
Penalty competition:
Anthony Thomas 1-0
Tom Caplin 1-1
Kiemon Robinson 2-1
Lewis Finney – Sam Freeman save 2-1
Jack Hatcher 3-1
Conrad Honore 3-2
Sam Freeman 4-2
Liam Hendy – Sam Freeman save 4-2

And Sarnies in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon FA Cup replay day.
(With apologies to William Shakespeare)

This magnificent performance by the gentlemen representing Egham Town FC will live long in the memories of those lucky enough to have been part, or witnesses, of it. What price a win for the men in red win after 25 minutes, with Lancing 2-0 up? What odds when Sarnies’ skipper Keyode Conteh was shown a second yellow card after 55 minutes? What chance for them in a penalty shoot-out?
Egham travelled to Lancing having recovered from 0-2 with two late goals after Kiemon Robinson was sent off. They turned up at Culver Road, the HQ of the Sussex County FA, with Tom Cole making his debut and only one man on the bench, the 7.15 kick off (forced by a local lights curfew of 10 pm) perhaps a factor in player availability. Robinson will miss the Balham game; here he put in his most effective performance in an Egham shirt. The man who was playing at left back last season in a team facing the inevitability of relegation put in one hell of a shift, but he was not alone. He had the first shot of the game, a wicked bend on a free kick forcing home keeper Jack Gunn to turn the ball over his bar in the fifth minute. It seems wrong to pick out any particular Egham players in a magnificent team performance but two men shone. Sam Freeman was excellent in goal, Anthony Thomas his equal up front. Freeman made the first of a string of saves in the 7th minute, home skipper Lewis Finley testing him from a tight angle, and then denying Tom Caplin’s 25 yarder. There was not a lot he could do when Kane Louis slipped an inch perfect pass into Finley’s path and the midfielder converted calmly. Finley doubled that lead five minutes later, from the spot after Egham’s captain Keyode Conteh was adjudged (where else does this word get used?) to have fouled Liam Hendy. Lancing were playing some extremely watchable football, building from the back and developing their moves with a great deal of skill and patience.
Nothing daunted, Egham regrouped. A long punt by Freeman bounced between Robinson and Gunn but the ball didn’t quite fall the way of the Egham man. Eight minutes before the break (round about the time I changed from wearing sunglasses because of the dipping sun to my ordinary specs – that’s me claiming credit!) Robinson won the ball in the middle of the park, strode forward purposefully, unleashed a powerful shot that Gunn could not hold and Omar Hassan ran in to score. Could Egham do it again? Lancing seemed immediately to fear that they could. They did. Robinson again won the ball near the centre circle and played the perfect pass to Thomas, who, after sidestepping Dave Sherman’s challenge, rifled the ball in. Egham had a chance to take the lead early in the second half when Gunn spilled Robinson’s shot but the industrious Jack Hatcher was not able to take advantage. Egham had to use their only sub, Ashley Elson, when Hassan’s limp, evident after his goal, took its toll. Home sub Mo Juwara got into an unnecessary spat with Conteh on the hour, then Conteh, booked in the 14th minute for a foul, was shown a second yellow for a foul on James Beresford. Three dismissals in the first four games is not good; the prize money for this win will help with the inevitable fines. Lancing turned up the pressure and Freeman came to the rescue. After dealing with Juwara’s shot Freeman was happy to see that Finley’s handball off Juwara’s cross prevented the home skipper recording a hat-trick. Egham carried on playing in exactly the same manner with ten men as they did with a full complement. Robinson hit the foot of the left post after Hatcher had clipped a deep free kick back into the danger area, then Gunn was booked for chasing and fouling Robinson outside his box. Egham picked up a couple more yellows, and so did Finley for simulation on the edge of the Sarnies’ box. In the last minute of regulation time a break from deep by Tyler John opened up the Lancers’ defence but his shot drifted over the bar.
Extra time was but two minutes old when Freeman was saving again, from Honore’s shot, and he pulled off an ever better block when Caplin and Finley played a 1-2, the Egham keeper saving at the feet of the home skipper. The Lancers’ neat interpassing undid Egham eight minutes into extra time as Caplin fed in Honore, whose cross found Mitchell for a tap in at the back post. It could have been worse, Honore finding Mitchell who pulled yet another stunner of a save from Freeman, then as the ball ran loose Clayman fired a shot against Freeman’s left post.
Egham levelled again seconds from the kick-off of the second period. Lekan Ejunwunmi hit a stupendous cross field ball from left back into the box, Thomas fought for and won possession and then had the presence of mind to dink a wonderful shot over Gunn and into the home goal. 3-3 became 4-3 when Robinson found Elson, from whose cross Thomas hit another beauty, a nearly arced shot that left Gunn flatfooted as it found the far right corner. In pre-season Thomas was hitting shots all over the place. Here his hat-trick showed what he can do. Lancing were behind for the first time in the tie, but levelled quickly as Honore’s shot from Mitchell’s pass beat Freeman. Centre back Harry Tubb seemed to have cleared the ball off the line but the assistant referee raised his flag – 4-4.
Penalties – Egham went first, and were glad to see hat-trick hero Thomas succeed with his kick. Caplin levelled, Robinson scored, then Finley, successful from the spot earlier in the evening, saw Freeman drop to his left to save. Hatcher was equally deadly, Honore converted and then Freeman capped a wonderful evening’s work by not only scoring past his opposite number for 4-2 but then saving Hendy’s effort.
Egham had won, against excellent opposition, by showing grit, determination and team work. After no points from their opening two league games that tenacity will be in demand when they entertain Balham on Saturday. They will find Balham to be a determined side too; on Tuesday, at Sutton United’s ground, they faced Sutton Common Rovers and recovered from 1-3 to win 5-3. It promises to be entertaining.
Egham now face another trip to Sussex to face Horsham YMCA of the Southern Combination. The tie is on 24 August.
EGHAM TOWN: Sam Freeman, Lekan Ejinwunmi, Tom Cole, Jack Hatcher, Harry Tubb, Keyode Conteh (Captain), Omar Hassan, Tyler John, Nathaniel Mensah, Anthony Thomas, Kiemon Robinson. Sub: Anthony Elson (Hassan, 55).


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