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Sloths 4 - 1 Epsom (H)

3rd March 2024

By Emma Dempsey

In a clash that left spectators simultaneously cheering raucously and chuckling into their coffees, the Surbiton Sloths and Epsom HC battled it out on Sunday at Surbiton High School; the former emerging victorious with a 4-1 win.

Surbiton took control of the game from the start, scoring the first goal after only four minutes, courtesy of a deft short corner deflection from Courtney. Following some clean, sharp passing and excellent movement off the ball, Surbiton continued to dominate, resulting in another short corner and a second goal, scored by Jo after only 17 minutes. Throughout the first half, Surbiton continued to pile on the pressure, relentlessly attacking Epsom's defence until in the 27th minute, their efforts were again rewarded, when ‘Birthday babe’, Taryn capitalised on yet another well-executed short corner, to slot home the third goal of the contest, meaning Surbiton approached half time with a comfortable 3-0 lead. 

However, the second half brought an unexpected twist, that threatened to derail Surbiton's dominance, when an unsuspecting, innocent (and anonymous) defender on the Surbiton team unwittingly consumed a Candy Kitten Raspberry and Guava vegan treat (the kryptonite of middle class over-35 year old females), which unbeknownst to her, had been laced with a performance-reducing substance, rendering her witless and incapable of all but, ‘spirited, sideline chat’ for the first ten minutes of the second half. This meant that Surbiton were left with only ten players on the pitch, a fact which was stubbornly ignored by the umpire, who outright refused to respond to this debacle with anything other than derision - clear and indisputable evidence of her guilt (#conspiracytheorytime).

Epsom seized the opportunity to capitalise on Surbiton's temporary disadvantage: they mounted a fierce attack and managed to find the back of the net in the fifth minute of the second half, reducing the deficit to 3-1. The Surbiton defence were left flabbergasted and unsure who to blame (Hint: definitely the umpire. Nobody but the umpire). 

The goal energised Epsom, who sensed an opportunity to stage a comeback. However, despite Epsom’s spirited efforts, Surbiton remained resolute in their (now complete) defence, rallied by motivational and supportive feedback from central defender Sinéad (“Sunny, you are invading my space. Just get out of my space, Sunny” / “Okay Ceci, so that’s great - I suppose I’ll mark my player and mark yours as well then, shall I?”). They soon regained their composure and put an end to Epsom’s dreams, with Ruth drawing on some silky skills to net a fourth goal and seal the victory. And just as the sleet arrived, thankfully the final whistle blew, confirming Surbiton's 4-1 triumph over Epsom.

All in all, a fantastic performance by the Sloths in the face of a clear and deliberate conspiracy to derail them, spearheaded by a corrupt umpire and a power-hungry opposition, willing to do anything to achieve their evil end. #FakenewsAlert