Moormead Athletic secured an impressive and hard fought away win against a determined and well-organised Epsom Athletic Falcons side at a sunlit Lower Kingswood.
In a fiercely competitive match full of strong tackling and committed challenges, several moments of individual skill proved the difference between two teams well-matched, and not just because of their dark blue and yellow kits.
There was little to choose between the sides in a goalless first quarter. Daniel had a shot blocked after a mazy run by Sam, but twice William denied the opposition when they were through on goal.
Athletic ended the quarter with a period of sustained pressure. Daniel shot wide from a pass by Jake, and the Epsom keeper produced two good saves from Kiran and Jake.
From the re-start Ryan went close after a darting run down the right wing, and Jake, who had taken over in goal, was quick off his line to snuff out an Epsom attack.
The deadlock was finally broken by a great solo strike from Sam, who cut in from the right to fire home from a tight angle.
But back came Epsom, who were only denied by some determined last gasp defending following a goalmouth scramble.
Jake then got the faintest of touches to deflect a shot onto his post, and away for a corner.
A purple patch just before half-time saw William double the lead, slotting home from the right after an angled run.
Sam, who was at the centre of some effective passing in midfield, came close to adding a third.
Meanwhile, Orla made a key clearance under pressure.
The second half saw Athletic playing up a slight slope, and facing opponents who seemed to have got a second wind.
Teig, aided by Charlie, was outstanding in defence, reading the game like a modern day Bobby Moore, and making a series of important interventions when the opposition threatened to break through.
However, the deficit was halved as Athletic were opened up down the left flank by Epsom’s flying winger, and the ball was bundled home from close range.
But a great individual goal, somewhat against the run of play, by William restored the two-goal led. He muscled his way through the centre under considerable pressure, to slide home under the keeper.
Epsom continued to pressure in the final quarter, but new keeper James saved a looping effort, and Sam made a great block, as Athletic were forced into defend deep.
They were lucky not to be punished for a mix-up at the back, but Epsom finally did make it 2-3, a sweeping move ending with a shot fired under the diving James.
Next Kiran stretched to make a vital goalmouth clearance when it looked likely that Epsom would draw level.
But Athletic continued to carry an attacking threat. Jake made two swift breaks, and Daniel fired a speculative shot wide.
The parents were beginning wilt under the tension and a blazing autumn sun, but Sam finally settled their nerves with his second excellent solo strike of the game, cutting in from the left to fire under the keeper.
The Epsom keeper then made a great save from a rising snapshot from Daniel, and Sam blazed over from close range.
Epsom’s red bibs appeared to be sponsored by the local branch of McDonalds, but as the final whistle sounded it was Athletic – with a 100% record after three games – who were "lovin' it”.