2nd Xl - Sometimes You Just Have To Grind It Out
By Paul Linaker
May not be pretty.........
Kent Open Premier A
Sevenoaks 5th Xl 1 : 2 Sutton Valence 2nd XI
Sometimes You Just Have To Grind It Out
Valence’s warm up for their first game of 2018 was limited in quality, and the start of the match wasn’t much better, but they managed to establish control in the early exchanges. They had the more willing runners and Sevenoaks were limited to speculative long balls, which the Valence midfield could easily cut out.
Valence built on the better-quality possession and fashioned a number of shooting opportunities. The untested Walker and Back combination up front was working well. Building from the back, the Valence opening goal was a rare moment of quality in the game. Slick one touch passing up the field led to Chris Back opening the scoring. 1 Nil.
Sutton Valence then settled a bit too much and let Sevenoaks back into the game. Re-organising their midfield to try a nullify Back’s influence, they threw caution to the wind and pressed forward with a direct passing game, causing some wayward tackling from the Valence defence. The home team levelled with a scrappy goal, but it gave them some momentum.
Approaching half time Valence worked hard to stem the Sevenoaks flow and created further chances, for themselves without particularly endangering the Home goal. The half time chat was easy. Play like they did in the first ten minutes.
The second half started with Sevenoaks trying to take the initiative. Valence did not allow this to happen, with Back re-positioned in his natural habitat in defence. He could spend the rest of the afternoon directing proceedings and snuffing out Sevenoaks attacks. Valence pressed and prodded forward, without creating any overwhelming pressure on the Sevenoaks D. Forays forward were generally sporadic and unplanned. A few short corners were forced, but Valence struggled to convert. Eventually Willson stepped up and made the difference with a lucky, scrappy goal. 1-2.
The rest was largely a none-event. Rob Ife offered some advice to the less experienced members of the team. Pete Rogers made a sublime base line tackle, with Sevenoaks pushing for an equaliser.
“Not pretty, but sometimes you have to grind it out and we did that today, so well done” said Pitch Captain Angel.
MOM: Brett Angel
Scorers: Chris Back; Tom Willson
Team: Stewart Young, Rob Ife, Brett Angel, Richard Turnill, Steve Parker, Louis Robinson, Tom Willson,
Alex Hodges, Johnny Walker, Pete Rogers, Chris Back, Russell Blanchard, Chris Stille.
Umpire – Ian Simmonds
Next week Sutton Valence 2nd Xl continue their Kent Open Premier A League season lying 5th with a home game against Herne Bay 2nd Xl, currently in 1st position.