2nd Xl - Third Time Lucky , Steals Three
By Paul Linaker
Last minute loss
Sutton Valence 2nd Xl 1 : 2 Gillingham Anchorians 2nd Xl
Third Time Lucky, Steals Three
This rearranged fixture saw Sutton Valence 2s venture out mid-week and play under floodlights against a strong Anchorians’ side.
Valence had the better of the possession throughout the first half and mounted a number of sorties into the visitor’s D, but were not able to press home any advantage or capitalise on the pressure. The visiting keeper was forced into action a couple of times, but stood fast at the break. Anchorians always looked dangerous on the break and it was such an opportunity down the right flank that gave them the lead. It was a rather fortuitous goal given it took a number of deflections before reaching the net but the Valence defence should have dealt with the attack sooner. The visitors led 1 – 0 at the break.
The second half was slightly more balanced with end to end hockey. Each side challenging with attacks of their own, requiring both keepers to be called into action on a number of occasions. Valence equalised 10 minutes into the half with as much luck as the visitors had with their opening goal as a shot on goal from Andy Devlin rebounded off the post, then into the goal off the back of the keeper. Valence were now certainly the more creative but squandered the best of chances and as the half progressed the tension intensified with each attack.
Into the final two minutes, and on the break again, the visitors forced a short corner. The shot was saved and cleared by the home keeper but the clearance at head height was deemed dangerous and another short awarded. Again, the shot from the second corner was saved but the rebound off the keeper’s kicker looped up in the air, and the ball was again deemed dangerous to the on-rushing attacker and yet another short corner awarded. This time the Anchorian attacker held onto the ball for what seemed an eternity as time stopped, and unhindered by Valence’s defence, flicked the ball high and to the right stealing all three points on offer.
This was a game the home team should have won, given the possession they had and opportunities they created, but it turned out to be ‘third time lucky’ at the end for the visitors.
Team: Stewart Young, Rob Ife, Steve Parker, Alex Hodges, Tim Wilcher, Brett Angel, Chris Stille, Johnny Walker, Chris Back, Andy Devlin, Alex Stamp, Andy Turnill, Chris Sheldon, Tom Bartlett, Ben Tragett, Tom Willson.
Umpire – Bob Bartlett