1st Xl stay top on goal difference
By Paul Linaker
Put last week's loss behind them
“It was like the ref had a brand new yellow card and wanted to see if it worked.” – Richard Rufus
With the aim to maintain pole position, Sutton Valence faced bottom of the League - over in Gravesend. With a pitch like a cobbled road, no substitutes and world class umpires, the match wasn’t as easy as they hoped. With a classic car park warm up and a few wise words from Lewis Mitchell (after coming out of injury) they began the game. Valence started as strong as ever, putting pressure on the opposition. After hearing about our recent social’s antics, they had fear in their eyes as Valence broke through multiple times into their D. It wasn’t long before Sutton Valence had the upper hand and opened the scoring with a ‘top bins rocket’ from Charlie Humphrey.
As a team, they took our foot off the gas slightly, and it wasn’t long before Gravesham scored an equaliser. This was a wakeup call and Valence quickly realised that this top/bottom League clash wasn’t going to be a breeze. Having no substitutes meant that it was a short amount of time before the Friday night beers had been sweated out and they were soon passing well as a team and taking advantage of the counter attacks. The second goal came shortly afterwards with a reverse stick goal into the right-hand side of the net, scored by Kevin Kirkham. Again, Sutton Valence never make it easy for themselves as they let another goal slip in a minute later, bringing it up to 2-2. In the second half, cards were awarded left, right and rhubarb to the opposition as Valence managed to hold their discipline. They benefited from this and gained numerous short corners, from which they converted two, one from James Stanford and another from Kevin Kirkham.
Despite a rather nail-biting end, some toys being thrown out of the pram and being penalized for being right, Sutton Valence came away with a 4-2 victory with which they were happy. With some solid defence by Brett Angel and Stewart Young at the back, Fred McVarish in the middle and Kevin Kirkham upfront, they had added 3 points to their tally, and maintained their lead in the League on goal difference.
MoM: Stewart Young
Goal scorers: Charlie Humphrey (7), Kevin Kirkham 2 (17 & 63), James Stanford (48)
Teas: Sweet and Sour something.
Team: Stewart Young, Russell Blanchard, Steve Parker, Richard Turnill, Lewis Mitchell, Alex Hodges, Charlie Humphrey, Fred McVarish, Brett Angel, Kevin Kirkham, James Stanford
Umpire: Andrew Wishart
Next Fixture: 24th November at Home v Folkestone 4thXI, currently 7th.
Report: Charlie Humphrey