1st Xl hold Marden to a draw in tight game
By Paul Linaker
Not able to repeat earlier win
Sutton Valence men’s 1st X1 kicked off their post-Christmas fixtures against local rivals Marden Russets. With Valence sitting on top of the League and Russets not far behind, the usual tight game was predicted. And so it proved, the game swinging from end to end throughout with neither team taking a real foothold. Russets opened the scoring with a scuffed volley wrong footing the Valence goalkeeper. Valence responded straight away with a flowing team move culminating in Andy Turnill finishing under the keeper. James Stanford put Valence in the lead with a penalty corner and Valence looked likely to extend their advantage before half time. Kev Kirkham had a great chance to make it 3-1 but Russets turned defence into attack and earned a penalty corner with the last action of the half. A great drag flick ensures it was even at 2-2 at the break.
The second half was again a tight affair. Valence keeper Stewart Young was called into action on several occasions making some smart saves whilst Valence struggled to hit the target. Valence did retake the lead from a quickly taken free hit finished off by Turnill from a tight angle. Russets pushed hard for the equaliser and were duly rewarded after a couple of Young saves, the striker finished into the net at the third attempt. Both teams had chances to win it but neither could find the finishing touch in the D. The game finished with a Valence penalty corner which came to nothing leaving both teams with a point. A fair result in the end and both teams retired to the Queens Head for a lunchtime beer and feast.
Valence remain top by one point after 2nd placed New Beccehamians beat 3rd placed KSports.
Goals: Turnill (2); Stanford
MOM: Andy Turnill
DOD: Chris Back
Team: Stewart Young, Russell Blanchard, Chris Back, James Stanford, Charlie Humphrey, Fred McVarish, Marcus Bawden, Brett Angel, Jack Davies, Andy Turnill, Kevin Kirkham, Johnny Walker, and Alex Stamp.
Umpire: Andrew Wishart
Next week Sutton Valence 1st Xl are due to play Ashford 3rd Xl (currently lying in 7th position) away at 13:00.
Match Report by Chris Back