1st Xl run riot scoring 15
By Paul Linaker
Take no prisoners
Sutton Valence were looking to make amends following last week’s defeat to south-London rivals New Beccs. The performance a week ago was disappointing to say the least, and a mostly unchanged side faced visitors Gravesham & Wellcome with something to prove to themselves and each other.
From the start Valence pushed forward, playing a high formation that was largely unchallenged. Unfortunately for the visitors, when given an inch, Kirkham and Turnill will take you a mile, or more accurately, 11 goals.
Sutton Valence played at pace and were relentless in their objective to increase their goal difference. The midfield clicked and passing was clinical at times. Even when the substitutes rolled on, the flow and movement remained consistent. As their confidence built so did the dominance and the lead was unassailable after twenty minutes.
Kirkham opened the scoring after 2 minutes with a solo effort down the left. Turnill, poaching on the far post, narrowly avoided an unnecessary touch, but opened his account 4 minutes later, deflecting Mitchell’s cross fired in from the right. 6 minutes later, Kirkham doubled his tally picking up the initial deflection and flicking it past the keeper. Turnill’s turn next, this time picking up Pohiho’s cross making it two-a-piece for the front marksmen.
Turnill broke the pattern by scoring again 2 minutes later and completing a first half hat trick in the process. Having been put through for a one on one by Bawden, he deftly lifted the ball over the advancing keeper making it 5-0 after 22 minutes. Chris Back interrupted the strikers, finding himself unopposed in the D with time to pick a slot and adding a midfield player to the score sheet. Kirkham closed out the half on the reverse to complete his hat trick.
7-0 at half time and the home team were flying. The half time talk was mostly agreeing to disagree on what needed to be improved and focused on in the second half - quite simple; more of the same!
They didn’t disappoint, continuing to play at pace in the second half and consistently rewarded for their efforts. Kirkham took a brace early on, the first a soft goal pushing the ball in on the reverse into an open goal, the second a typical Kirkham shot fired home past the hapless keeper. Not to be outdone by his partner in crime, Turnill rejoined the action, having taken an extended break to settle a domestic issue on the side line, and added two in a row to his tally. The first a low drag flick from a short corner, the second, his fifth and final goal for the match, a deflection in at close range.
At the back Valence were calm, collected and controlled throughout most of the game. Back and Pohiho in particular orchestrating the players in front of them and redistributing into the midfield. The visitors were unfortunate to travel with only 11 players, with one of those picking up an injury during the encounter. Valence’s midfield were intrinsic in the dominance of the game and out-ran and out-played their tiring opponents. They were rewarded with more spoils in the second half. McVarish picking up the high rebound off the keeper and square cutting his shot Butler-esque into the back netting. Bawden was next onto the score sheet. A neatly worked short-corner evidence of the home team’s confidence, back to the penalty spot for Bawden to slot home. Kirkham chipped in to wrap up his scoring for the day and complete a double hat trick.
Opportunities for the visitors were few but they persisted winning a trio of short-corners during the game and testament to their resolve when an opportunity arose they took a consolation goal late on in the second half.
The home team were to have the final say and Back doubled his total for the game wrapping up an emphatic 15 - 1 win for the home side.
The victory puts Sutton Valence back on top with a game in hand and three points clear of second placed New Beccs who, surprisingly, lost their game at Folkestone.
MOM: Kirkham (double hat trick)
Goals: Kirkham (2, 12, 30, 38, 42, 59); Turnill (6, 20, 22, 47, 48); Back (27, 69); McVarish (50); Bawden (54). G&W (61)
DOD: Turnill (halftime domestic)
Match tea: Chilli con Carne
Team: R Robinson; R Blanchard; J Stanford; A Hodges; C Pohiho; C Back; J Davies; F McVarish; L Mitchell; M Bawden; B Angel; A Turnill ; K Kirkham
Umpires: Wishart & Davies
Match Report by Stewart Young
Next week Sutton Valence travel back down to Folkestone to play their 4XI who sit 8th position.