1st Xl only achieve draw away with Folkestone 4th Xl
By Paul Linaker
Maintain League lead by 1 point and with a game in hand
A bleak, blustery, 15:30 start time away at Folkestone ensured that Valence did not need a substitute bench in the dugout. The skeleton side began enthusiastically pressing Folkestone back, indeed this set the tone for the rest of the game – Valence attacking and Folkestone ready for the break-away…
Valence struck first, Turnill’s pass to Kirkham allowed time and space for a trademark twirl followed by neat slot past the keeper for 0-1, but the lead was short lived unfortunately, as a Folkestone breakaway soon saw the scores levelled.
The patient passing and movement of Angel and Davies in midfield went unrewarded until Valence got their first penalty corner, Turnill flicking into the corner of the goal for a 2-1 lead into half time.
Captain and half-time motivator, Mitchell called for more of the same in the 2nd half and the 11 Sutton Valence players worked hard to contain the rolling subs provided by the 18-man Folkestone squad. It would be fair to say that Valence continued to have the majority of goal chances, however despite numerous short corners, open play shots, back post tap-ins etc – none was converted… Leaving Folkestone with the inevitable late goal from a well-placed short-corner flick.
A disappointing draw in the end but a commendable effort from the 11 that made the journey!
Goals: Kevin Kirkham; Andy Turnill
Team: Finlay Wishart, Russell Blanchard, Fred McVarish, Lewis Mitchell, Alex Hodges, Jack Davies, Marcus Bawden, Andy Turnill, Brett Angel, Kevin Kirkham, Alex Stamp.
Umpire: Andrew Wishart
Match Report by Andy Turnill.
Next week the 1st Xl are at home against Burnt Ash 3rd Xl who are currently in 6th position.