3rd Xl - Lose to youthful Sevenoaks
By Paul Linaker
Damage done in second half
Kent Open Premier C
Sutton Valence 3rd Xl 2 : 4 Sevenoaks Acorns
SV lose to youthful Sevenoaks
Sutton Valence welcomed the Sevenoaks development side last Saturday in what turned out to be a tight fixture, where youth eventually overcame experience.
The game started with Sevenoaks taking early possession and stretching the SV team from push back. After 10 minutes of pressurised attack, Sevenoaks scored with a tap in at the back post. Sutton Valence responded within the next 5 minutes when they turned defence into attack. Having conceded a short corner, the SV defence stole the ball within their own D and passed it out quickly to Pete Rogers who was tracking back to defend. Rogers then ran at the heart of Sevenoaks midfield / defence. With options on either side as he entered the Sevenoaks D, he opted to go alone. At one point it looked like the wrong option when he got tackled, but he quickly recovered possession and slotted the ball in the bottom left corner.
The youthful Sevenoaks team had stretched play most of the half, and probably felt a little hard done by for only going into halftime level pegging, but that was due in part to the excellent defensive play of Adrian Gander who made vital tackles when he found himself out numbered 2 on 1 on more than one occasion. If SV were to take 3 points from the fixture, they needed to be more disciplined from a structural perspective, as the young Sevenoaks players clearly had the legs to run SV ragged.
The second half started less one sided, with SV retaining more possession, but they conceded another goal early in the half, again at the back post. As the half progressed both teams looked stretched at time, and SV equalised once again when the ball was fired into the Sevenoaks D and Chris Sheldon got the faintest of touches to deflect it around the goal keeper. From that point onwards both teams had chances, but in another of Sevenoaks’ attacks they were awarded a short corner when the umpire thought the ball had come off a defender’s arm, when in fact it had only hit their glove. Sevenoaks shot from the edge of the D and narrowly beat the SV keeper to give them the advantage.
Now chasing the game, SV pushed players forward with less than 10 minutes to go. Applying pressure to Sevenoaks, Valence had numerous chances, but failed to convert them and finally they were caught on the break to take the game away from them with only a few minutes left on the clock. The game ended 4-2 to Sevenoaks.
MoM: Adrian Gander, for outstanding defending throughout the fixture.
Scorers: Pete Rogers; Chris Sheldon
Thoughts now turn to Wednesday night’s ‘must win’ game under the floodlights at Holcombe, where both teams are avoiding the relegation zone.
Team: Stewart Young, Mark Whitmill, Ben Tragett, Tom Harris, Chris Sheldon, Dylan Queen, James
Willmott, Adrian Gander, Darren Thompson, Rob Bray, Pete Rogers & James Abrahams
Umpire: Iain Simmons
Sutton Valence 3rd Xl continue their Kent Open Premier C League season lying 10th with two games in hand, with a postponed away game against Holcombe 4A, lying 9th on Wednesday 11th April at 20.00 and then finally a home game on Saturday 14th April against Sevenoaks 7th Xl currently lying in 5th position.