2nd Xl stay top of League
By Paul Linaker
Sheldon on a roll.....
On this Saturday in mid-November, it was a sunny, but chilly affair at Holcombe, even with temperatures reaching 12 degrees, it was definitely a day to keep moving around. Unfortunately, having navigated the ludicrous diverted traffic routes to the top of the hill, SV arrived in dribs and drabs right up to the pushback, even left having to start with 9, whilst Andrew “Hamilton” Wishart raced to assist after umpiring in Gravesend.
The game didn’t disappoint, Holcombe having waited as long as possible, pushback was announced and the ball was in play, SV were left to start with 9 players. However, this seemed to inspire SV to find their second gear almost immediately, with Holcombe expecting to have the upper hand, the ball was quickly moved around the midfield and fell to Tom Willson, who took the ball, dribbling from left to right through the defence into the D and took a shot, this
found a deflection, on to the stick of Chris Sheldon, who struck the ball with amazing precision and found the back board, 1-0!
This seemed to focus Holcombe, who quickly centred themselves, and made a counter attack, luckily, Valence had got their team up to 11, so were ready and waiting, however, it seemed to cause some brief confusion and Holcombe found a hole in the defence, drove into the SV “D”, placing a well-timed shot at goal, and scored, levelling it back to 1-1! SV thought this needed a response, and with the duo of Tom Willson and Chris Sheldon reaping benefits again, Tom worked his way in the Holcombe D, taking a shot at goal to find Sheldon in direct line of sight. Watching the shot passing by and off target, he found a sneaky deflection into the goal, putting SV back up 2-1!
Again, Holcombe responded to the new score-line adjustment, returning back to the SV end and scoring another to level the score back to 2-2!
Trying something new, SV found their third from a short corner, Dazzler pushing out and with Chris Sheldon taking his time pin pointing the weakness through the goalie, then striking from the top and finding the back board for the third time, making it 3-2! Holcombe, in usual fashion, went straight back to the SV end and returned the score to 3-3!
The Valence team looked for something to break the tide. That responsibility fell on the shoulders of Willson, again making a run from the mid field, took to going to the right-hand side, driving round the back, along the touchline, and making a masterful pass to the waiting striker, again finding Sheldon, turned the ball and stick to goal, finding the back board again, to make it 4-3! And half time…
This wasn’t a long half-time talk, Valence were all playing exceptionally well and the game continued in a similar vein to the first half. However, Holcombe had found their groove now, and Valence were now finding it hard to make it into the D and slot any goals to change the score-line. Then the game went their way, as Tom Willson finds a foot in the D, and a short corner is given. Dazzler pushes out, Sheldon stretches to get the ball under control, has time on the shot, hits bottom right, goal…..5-3!
This is how the game finished, with Valence and Holcombe battling to the bitter end, but Sutton Valence finding themselves on top on this occasion; good game and a positive result for them!
MoM : Tom Willson (for doing all the hard work in midfield)
Goal scorers: Chris Sheldon (5)
Team: Finlay Wishart, Gareth Davies, Mark Whitmill (C), Andrew Wishart, Ben Tragett, Alex Hodges, Andy Barr, Tom Willson, Seb O’Leary, Chris Sheldon, Darren Thompson.
Umpire: Iain Simmons
Next week the 2nd Xl are away against Sevenoaks Acorns, currently 4th.
Match Report by Chris Sheldon.