2nd Xl lose but just hold on to lead
By Paul Linaker
Sevenoaks win to go within 1 point of Valence
Points are tight at the top of the table and Sevenoaks were looking for Sutton Valence to slip up, allowing them to get closer to them in the League. Sutton Valence started the half the better side with slightly more possession than Sevenoaks, but were unable to turn that into goals on the score-board. Sevenoaks then scored somewhat against the run of play and momentum continued with them throughout the rest of the half, with Valence under consistent pressure. Adding to the problems, Sutton Valence were down to a bare 11 through the injury to Captain Mark Whitmill through overstretching, trying to gather a ball in the Sevenoaks D.
Half-time came and Sutton Valence knew they had an uphill struggle mainly due to the fact they were simply having an off-day as a team. Passes were going astray, or to the opposition, though no one person was a fault, as the team were collectively playing badly. Looking to change that, Valence started the second half retaining early possession and patiently building attacks, but Sevenoaks were quick to counter when play was turned over.
After a couple of close calls in their defensive D, Valence managed to capitalise on a break and Tom Willson found Chris Bailey unmarked in the Sevenoaks D. He scored, taking the game to 1-1, leaving Sevenoaks feeling this time it was Sutton Valence who had scored against the run of play.
After a number of short corners Sevenoaks scored what they thought would be a defining goal, only for it to be disallowed for being the first shot above the backboard. Their pressure was eventually rewarded by scoring in the last few minutes against a Sutton Valence team that desperately needed a substitute to give players a rest during the half.
The game ended 2-1 to Sevenoaks, with Sutton Valence holding onto top spot now only by 1 single point.
MoM: Finlay Wishart
Goal: Chris Bailey.
Team: Finlay Wishart, Richard Turnill, Alex Hodges, Chris Sheldon, Ben Tragett, Gareth Davies, Mark Whitmill, Seb O’Leary, Steve Parker, Chris Stille, Chris Bailey, Tom Willson
Umpire: Iain Simmons
Match Report by Mark Whitmill
Next week the 2nd Xl play Gravesham & Wellcome 2nd Xl at home, who are currently 9th.