2nd Xl slip up against Marden
By Paul Linaker
Money Doesn’t Buy Class
Valence welcomed their local rivals to the Prep school pitch early on Saturday morning. Fears of a frozen pitch were short lived, and the match could start on time. Beforehand Marden undertook a disciplined, coordinated warm up, Valence went for the more traditional stand round in a circle and punt the ball at each
other. The early exchanges were even, albeit Marden were retaining the ball with slightly more authority. Valence were strong in the tackle and were able to disrupt any Marden advances. It wasn’t long before Valence played their way into the game, with the ever-young Ben Tragett linking defence and midfield.
There was limited cohesion from the home team. Regular supporter Mikey Back exclaiming, ‘You are struggling to string any passes together’. Marden are a team that clearly train together, and they demonstrated more fluidity in the first quarter. However, it was Valence who were first to threaten the opposition goal. Good work in the D from Sheldon and Stille forced a short corner. A deflected Valence strike agonisingly came back off the crossbar. A short time later, Willson drove into the D and forced another penalty corner. Turnill seized his opportunity and struck… This time the ball hit the inside of the left-hand post, but it didn’t cross the line.
Both teams had a number of substitutes. It was Marden that were more malleable and adapted better to the changing line up, they pushed home the advantage later in the first half. Good play in the midfield led to a decisive ball into the Valence D and the unmarked Marden striker hit the ball into the SV goal. 0-1. Embracing the initiative, Marden quickly doubled their lead with another similar effort. 0-2.
At half time, Valence concluded that with sharper passing and harder work off the ball there was an opportunity to get back in the game.
In the early stages of the second half, Turnill had the ball in the centre of the pitch. A Marden player committed a foul, but it was the innocent Turnill that the visiting umpire sought to discipline, because he was too aggressive in untangling his stick. Turnill suggested that the umpire was not focussing on the matter in hand. Seconds later the Marden player flew in with a late stick tackle on Turnill, long after the ball had gone. Turnill once again suggested that the umpire might like to focus. Understandably agitated, Turnill was ready to explode. Manager Whitmill saved the umpire from another embarrassing mistake and suggested that the dominant Turnill grab a drink for 5 minutes.
Valence were once again caught napping. Similar to the first two goals, good build up in the midfield saw a
decent ball into the D and found a Marden striker at the back post. 0-3. Valence kept pressing forward and created chances. Sheldon and Willson combined with the latter find the backboard and scoring a conciliation. 1-3. In the closing stages, both teams pushed forward in search of further goals. Chances came and went, but a combination of mediocre shooting and good goal keeping meant there was to be no more scoring!
A hard-fought defeat served by our new-money neighbours. Valence went to the Queen’s Head to welcome
the visitors for some SV hospitality. Alas, for the second year in a row Valence were snubbed. No apologies
offered, and not one of the them came for; sausage, chips and beans. We might have lost the game, but we won teas. Money doesn’t buy class and all that…
MOM: Ben Tragett
Combative Award: Richard Turnill
Scorer: Tom Willson
Team: Finlay Wishart, Steve Parker, James Willmott, Rob Bray, Ben Tragett, Tom Willson, Chris Stille Richard Turnill, Pete Rogers, Chris Sheldon, Mark Whitmill, Chris Bailey, Andy Barr, Seb O’Leary
Umpire – Iain Simmons
Next Game: 26th January 2019 – Away- Ashford 4s – 14.30
Match Report by Richard Turnill