2nd Xl have a Foggy Start
By Paul Linaker
Chances 'mist' to win against lower placed opponents
Valence welcomed the south east London team to the Senior School pitch for an early push back on Saturday morning. The warm up was surprisingly focused and Valence were set to put in a good performance.
The home team took the strong warm up into the game and had the better of the early exchanges. Valence had missed ‘Leaky Roof’ Tragett and ‘Sick Note’ Willson last week. The return of the experienced duo was most welcome to the centre channel of the SV team. Brom Becks had a mix of experience and youth. Valence boasted 100% experience.
It was Valence however that was dominant from the start, with a combination of good running and strong ball retention. That was until a potentially comfortable ball across the back. ‘Bear’ called Gareth, as he passed a perfectly weighted ball to the BB Centre Forward. The striker stepping into the D, committing stand in keeper Whitmill and slotting home. 0-1 BB.
Valence were undeterred by this minor set-back in the game. (After all, last week Valence had given Sevenoaks a 3 nil lead, before levelling by half time). Following a BB attack, Valence broke, with a strong cross pitch ball from Turnill. Willson found his legs and joined the attack, providing a decent pass to Sheldon, who got Valence off the mark. 1-1.
Both teams continued to create opportunities but cancelled each other out. Willson went close, but not close enough. Valence short corners came and went (wide). SV were probably still the more menacing on the break, although the Valence back line did their fair share of mopping up the BB attacks, Parker, Hodges and Willmott putting in some excellent tackles on the skilful, youthful BB front line. Shortly before half time BB were awarded a fortunate short corner. A well work routine resulted in them taking the lead again. 1-2.
At half time, Valence congregated in the dugout, rather than the goal, which felt odd! Captain Whitmill said he couldn’t offer any wisdom, because he couldn’t see anything through the fog. Both teams no doubt thought that they could win it in the second half.
The second half got underway again with the play being largely even and both teams creating opportunities. Turnill was at his bustling best, battling for every 50/50 and quite a few 30/70s. This did result in a bit of over commitment and a trip to the side line to take an enforced two-minute breather. Valence kept BB at bay while they were at a number disadvantage. Back to full strength, Turnill hustled the ball in midfield, forcing a wayward pass. Tragett mopped up the loose ball and released Willson, who supplied Sheldon to level the score. 2-2.
Breaks came and went for BB and Valence, the home team arguably having the better of them. It is important to remember that you don’t stop when you are fouled. It doesn’t matter how well you have played for the rest of your match, your team mates won’t let you forget it!
MOM: James Willmott
Combative Award: Richard Turnill
Scorers: Chris Sheldon (2)
Cards: Richard Turnill (Green)
Team: Steve Parker, James Willmott, Gareth Davies, Ben Tragett, Tom Willson, Richard Turnill, Chris Sheldon, Mark Whitmill, Seb O’Leary, Alex Hodges, Darren Thompson
Umpires: Andrew McVarish, Bob Bartlett
Next Game: 23rd February 2019 – 11:30 am Away versus Deal