2nd Xl Hard Work Pays Off
By Paul Linaker
Retain 5th position in League
Following a frustrating draw with Deal last time out, Valence welcomed Holcombe 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 match started with the visitors on top and showing a level of aggression that Valence were not ready for on Saturday morning. The ball was under-cut at the Valence defence with a lack of control that can be expected at this level, but when it happens multiple times it can get a bit frustrating.
Undeterred, Valence worked hard to get into the game. From strikers to defence, they pressurised the Holcombe attack when they were in possession and forced mistakes and wayward passes. With more of the ball, Valence were able to capitalise and create opportunities. A loose short corner routine saw the ball spill to Andy Barr, who flicked into the net. 1 Nil Valence.
Continuing to work hard, Seb O’Leary was tormenting the left back with his running. Pete Rogers, on the other wing, was getting forward and went close as the home team built a head of steam. It was Sheldon who added the second, following a majestic run by Willson who turned the visiting defence inside out before crossing the ball to Sheldon who scored from no more than 8 inches. 2 Nil Valence.
Holcombe re-grouped and once again returned to undercutting the ball at the Valence defence, Pete Rogers
taking the ball in the chest! Holcombe managed to keep the ball down and produced a direct pass to the base line, which was in turn crossed to the back post for them to half the deficit before half time. 2-1.
Early in the second half the Valence defence undertook the now weekly ritual of passing the ball to the opposition striker, who gratefully received it and levelled the score. 2-2.
After a string of draws and losses, Valence were keen to get back to winning ways, so they collectively rolled up their sleeves and got stuck in, hurrying Holcombe on the ball and continuing to ensure that the visiting team made mistakes. The slightly mis-firing short corner routine came together again with Sheldon slotting the ball home for Valence to restore the lead. 3-2.
Sheldon added another shortly after, only for the visiting umpire to disallow the goal from 50 metres away, due to an apparent foot. Sheldon didn’t protest too much as this cancelled out the prospect of buying a jug!!
Battling hard, Holcombe tried to get back on level terms, but Valence were up to the challenge. Excellent and robust tackling from the home team, along with a full stretch dive by stand-in keeper, Henry Robinson, to maintain the lead.
There was enough time for Valence to make the lead comfortable. Once again hustling the Holcombe defence and making a good pass into the D for Chris Stille to end his goal drought. 4-2.
A hard fought and well-deserved victory for Valence.
MOM: Chris Sheldon
Combative Award: Tom Willson, Richard Turnill, Chris Sheldon, Pete Rogers
Scorers: Chris Stille, Andy Barr, Chris Sheldon x2
Team: Steve Parker, James Willmott, Gareth Davies, Ben Tragett, Tom Willson, Richard Turnill, Chris
Sheldon, Seb O’Leary, Pete Rogers, Fred, Andy Bar, Chris Stille, Henry Robinson
Umpire – Andrew Wishart
Match Report by Richard Turnill.
Next week the 2nd Xl are home against Sevenoaks Acorns Xl who are currently a couple of places ahead in 3rd position.