3rd Xl draw probably fair result
But if the short-corner had gone in...…..
Valence 3’s travelled to local rivals Maidstone to play the first of two Maidstone sides in their League, this time Maidstone 6’s. Their 5 : 5 result last week showed that they had the potential to score plenty of goals but also that they could also concede several too.
Valence made the brighter start of the sides, opening the scoring with what was essentially their first attack of the game, when Rob Cockayne, having had his first shot saved, managed to pick up the rebound and coolly put the ball past the keeper. This settled Valence and they started to play more assured hockey in the opening part of the match. Once again their short passing proved effective and players were finding themselves with plenty of time and space to play the ball. Maidstone played well in the midfield and countered quickly, eventually finding an equaliser midway through the first half. The match remained close and Valence went into half time knowing that if they continued the way they had played that they had a good chance of getting a win.
Maidstone came out of the blocks fastest in the second half scoring twice in quick succession, suddenly Sutton Valence found themselves 3 : 1 down before they had really even got going. Gradually the shock faded and as the control returned, Sean Mills, playing his first game for the side in approximately 2 years (I think) made a good run in from the left-hand side to receive a ball coming across the D and found the gap between the keeper and the post to bring the score back to 3 : 2. Cockayne found the vital equaliser just minutes later.
Buoyed by this comeback, Valence continued to apply pressure but could not find the elusive goal needed to retake the lead. They came desperately close from a well worked penalty corner only to see the ball agonisingly trickle wide as Andrew Wishart tried to claw it into the goal. From here-on the unusually hot weather took its toll and the game deteriorated into both teams thumping the ball long in an end to end battle of desperate defence turned into breakaway counter. Credit must go to James Wilmott for the power and accuracy of his long balls out of the defence and the number of crucial tackles he made at this late stage. Neither team was able to break the deadlock and the draw in the end was probably a fair result. Both teams will probably feel they could have scored more, but equally lucky not to have conceded more.
Goals: Cockayne (2), Mills
Team : Finlay Wishart, James Willmott, Nick Hall, Andrew Wishart, James Abrahams, Sean Mills, Chris Jackson, Reuben Collingwood, Duncan Field, Rob Cockayne, Alex Stanford, Reuben Fielding.
Umpire - Lewis Mitchell
D of the day - Andrew Wishart for missing an open goal.
Next week, the 3rd Xl entertain New Beccehamians 2nd Xl at 09.45 on the Sutton Valence Senior School astro.
Match Report by James Abrahams.