League leaders held
By Paul Linaker
3rds move up to fourth
Sutton Valence 3’s welcomed League leaders New Beccehamian 2’s. With New Beccs yet to drop a point or even concede a goal yet this season,Valence knew they would be in for a tough match and from the off, New Beccs put our defence under pressure creating several chances although fortunately they failed to score. Gradually Valence started to find their feet in the game and to compete a bit more. Eventually, and slightly against the run of play, they put together a strong passing move finding Reuben Collingwood free in the D to put the ball past the keeper. 1-0 Valence. Despite falling behind, New Beccs continued to put together attack after attack, winning several short corners. From one of these they conceded a penalty flick after goalkeeper Mark Whitmill was judged to have used the back of his stick in the goal-line scramble. New Beccs converted the flick to equalise and the score remained 1-1 until half time.
The second half was better for Valence who found themselves competing in all areas of the pitch whilst continuing to fend off the many New Beccs attacks and short corners. Eventually their defence was breached at one of the short corners with Valence feeling hard done as the first shot seemed high. Nevertheless they once again pushed on having conceded and managed to get back on level terms through a Rob Cockayne goal poked in from close range. New Beccs again continued to attack winning yet more short corners not helped by an Abrahams’ defensive clearance that would have been more at home on a cricket pitch and even then would have cost a wicket. The edged cover drive was judged a deliberate move to play the ball off the back line. New Beccs converted the short with a well-rehearsed passing move. Valence managed to equalise once again through Johnny Walker’s solo efforts before the match ended as a nervous stalemate.
Valence felt disappointed not to have come away with a win but they feel that more is still to come and the fact that they managed to put 3 past such a strong opposition and hold them to a draw was an achievement in its own right. They still have not lost a match in this higher League.
Scorers: Cockayne, Collingwood, Walker
Team: Mark Whitmill, James Abrahams, Andrew Wishart, Darren Thompson, Adrian Gander, Duncan Field, Marius, Reuben Collingwood, Alex Sandberg, Rob Cockayne, Jonny Walker, Ben Browning.
Umpire : Bob Bartlett
Valence travel to Anchorians next week looking to get back into winning ways.
Match Report by James Abrahams.