3rds lose by single goal
By Paul Linaker
A game they could have won
Valence 3’s returned to local rivals Maidstone for the second time this season but this time to face Maidstone 5s. The match started late due to delays in previous matches, as all 4:30 push backs do, and Valence made a good start, controlling much of the possession in the first half with good short passing and building patiently from the back. Maidstone looked threatening on the counter-attack, but for the most part the defence coped well with help from the midfield players.
Despite controlling most of the play Valence were unable to make the breakthrough. The half-time talk was positive and they were keen to get the second half underway.
Valence started the second half much in the same way as they had played the first half, but gradually Maidstone were becoming more and more threatening. Thanks to good work from the defence, and some crucial saves from Finlay Wishart, Valence continued to keep Maidstone at bay. But eventually a ball in from the left evaded the defence and the Maidstone attackers in the D, finding a Maidstone player free on the opposite flank who put the ball back into the centre and the Maidstone striker narrowly beat the defender’s stick to poke the ball into the goal.
Valence continued to fight hard to get an equaliser, but despite creating numerous chances just couldn’t get the ball over the line. Valence fought valiantly until the very end of the match but as the game wore on and tiredness and desperation set in, the team started to lose their shape and become more spread out making the passing game that had worked so well in the first half all the more difficult.
The result definitely flattered Maidstone who for most of the game were outplayed by Valence, who felt it was a cruel blow to lose by such a fine margin when they had created many more chances. However (and it pains me to say this) Valence missed usual striker Rob Cockayne who wasn’t allowed to play by her indoors. The new look attacking players did admirably but his devastating accuracy from 2 yards could have made all the difference in this hard-fought match.
Team: Finlay Wishart, Nick Hall, James Willmott, James Abrahams, Chris Bailey, Adrian Gander, Tom Harris, Tom Willson, Chris Jackson, Duncan Wills, Darren Thompson, Reuben Collingwood
Umpire: John Edmed
Next week the 3rd Xl face Sevenoaks 8th Xl at home.
Match Report by James Abrahams.