3rd Xl's win moves them up to third
By Paul Linaker
Less really is more
This week the 3’s travelled to bottom of the table Canterbury Friars. Whilst quietly confident of being able to come away with the win, it was noted that Canterbury are not known for fielding a bad side at any level and that it would be no ‘walk in the park’. Added to this, were a number of changes to the 3’s regular eleven as a result of an availability crisis.
Valence started the game with 8, with Mark Whitmill, Alex Sandberg and Darren Thompson yet to arrive and Reuben Collingwood looking for his shorts in the boot of his car, which is from where it’s thought Ben had removed them. Unperturbed, Valence started the game playing simple hockey, trying to retain possession for as long as possible to buy time for the cavalry to arrive. Despite their lack of numbers, they still managed their fair share of attacking opportunities and stunned the Canterbury team when they took the lead when Ben Browning made the first-time finish from Rob Cockayne’s hard cross from the left.
Eventually the Goalkeeper and other players arrived and Valence not only had a full complement of players but also the luxury of a sub. This had a slight negative effect as they started to try more ambitious and longer passes, rather than the shorter assured passing that had worked so far. This resulted in them giving the ball away more and inviting Canterbury to attack on the break, often. Mark Whitmill was forced into making a good save towards the end of the first half to deny a Canterbury equaliser.
In the second half Valence continued to attack and spent large amounts of time in the Canterbury half. For all this attacking pressure, Canterbury looked threatening on the break, moving the ball forward quickly, but the Valence defence coped well.
Valence doubled the lead through another good finish, this time from Alex Sandberg, again assisted by Cockayne. The jury’s out on whether Rob has now added passing to his game, or if his shooting has become so wild that we now just assume they are crosses.
Valence saw out the game well with little to seriously worry the defence and were rightly pleased with their victory and moving into 3rd place in the table.
Goals: Ben Browning; Alex Sandberg
DotD - Rueben Collingwood for leaving his shorts in the car and missing push back, despite a 15 minute delay!
Team: Mark Whitmill (GK), James Abrahams, Nick Hall (c), Adrian Gander, Darren Thompson, Chris Jackson, Julian Mills, Duncan Field, Alex Sandberg, Reuben Collingwood, Rob Cockayne, Ben Browning
Umpire: Iain Simmons
Next week Valence 3rd Xl have a local derby at home with League leaders, K Sports (Cobdown) 2nd Xl.
Match Report by James Abrahams.