3rds lose to League leaders
By Paul Linaker
But retain 3rd place
Despite the bad weather overnight, the 2:30pm meet meant that all the snow had cleared with plenty of time for Valence 3’s to take on New Beccs at the HSBC ground. Despite the snow having melted, the temperature was low enough that some of the Valence players were uncharacteristically seen jogging pre-match in an effort to quite literally warm up.
Once the game started it was a fairly even affair to begin with but Valence's slick passing that has become the norm so far this season was largely absent with balls going astray all over the pitch. New Beccs were comfortable in possession and moved the ball well creating problems for the Valence midfield and defence, but, thanks to some good tackles and several good saves from Ryan, who had been pressed into service as a goalkeeper in the absence of any of our regular keepers, Valence went in to half time at 0-0. The team talk revolved around getting the strikers more involved in the game whilst also reinforcing the defence.
The second half started in much the same vein as the first but, after what seemed like an unending string of short corners, New Beccs eventually found the bottom corner of the goal to take the lead. Valence battled on but continued to concede several 'shorts', and eventually another goal, when the New Becc's striker snuck the ball into the goal from an extremely tight angle. Valence managed to pull one back when Duncan Field pounced on a loose ball in the New Becc's circle but New Beccs restored their 2 goal cushion shortly afterwards with a quick counter attack which proved far too much for tiring Valence legs (at least in this match reporters case).
A personal highlight was goalkeeper Ryan Robinson’s attempt to sit on the back board during a lull for a Valence attacking short only to overbalance and topple into the back of his own net and then struggle to tip himself back out. But this ambitious attempt for DOTD was overshadowed by Darren Thompson’s when, returning from a two minute suspension after receiving a green card for repeatedly expressing his alternative versions of decisions to the umpires, only to receive a yellow card within what felt like about a minute for continuing to express his alternative version of decisions to the same umpire who had just shown him the green card.
Motm : James Willmott and Ryan Robinson (joint)
Dotd : 'Bobby'
Goals : Duncan Field
Team : Ryan Robinson, Nick Hall, James Willmott, Tom Cavell, James Abrahams, Darren Thompson, Chris Jackson, Chris Stile, Duncan Field, Seb O’leary, Rob Cockayne, Chris Sheldon
Umpire: Iain Simmons
Match Report by James Abrahams
Next week the 3rd Xl are at home against Gillingham Anchorians 4th Xl, currently in 5th position.