Mohicans fight to the last
Valence get a Steele
Games against Wallington are often somewhat one sided, in favour of them, particularly when played on grass, as it always takes at least the first half for Sutton Valence to get used the ‘artificial astro’, miss-hitting, pushing when they should be hitting etc, by which time Mohicans may well be out of sight.
Early play in this game was the opposite, with Mohicans having to get used to the quicker running of the ball on astro, and sometimes over-hitting, and in that time Valence surprised themselves as well as the opposition by having the more controlled passing and scoring two quick goals. The first, after just five minutes, from Roger Fermor from a narrow angle on the left, and only just inside the dee, was a cracking shot that gave the keeper no chance; the second, on eight minutes, saw Julian Mills pick up a cross and play a reverse stick shot to net.
Then, perhaps a bit of overconfidence set in, as Wallington, roused by the early set-back, started to get their game together. The rest of the half was really Wallington’s as Valence seemed to lose their accuracy of passing and kept failing to clear the waves of attacks mounted increasingly menacingly by Wallington. In the end Mohican’s initial fight-back goal was a somewhat soft one and their second subject to a dispute about a foot, but by half-time the score was level at two all, and the visitors seemed to have gained the upper hand.
Half-time chat from Hamish Dow and Nigel Bardsley homed in on the loss of the accurate, simple passing that had worked so well in the first quarter, particularly in clearing the opposition’s attacks. They stressed that inaccuracy and carelessness had kept giving them the ball back, adding the belief that correcting these faults would put Valence back in the driving seat.
The chat appeared to have the desired effect when five minutes into the second half Andy McVarish broke through solid Wallington defending to slip a pass to Stuart Bates who put Valence ahead again and five minutes later Stuart picked up a bouncing pass from midfield and lifted it over the keeper to add a fourth. There were other opportunities saved and near misses from Rupert Humphrey and visiting former Club stalwart, Andy Steele. Meanwhile Mohicans did not give up fighting to the last, and had their own opportunities, including a number of short corners, which did not get converted.
Altogether an enjoyable game, conducted in the usual competitive good spirits, after which the teams enjoyed refreshment at the Queen’s Head.
Man of the Match: Roger Fermor
Team: Dave Britton (keeper); Bob Sagrott; Mike Nettle; Hamish Dow (Capt); Geoff Bell; Nigel Bardsley; Andy McVarish; Julian Mills; Roger Fermor; Stuart Bates; Rupert Humphrey; Andy Steele; Paul Linaker; Charles Worsfold
Umpire: Nick Willson
The Vets play Kenley away on grass next Saturday at 2.15.