Tonka Trophy Tournament
Valence Vets bulldoze their way to victory
Chelmsford Evergreens 0 : 0 Sutton Valence
Canterbury Friars 0 : 5 Sutton Valence (Glenister 2; Worsfold 2; Willson)
Chelmsford Evergreens 0 : 1 Sutton Valence (Sheldon)
Canterbury Friars 0 : 2 (Fermor; Sheldon)
Previously this Chelmsford Tournament has generally hosted four teams playing each other once for 25 minutes. This year the Tournament changed to just Chelmsford, Canterbury and Sutton Valence playing each other twice in 25 minute games, once before lunch and again after.
After some active recruiting to avoid shortage Valence actually had a squad of 14, though Pat Kyaing and David Glenister had to leave after only the second game, reducing the squad to 12 for the afternoon. This still allowed Valence to loan some players to Canterbury for both their games against Chelmsford.
Valence opened play against hosts, Evergreens, always a friendly but tough contest. In this end to end game Valence had the edge with some good passing movements and shots that on another day would have gone in, particularly a scooped one from David Glenister that shot over the crossbar and a close miss from Chris Sheldon. At the other end Evergreens’ advances were skilfully cut short by the halves or dealt with by good saves from both keeper Stuart Young and one by left back Mike Nettle. A no-score draw.
Valence then played straight on against Canterbury who were supported by Evergreens. This became a rather one-sided game as quick passing movements by Valence dominated Canterbury, and led to an early goal when Charlie Worsfold, in his favourite position by the left-hand post, and enlivened by pre-game warm-up on the adult outdoor gym equipment by the astro, latched onto a cross to push it past the surprised keeper. To show it was no fluke Charlie proceeded to do it again shortly afterwards, though this time picking up a rebound off the keeper’s pads. Some slick but simple passing between Tom Willson and David Glenister put the latter through to score, soon to be followed by another goal by him off a cross from Roger Fermor. In the last minutes, Tom Willson dribbled through into the dee and round the keeper to net. Chelmsford then beat Canterbury.
After an excellent buffet lunch Valence returned to the fray with a second game against the hosts, conscious that they had lost two of their own key players and that Evergreens had added another serious one to their team. However the game played out much like the first one with both sides having the measure of each other pretty well and Vets’ Capt Andy McVarish marshalling his defences well and some sterling efforts put in by Geoff Bell, Bob Sagrott, particularly Mike Nettle, whilst Paul Tomlin and Rory Poulton were successful in their missions to unsettle the two leading Evergreens. The game could have gone either way, but a late goal by Chris Sheldon snatched it.
Uncharacteristically Evergreens, perhaps still thinking about that late goal, then fell against Canterbury to a well taken breakaway goal from the junior playing for Canterbury to lose 1 : 0 ensuring that Valence could not be beaten going into their last game against Canterbury.
Whilst the final game of the day was not as one-sided as the earlier one due to the quality of the Evergreens subs playing for Canterbury, Valence keeper, Stuart Young, was able to retain his clean sheet and Roger Fermor and Chris Sheldon both scored to ensure a comfortable result.
Man of the Tournament: Mike Nettle.
Back in the Clubhouse, Nick Willson received the Tonka Trophy for only the second time. Nick also received the Tankard played for against Canterbury won on away goals from the two draws this season.
Team: Stuart Young (keeper); Bob Sagrott; Geoff Bell; Andy McVarish (Capt); Mike Nettle; Chris Sheldon; Pat Kyaing; David Glenister; Rory Poulton*; Paul Tomlin**; Tom Willson; Roger Fermor; Paul Linaker; Charles Worsfold.
Umpire: Nick Willson *Tunbridge Wells Grasshoppers; **Tonbridge Black Knights
The Vets have now retired for their summer recuperation, which of course includes intensive training, though of what sort precisely is a matter of personal choice.