Vets - Where is everybody.......
A game to learn from
Southern Counties’ Hockey Conference
Sutton Valence Vets 2 : 4 Kenley Vets
Where is everybody……
Sutton Valence Vets were recently beginning to get used to winning their games, but that never looked like happening in this one, despite Kenley being a Vets’ side with a range of ability and experience no better than theirs.
In the first half, particularly, Kenley were just more eager to get and keep the ball, whilst Valence were lethargic and seemed prone to being caught with the ball, or getting it and seemingly just hitting, or mis-hitting, anywhere. This lack of cohesion meant that although they had 11 on the astro they did not have a team. And this was despite Kenley having scored within three minutes of the start, through one of their less experienced players, which should have been the wake-up call.
The rest of the first half continued in this vein, with no other score, though Valence had opportunities which were squandered.
After some blunt admissions of lack of effort and care at half-time it might have been hoped that there would be a clear improvement in the early second half, but it was Kenley again who did all the early pressing, scoring twice more 10 minutes in and then 3 minutes later to go 3 : 0 up. Only then did Valence appear to catch on that this game was rapidly going away from them, and start to reduce the amount of giving the ball away and building attacks more positively. This finally produced a return in the form of a strong and accurate strike from Rupert Humphrey, though this was quickly cancelled out by another from Kenley.
Valence increased the effort, winning short corners, from one of which Stuart Bates scored. This now began to put the pressure that had been missing onto Kenley, and the last 10 minutes were fairly frantic as they feared the game was turning in Valence’s favour. Unfortunately there was no further score though Lyndon Davies went close.
After the game there was much discussion about the under-performance and it was decided that the reason was all the fault of the 81 year-old Umpire, Paul Linaker. This was not particularly because of his umpiring skills, but more because most of the Vets playing had been at a curry evening, two nights earlier, celebrating his coming birthday, and had over-enjoyed the accompanying liquid refreshment!
Goal scorers: Rupert Humphrey; Stuart Bates
Team: Dave Britton, Bob Sagrott, Hamish Dow, Mike Nettle, Andy McVarish, Julian Mills, Nigel Bardsley, Stuart Bates, Lyndon Davies, Roger Fermor, Rupert Humphrey, Dave Ewens
Umpire: Paul Linaker
The Vets continue their Southern Counties’ Hockey Conference games next week with a chance to get back on form in a home fixture against Tunbridge Wells Grasshoppers.