Vets lose first game of the season……..
By Paul Linaker
Wimbledonians claim game, set and match in the second half
For this game, the first of the season for the Vets, there was the usual shortage of players and the numbers were to be made up with help from the 3rd team. However, because of their late arrival, with the opposition all waiting to play, the game had to start with only 7 Valence players on the field. Wimbledonians loaned several players to Valence to even up the sides but after only 4 minutes the home side found themselves 1 down from a short corner. During the course of the next 10 minutes, the delayed Valence players arrived and joined the game to establish parity in numbers, though it wasn’t long before midfielder, Adrian Gander, was forced to leave the game through aggravating a back injury. The game then settled down with Wimbledonians’ forwards looking the more dangerous, but the next goal came from Valence with a well struck penalty from Captain Humphrey. Late in the half the visitors managed to find a way through the Valence defence to put them 2-1 up, but only a minute later and seconds before half-time, Humphrey scored from another short corner to make it 2-2.
After the customary drinks at half time and the departure of the injured Hamish Dow, the game restarted with a further player loaned to Valence briefly, until the rather late arrival of Valence’s 12th man. While Valence were still reorganising their defence, in two minutes of play, the Wimbledonians centre forward took advantage of two successive through balls, both of which were efficiently despatched into the Valence goal to make it 2-4. Despite valiant efforts by the Valence defenders, Andy McVarish and Mike Nettle, and great work by mid-fielder Julian Mills, the advantage was now clearly with Wimbledonians. Valence raised hopes of a come-back, creating several opportunities to score, including Rupert Humphrey through in a one on one with the keeper, only to hit wide. It was left to the Wimbledonians to have the last word by scoring a 5th goal late in the half to make the final score 2-5.
MOM – Rupert Humphrey
Goal scorers: Rupert Humphrey (2)
Team: Dave Britton, Andy McVarish, Hamish Dow, Mike Nettle, Rupert Humphrey, Julian Mills, Dave Ewen, Paul Linaker, Lyndon Davies, Finlay Wishart, Adrian Gander, Rob Harrison.
Umpire: Nick Willson
Next week, the Vets are due to play Purley away, on grass, at 14.45.
Match report by Nick Willson