By Paul Linaker
With a little help from their friend
Wallington arrived with only 10 players, and as Valence Vets had achieved a squad of 12, including several borrowed players, it was agreed to transfer Charles Worsfold over to Wallington, a decision perhaps later regretted.
Wallington played their normal game, generally retaining the ball and passing accurately and moving actively into Valence’s half, probing their defence to test its resistance. They began to find the direct route up the middle the most effective, and were confident in either running at Valence or hitting the long ball to find a forward in space. Whilst Valence’s defence of Reuben Fielding, Andrew Wishart, and Mike Nettle were successful in blocking several of these, it was not too long until Wallington were on the score sheet. Valence, suffering from the lack of their normal keeper and two of their key defence, were lucky to secure a keeper at all, as the normal Club possibilities were all unavailable. They managed to get a visiting relative of Andrew Wishart’s, Will Brewill, who had been brought along to umpire in the absence of Nick Willson, to go in goal instead; he made a pretty good go of it too. Andrew both played, and whistled!
However, whilst Wallington built on their initial goal by adding three more before half-time, all from open play, Valence were unable to get a reply, as under the Wallington pressure, they made too many passing errors, gifting the ball away too frequently.
In the second half Valence made moves to try to restrict Wallington’s approach through the mid-field, and in this they had some success, with some solid midfield work from John Dinnis, Bob Sagrott, Stuart Bates and Chris Sheldon. This in turn allowed them to make more meaningful sorties into Wallington’s half, winning a number of short corners. Wallington were not yet done however and in a scramble in Valence’s D the ball fell to Charlie Worsfold to push over the line. At the other end Valence at last got on the scoresheet with a simple tap in from Dave Ewen, and then, after some other missed opportunities from crosses, Chris Sheldon put one away from Paul Linaker. Charlie Worsfold then diverted another close cross into the goal and at the other end Rupert Humphrey hit the left-hand post with a shot from another short corner. The ball rebounded onto Linaker’s leg, rather than his stick, to cries from both sides of “Charlie would have put that away!”
With time running out Valence increased their effort but in the closing minutes it was Wallington who converted two more opportunities from open play to win out comfortably.
Scorers: Dave Ewen; Chris Sheldon.
Team: Will Brewill, Reuben Fielding, Andrew Wishart, Mike Nettle, Bob Sagrott, John Dinnis, Stuart Bates, Chris Sheldon, Rupert Humphrey, Dave Ewen, Paul Linaker.
Umpire: Andrew Wishart.
Valence’s Charles Worsfold ‘subbed’ very effectively for Wallington.
Next week the Vets are away against Tonbridge Black Knights at 14.30..