Vets work hard for another good victory
By Paul Linaker
Decision to play vindicated
There were some doubts about whether this game at Teddington would go ahead with a gloomy forecast that at times seemed to indicate snow and heavy rain. In the event the snow did not appear and the heavy rain held back until the game was over. Nevertheless, Valence had to battle through the congested Christmas shopper traffic in London’s outer suburbs.
Because of injuries and unavailability, Valence were fielding an unusual back three with Bob Sagrott in goal. While Valence were still settling in to the game, Teddington’s forwards took advantage of the situation and nipped in to score with their first attack of the game, immediately putting them 1-0 up. It was clear that the home side with fast young forwards and a solid midfield were going to be difficult to contain, but slowly Valence began to get a grip on their game. The midfield of Bartlett, Bardsley and Willson started to control events and a run up the right side by the latter, followed by a perfectly timed cross to Rupert Humphrey in the dee, led to a well struck equaliser. With Valence now maintaining most of the possession, the same two
players worked together to create another Humphrey goal a few minutes later to put Valence ahead 2-1.
For the remaining period up to half time, the balance of play was fairly even and there were no further scores, but a number of players began to get a little over-excited. The break came at the right moment for emotions to calm down.
The second half started with Valence putting together further sequences of skilful play, using the long cross-field pass to good effect. It was not very long before Humphrey was given another good through pass into the dee, which he despatched with a fine strike to give him his hat-trick and Valence a 3-1 lead. Play continued with Teddington creating some good opportunities, but their shots went wide of the mark.
However, one attack needed a great save from Valence keeper Bob Sagrott, ensuring that the defence continued to hold firm. In the Teddington half, Valence also had opportunities with some fine approach play but without a positive outcome. The second half eventually finished with the score unchanged at a deserved 3-1 to Sutton Valence.
Although missing two key defenders and their regular keeper, Valence were able to field a good side and with a display of good teamwork and with captain Rupert Humphrey’s strong strikes, they surprised the home team, leaders in this section of the Conference, with a well-deserved victory.
MOM: Rupert Humphrey
Goal scorers: Rupert Humphrey (3)
Team: Bob Sagrott, Hamish Dow, Rupert Humphrey, Julian Mills, Paul Linaker, Stuart Bates, Nigel Bardsley, John Dinnis, Bob Bartlett, Charles Worsfold, Roger Fermor, Simon Willson.
Umpire: Nick Willson
Match Report: Nick Willson
The Vets' next outing will be at home on Saturday 5th January against old friends Blackheath Vets, and the their first Conference game on the 12th January away at Kenley at 14.15.