Vets thwarted in the last two minutes
By Paul Linaker
Strong performance gains draw
On a bright Autumn day, Valence met old rivals Black Knights at a new venue near Tunbridge Wells. For almost the first time this season, Valence had the luxury of 12 players available for selection. The low but welcome sun made things difficult in the first half, but in no way affected the competitive nature of the contest.
Black Knights started the game looking very much the better team with slick passing movements putting pressure on the Valence defence. Good work by Andy McVarish, Mike Nettle, Bob Sagrott and keeper Dave Britton kept them out, but the Knights eventually went ahead when the their fastmoving forwards got in behind the Valence defence to put them one up. Not long after, and a little against the run of play, Valence responded, when Lyndon Davies collected the ball in the dee from a long through pass, skilfully sidestepped the fast approaching keeper and despatched the ball into the Knights’ net to even the score at one all. This score raised Valence spirits and the team started playing more consistently, with solid midfield contributions from Bob Bartlett and John Dinnis. The rest of the half proved very even, leaving the half-time score at 1-1.
Five minutes into the second half, captain Rupert Humphrey collected the ball just outside the Knights’ dee, beat two defenders and scored Valence’s second goal with a cracking shot past the keeper. There followed a long passage of play with both teams having and squandering scoring opportunities. As time went on the Black Knights’ play became more determined and, in some cases, desperate in their efforts to level the scores, but the Valence defence continued to hold. Then, two minutes from the end, the Knights’ efforts were rewarded with a well-taken goal to make the final score 2-2. Although a disappointment for Valence, it was a fair result after a good natured and even game.
MOM: Dave Britton
Goal scorers: Lyndon Davies, Rupert Humphrey
Team: Dave Britton, Andy McVarish, Mike Nettle, Rupert Humphrey, Julian Mills, Paul Linaker, Lyndon Davies, Bob Sagrott, Charles Worsfold, John Dinnis, Bob Bartlett, Stuart Bates.
Umpire: Nick Willson
Next week the Vets are at home against Tunbridge Wells Grasshoppers at 11.15.
Report by Nick Willson