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Once More unto the Breach

Once More unto the Breach

Robert Cockayne23 Mar - 18:06
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Once More unto the Breach

The penultimate match of the season was one of the most important for Sutton Valence 3rd XI, who after seven consecutive wins, needed to beat top of the table Gillingham Anchorians 4th XI (who had only lost one game all season) to be in for a chance of promotion.

The game started with Sutton Valence only fielding 10 men, with centre back John Edmed impersonating Andrew Wishart and taking forever to put his socks on. Sutton Valence started well, retaining possession and passing the ball around with accuracy.

Sutton Valence took an early lead after Chris Sheldon, who was playing in his new favourite role in central midfield rifled a ball into the D to Rob Cockayne, who took a first time sweep to elevate the ball in past the keeper’s shoulder.

The lead didn’t last long, as Gillingham managed to pull a goal back much to the frustration of Sutton Valence’s defence.

Darren Thompson received a yellow card shortly after for openly discussing the proximity of the ball and his genitalia with the umpire.

Nevertheless, Sutton Valence drove on, working hard to secure the lead again. Jack Sheldon made a lovely run down the pitch and get the ball in the D. The ball was missed by two Gillingham defenders in a goal line scramble, with the ball falling to Cockayne, who unbeknown to him, reverse hit the ball into the goal with a wild swipe.

The half time team talk (which involved absolutely no swear words at all), was focused on discipline and strength of passes, which was ultimately keeping Gillingham in the game, who were expected to come out of the blocks in the second half, especially given their advantage of youth.

Gillingham then levelled the game again, scoring from a short corner routine.

Fighting back, Sutton Valence pulled ahead again within seconds of the restart. Sutton Valence got in the Gillingham D, but were kept out by the defence. The ball fell to Thompson, who rather than shooting, cleverly and unselfishly slipped the ball to an unmarked Cockayne to score for his hattrick.

Cockayne scored his fourth to wrap up the game after a great pass from Alex Stanford, which allowed him to turn the defender for a one-on-one with the keeper, who he skilled around to be able to walk the ball into the goal unchallenged.

A 4-2 victory, and eight wins on the trot. A fantastic performance from everyone on the field. A special mention must go to Vice Captain Andrew McVarish, who had a once in a lifetime performance.

Promotion now hangs on the results of third place New Beccehamians, who have a game in hand.

Team sheet:
Rob Cockayne
Mark Whitmill
Alex Stanford
Darren Thompson
John Edmed
Andrew McVarish
Julian Mills
Rod Harcourt
Mike Nettle
Bob Sagrott
David Turner
Chris Sheldon
Jack Sheldon

Rob Cockayne (4)

Further reading