Valence 3’s hosted Gillingham Anchorians ready for a tough match following a 3-3 draw earlier in the season. With their Captain stranded in Berlin the 3’s found themselves with a bare eleven and under temporary leadership of Vice Captain James Abrahams and his not so glamorous assistant Rob Cockayne. Valence started the game brightly with good short passing exchanges finding the holes in the Anchorians’ defence but unfortunately the attacks did not yield any early goals thanks to some good saves from the Anchorians’ keeper. Valence eventually took the lead through impromptu substitute Chris Jackson who stepped into the breach so Tom Harris could have a few minutes recovery after slipping and hitting his head on the way down.
Valence were then a bit guilty of resting on their laurels and allowed Anchorians to come back into the match, narrowly surviving a first penalty flick appeal which was judged to have been outside the line of the post before conceding a second flick appeal. The Anchorians’ flick taker stepped up and dispatched his flick well, aiming for the top left hand corner of the goal, only to be denied by a fantastic stick save by goalkeeper Ryan Robinson. Even without the many other saves he made throughout the match this moment alone cemented his position as man of the match.
This close call galvanised the Valence players who upped their intensity and rediscovered the passing that had been so effective at the start of the match. Alex Sandberg was denied by the post at the end of one passing move before Rob Cockayne doubled Valence’s lead after another good team move.
The team talk at half time was very positive but also mindful of how Anchorians had come back after going behind earlier in the season.
Valence continued to play well in all areas of the pitch in the second half. Anchorians thought they had come back into the game when they pulled one goal back, however Valence were quick to restore their two goal cushion through another Rob Cockayne goal and Valence had the better of the play right through to the final whistle.
Goals: Cockayne (2), Jackson
MotM: Ryan Robinson
Team : Ryan Robinson, Phil Morris, Rob Harrison, James Abrahams, Chris Jackson, Duncan field, Rueben Collingwood, Tom Willson, Tom Harris, Rob Cockayne, Alex Sandberg
Match Report by James Abrahams
Next week the 3rd Xl have a tough game away against 2nd placed K Sports (Cobdown) 2nd Xl.