Merstham Reserves 2-1 Vale Reserves
Interesting game which we could and possibly should have won given the better chances we had
in the second half.
Young Adam Skinner proved an able deputy for Chris Eldergill who after 10 minutes found his second
wind and managed to complete the full 90 minutes on the left side of midfield.
Andy Brenen added experience to the back 4 and a MOM performance was only slightly spoiled by
slipping over when last man allowing their forward the easiest of chances to score.
Without the absent Scott-Lee it was debatable who would be in the frame for the spread bet on
time of withdrawal from the game.
As it turned out the two likely candidates, Sparksey and Ajay let it be known that they had a
tight hamstring and groin problem respectively but the masterstroke of having DB on the bench enabled them to continue in
obvious pain until the end of the game.
James Bradley had an all action display and was unfortunate to be booked either for intent or
for kicking the ball against an opponents foot!!
Steve Botchey looked a bit off the pace and was replaced with 30 minutes to go by Chow Mein An
serving up another tasty display.
After Andy's unfortunate mistake Lee Harkness went up to nose bleed territory to escape the verbal
lashing he was getting from the sweeper and although his heading has improved this term he was unable to add to the goals
Dan Green gave his usual energetic display and never let his head drop although he contributed
to the lapse which saw Merstham equalise.
The two front runners caused the Merstham defence problems all night and it was no surprise for
Reece to open the scoring when converting the bouncing ball with a nonchalant lob over the keeper it was a shame his strike
partner Nathan didn't do the same with glorious second half chances which would have stifled the Merstham momentum and enabled
DB to take up defensive duties alongside his son to engender an average age for the pairing in excess of 50!!
Whilst denying the team and supporters the opportunity of seeing silky skills in action we could
not change the team who continued to promise an equaliser and then even a winning goal which their play deserved.
Thanks to all the players who have made this a successful inaugural season in the Suburban league
with the introduction of even more youngsters next season the seasoned campaigners will need to look after their laurels or
they will soon be surpassed by some very talented kids who see the first team and higher as their rightful progression.
My thanks also go to Richard for keeping me on the bench all season as I understand how difficult
it is to choose a squad from the 62 players signed on!!!
Look forward with great anticipation to the presentation dinner to see how my MOM's of the season
compare with those of their peers.
RAYNES PARK VALE (2)
3 READING TOWN (1) 2
With an address like Prince George and Grand Drive
you’d think Raynes Park Vale’s ground would be one of the more salubrious venues in the Combined Counties League
and you’d be right. Built to the same specifications as Kazakstans Olympic Stadium, it seemed quite appropriate that most of the players, staff and spectators resembled
a likeness to Borat and his countrymen.
Hoping to stretch their unbeaten run to two matches, Manager Lee Dobinson plumped for a
4-4-2 formation versus a Reading side a couple of places
above them in the League.
It only took a minute for Town to create the first chance of the game as a loose ball by Greg Levene was pounced upon
by the Reading winger, who outpaced most of the Vale defence
and delivered a pinpoint cross to Towns number 10. His accurate shot was goal-bound,
but goalkeeper Ed Cornwell stretched his lanky frame down quickly and superbly palmed the ball past the left hand post for
a corner. Luckily nothing came about from the corner, but Town went close again a minute later when Readings 11 shot just past the right hand post. Vale were just not getting the ball up front
and were made to pay for their apathetic start when the opposition took the lead when an unchallenged header from a well taken
corner found its way into the Vale net.
Instead of letting their heads drop, RPV equalized a couple of minutes later when James Kay excellent pass found a
flying Tom Barge on the right wing. His inch perfect low cross into the penalty
box was met clinically by centre forward Marco Torino.
Buoyed by being on level terms, the next significant Vale attack saw a combination of Mark Townsend, Anthony Vine and
a flying high boot from the Reading Centre Half win RPV a penalty. I think it took Anthony a couple of minutes to try and
find his head again, but once he was ok, top scorer Torino sent the keeper the wrong way with a perfect spot kick into the
bottom left hand corner.
Back up the other end, a Town free kick into the Vale penalty area was missed by 7’ 12” Ed and the loose
ball was headed back into the six yard box by a Reading player. Luckily Danny Stevens reacted quickest, cleared the danger and spared the goalkeepers
Park were then forced into a substitution when Vine, still feeling the
effects of his penalty win, was replaced by right winger Marc Skinner.
Towns Number 9 managed a shot on target, easily saved by Ed and Readings
11 decided that Senior Ball Boy Paul Armour needed some exercise by shooting over the bar and out of the ground. Towns 5 tried to make amends for his penalty faux pas by attempting a header on goal from another corner,
but his effort passed the post by a couple of yards.
So, after a slow start Vale were now going into the half time break with a 2-1 lead.
There was a totally different start to the second half as substitute Marc Skinner skipped past a dithering Town defence,
but his shot cleared the bar. Vale were not to be denied though as in the 48th minute a strong Marco Torino run
down the right hand side saw him feed Skins even wider. Roasting his opposing full back, he cut towards the bye line and sent
in a low cross towards Greg Levene about 8 yards out and with a fluke/accident/magnificent piece of skill he struck the ball
into the Town net with a back flick. Three-One and frustrations got to Towns
number 5 as he joined a previously booked Vale’s Barge in the referee’s notebook.Town pressed forward and caused
more panic in the Vale defence as they hit the bar from another corner, but they weren’t to be denied and they reduced
the arrears to 2-3 when the rebound was smashed home by the afore mentioned centre half.
Reading were now going for an equalizer, but their left back panicked in a promising position and luckily air shot
and a Town free kick passed Ed’s left hand post.
72 minutes and Vale countered as Levene threaded a ball to Torino and although the
keeper fumbled the first shot his second save saw the ball fly past his post. Vale
and Town brought on a substitute each and Marco was booked for an innocuous challenge.
Danny Stevens cleared another Town cross and Lee Cox made his first contribution to the game by being booked as well. With five minutes to go, a great spot by the linesman and the hordes of Vale supporters,
saw the Reading keeper handle the ball out of the area attempting
a boot out. Coxy blasted a great free kick, but the Town keeper redeemed himself
with a fantastic save to tip the ball over the bar for a corner. Nothing came
about, but two minutes later a Town defender came to the rescue of his keeper as pressure from Darren Dobinson saw him play
in Marco, but he failed to get to get his hatrick.
Reading made a last desperate attempt to get an equalizer, but a couple of clearances from Mark Townsend ensured
the points went to Merton’s finest team.
Grand Drive 11 April 2007
Team:- Cornwell, Williams, Dobinson, Stevens, Townsend, Vine, Barge, Kay, Torino, Skinner,
Knowleden, Subs:- Turner,
(Skinner) Cox, (Williams)
Officials:- Shuan Scott, Les Johnstone, Roy Pigden
We were pleased to welcome
our visitors for the return fixture only a few days after Merstham triumphed 2 – 1 at Moatside.
Both squads showed 3 changes
in personnel from the first encounter, with Vale looking to reverse the result and Merstham chasing the 3 points to keep them
in touch with Chipstead and Wembley in pursuit of their championship ambitions.
The early exchanges were
in Vale’s favour with Merstham’s reply,a free kick which came to naught.
Vale continued to press
and Gary’s cross only just evaded Marco’s lunge only for Vale’s dominance to be shattered when a shot cum
cross was turned in at the far post by the unmarked Kevin Locke. (15 mins)
It was an entertaining
affair with both sides moving the ball around well on the excellent surface although some of the mainly Merstham supporters
remained less than impressed possibly because Merstham were not having it all their own way.
Vale maintained a degree
of control with Antony just too high with a cross, Kay’s long pass only barely evaded Skins when well placed, a long
range shot from Marco was easily saved, followed by a cross frm Antony
just behind the attackers.
Merstham replied with
a long throw into the box which was skied over from close range much to the relief of the Vale faithful.
Vale finished the half
with a fine cross to the unmarked Antony who headed over with
the final action Marco firing across the face of the goal.
Vale felt hard done to
to be facing a 1 – 0 deficit at the break
H.T. 0 – 1.
Merstham drew first blood
in the second half when Dan Stevens firstly blocked then cleared off the line which set Skins free but he dragged his shot
across and wide.
Merstham had another header
over the bar.
Skins was replaced by
Nathan Turner after 70 mins. Vale broke again but Gary’s
cross was blocked.
In response Merstham increased
their lead with two pieces of outrageous luck when firstly an attempted cross was shanked to the only Merstham player in the
box who shinned his shot through s a defenders legs and the ball bobbled home past an unsighted Ed.
A fine run by Marco finished
by a cross met by Antony but wide of the target.
Merstham substitute shot
well over with ten minutes to go and the game as flat as a pancake Cox was introduced for Williams exchanging a long throw
for long passing ability.
Surprisingly it was not
a free kick which brought Vale back into the game but a long throw won in the air by Turner and finished by Marco’s
header 1 – 2 after 87 minutes.
Vale tried everything
to get back on terms, a long free kick from Cox was headed tamely into the keepers arms. A long range shot from Tom Barge
was well over with a similar result when Turner made a super break and squared to Gary who blazed over.
The final action and chance
came when Marco’s knock down was launched into the French
School by Danno in a typical defenders fashion.
Vale failed to get anything
out of the game but not for the want of trying with MOM Marco leading the way, covering every blade of grass and maintaining
his rich goalscoring form.
Godalming Town Res
Vs Raynes Park Vale Res
Wednesday 10 April 2007
Vale Line Up:- Eldergill, Fernandez, Forsyth, Sparkes, Ennis, Gajree, Harkness, Botchey,
Heuston, Hasa, Agyeman, Subs:- Green,
Power, Trefry, An,
Officials:- B Funnel,
T Beard, D Osborne
Only a few changes a couple
on the bench when players were late arriving including Trefry who couldn’t read the tom toms, perhaps he should have
requested smoke signals to get him to the ground !!
We welcomed back Ajay
from first team duty and Lawrence Ennis from a sabbatical from now until the end of the season.
It seemed the game had
only just started when Martin Forsyth went down in obvious pain when gesturing for assistance the minute it happened, his
knee cap popping out then popping back in.
He was carried into the
dug out where he spent the rest of the game being molly coddled by the attractive physio feeding him chocolate bars and strong
sweet tea, surprised she wasn’t peeling grapes for him.
We immediately replaced
him with Trefry who was keeping an eagle eye on the wounded soldier and his attendant nurse Florence Nightingale.
The game itself was played
on a very bobbly surface with neither side coping with the conditions particularly well although Ennis showed what we had
been missing by sweeping up everything they threw at us.
In attack every time the
opportunity arose Aaron flew past their defence although the final ball was not always of the best.
Hasa and Heuston combined
quite well considering they have only played together for 30 minutes or so.
Marcos was struggling
to impose himself in the centre midfield as the ball consistently bounced higher than he could jump and he could not get close
enough to control it on the full and he eventually requested to be withdrawn with Power coming n in his place.
Gajree had been winning
headers in midfield until he suddenly sprung forward to collect a beautifully weighted through ball to guide it past the oncoming
An replaced Botchey with
Hasa playing a more withdrawn role.
Godalming with nothing
to lose maintained a spell of pressure on Vale who defended well. Chris made one magnificent save to his top left hand corner
to keep us in the game. Vale caught them on the counter with Heuston, Agyeman and An a going close on breakaways with a little
more steadyness with only the keeper to beat should have made more of the chances presented.
Someone suggested the
official was a Simpson, meaning Homer presumably as we hardly had a decision all night when the only card was brandished for
kicking the ball away when he could easily have looked away and checked if more than two were standing in the dugout or other
heinous crimes which were the only ones penalized.
The MOM was undoubtedly
Lawrence Ennis who barely put a foot wrong all night.
Colliers Wood United
Grand Drive 09 April 2007
Team:- Cornwell, Reid, Dobinson, Stevens, Townsend, Vine, Barge, Kay, Torino, Turner,
Levene Subs:- Cox, Gajree, Williams, (Dobinson)
Vaughan, (Reid), Skinner (Turner)
Officials:- Gavin Collins, Sylwia Czarnecka, Richard Harris
We were pleased to welcome
our local visitors for the Derby match which is always fiercely
Vale inevitably had changes,
one of which was to see Dobinson return on the left with Ashley reverting to his more natural right back position.
The initial decision was
offside against Turner when the ball arrived , hopefully not a sign of things to come.
Kay only just returning
to the side demonstrated rustiness when his first two intended shots were both horrendously wide.
The first CWU attack on
10 minutes almost cost a goal when Cornwell fumbled directly to an attackers feet who somehow construed to fire wide from
point blank range unmarked at the far post.
The next attack almost
cost another goal when Ed called but was beaten to the ball at the near post by an onrushing player who headed wide.
Having started comfortably
Darren regrettably had to leave the field with a facial injury after an elbow to be replaced by Williams after 33 minutes.
Vale managed to get back
into the game when first Ashley’s cross across the face of the goal was missed by 4 Vale players followed by an almost
identical situation this time from Turners cross.
Neither side seemed to
notice that both sets of forwards were considerably quicker than either defensive units and failed to get balls over the top
although both defences were better in the air with Townsend in particular dominant for Vale.
Nothing constructive from
the Vale to utilize the pace of Marco, Gregg, Tom, Antony
Defensively we continued
to look nervous with another call of away and another header past the post followed by 2 weak shots easily collected by Ed.
Territorial and possession
advantage all with CWU with yet another header wide again thank goodness before a totally unexpected, unfortunate and involuntary
slice into his own goal by Jon Dale left Vale with an undeserved half time lead.
Second half opened with
another CWU attempt wide with Vale still looking at sixes and sevens with the need for someone to put their foot on the ball,
settle and play football.
A win and cross from Kay
was well collected by their keeper before Skinner replaced Turner after 57 minutes.
Yet another breakaway
left a forward clear but surprisingly fired wide.
Antony Vine was showing
his appetite for the fight and won a free kick on the edge of the box which eventually led to a Kay shot going wide, surely
A needless free kick conceded
on halfway but poor delivery easily dealt with .
Ashley hurt in a collision,
probably dislocating his shoulder to be replaced by David Vaughan who has been playing well at the back and slotted in without
disturbing the formation which is important when under pressure as Vale were.
Scrappy period of play
ensued with neither side dominating.
A series of long throws
helped switch the pressure by advancing down the touchline from one end to the other with the final one into the box flicked
on by Dan Stevens which was deflected onto and over the bar from close range with nothing from the resultant corner.
Vale continued to give
the ball away and can consider themselves lucky that CWU had left their shooting boots at home after yet another effort went
In a fully contested game
Barge was unfortunate to be booked when pulling out of a full blown collision only to unintentionally trip the player in full
flight who tumbled quite spectacularly.
CWU and Vale players left
the pitch wondering how this game had ended in a 1 – 0 scoreline but that’s how it happens sometime.
MOM No one deserved that
accolade in a mediocre performance all round.
Tonbridge Angels Res V Raynes Park Vale Res
Saturday 7 April 2007
Vale Line Up:- Eldergill,
Fernandez, Forsyth, Sparkes, Harkness, Nelson, Power, Trefry, Heuston, An, Agyeman, Subs:-
Hasa, Brenen (Snr).
Only the nine changes
due to first team call up, injury and players returning from injury.
Vale struggled to field
a side for their longest away trip with problems of availability and holidays so it was a welcome back to Chris in (rush)
goal venturing to tackle on the half way line shame he failed to make contact and the Tonbridge Angel was wide with his speculative
The conditions were more
suitable to cricket and Vale played at quite a high passing tempo against a side who use the long ball consistently which
thankfully never troubled the Vale defence who coped successfully with any route one attempts.
The half concluded to
a scoreless finish with neither side really troubling the respective keepers.
Aaron Agyeman had terrorized
their defence in the first half and they removed the full back at half time.
Chad was showing neat skills and hold up play supported by the ever enthusiastic
Paul An up front.
Aaron Nelson never really
got into the game after a heavy first half tackle left him limping with Enver Hasa replacing him after Lawrence Power put
us ahead with superb control and finish from Chad’s
Hasa had only been on
the pitch for seconds when he was put clear only for his touch to desert him and allow the defender to retrieve the situation.
The very next attack left
him in an even better position only for him to hit the inside of the post and Paul An from 2 yards hit the outside of the
same post with the rebound being cleared.
Paul An was suffering
with cramp and with hindsight should have been replaced by fresh if old legs and a wise defensive head as we lost shape and
fatigue began to show with their lively substitutes giving our tiring players a
torrid time as we lost concentration.
The last quarter plus
10 minutes added time saw Vale under the cosh with defenders suddenly missing headers they had gobbled up all afternoon. Chris
made at least four last ditch saves with hands and feet but must have been as disappointed as the rest of the team to concede
two late goals which was never deserved after running themselves into the ground when even the opposition agreed we deserved
It was therefore typical
of the day that Paul An confirmed it was just cramp which he blamed on playing for his Korean side this morning and yes he
has several players of his standard available to play if needed, the coaches’ already thinning hair was further depleted
on this news!!
We didn’t remind
Tonbridge of their previous fit of pique when losing to the Vale at home when they left without a word, leaving their sandwiches
untouched something for which the Vale cannot be accused as we cleared the food and were the last to leave the bar showing
the correct attitude in defeat even if we didn’t deserve or like it.
MOM 11 closely matched
candidates but by a whisker Chad Heuston for a tireless all round display.
Raynes Park Vale v Wembley
Vaughan, Reid, Stevens, Cox, Williams, Vine, Barge, Torino,
Subs:- Harkness, Townsend (Reid) Heuston (Vaughan) Trefry
The only change was Antony
Vine ‘s return replacing Gregg Levene who had been carrying an injury.
The formation also changed with Marco playing up front on
his own. It was suggested that this may bolster the midfield and defence with a goalkeeper and nine assorted players in front
what we got was a disjointed performance with everyone uncomfortable with either their position or the formation.
Statistics were probably more interesting than the match.
The pitch looked a picture when we entertained one of the
leading teams in the league who were surprisingly exactly as the squad which was sent well in advance which suggests they
were a settled side.
Vale succumbed to the first attack, 9 finishing emphatically
after 5 mins.
Vale’s reply was to exert some pressure when three
long throws in a row created problems for Wembley but their goal remained intact including one cleared off the line.
Second attack, second goal knocked home by the unmarked
7 which begs the question where were our 9 protecting the goalkeeper after half an hour.
Two further long throws continue to trouble their defence
with a scrambled clearance maintaining a clean sheet.
Third attack, yes you’ve guessed right when the 9
converted his second opportunity when netting unmarked at the far post which begs the question where were our 9 protecting
the goalkeeper after a further 8 minutes.
3 – 0 down at half time with a 100% conversion rate
suggests the second half may be no better.
The apparent half time talk involved immediate changes with
both full backs being replaced by a defender, Townsend and an attacker in Chad
Vale looked in better shape and perhaps improved luck when
the opening move of the half saw the Wembley finish well wide of the target, calamity only 80% conversion rate!!
Now here’s a surprise, another shot, another ….
(fill in the missing word) which boosts the conversion rate back up to 84% on 55 minutes.
Vale were at least now showing some attacking ambitions
and the best move of the game saw Chad
finish clinically after 56 minutes.
Another long throw was headed clear only as far as Knowleden
who volleyed only just wide.
Vale were unlucky when they failed to force home a corner
after three blocks on the line before it was scrambled for another which was cleared this time.
A quick free kick was on target from Vine and another weakly
taken free kick by Gary still had their keeper in difficulties
before he finally collected.
Vale continued to press and were awarded a penalty for holding
after the ref had warned their player but a well struck effort by Marco was splendidly saved by the keeper low down only to
be matched by a flying dive into the top corner from another terrific shot by
Their stats changed yet again when a further three shots
all failed to score to give a lousy 44.4% conversion rate.
Men of the Match were the “3”rd team who managed
a game without a single booking with sensible decisions from all three who contributed to a decent game of football.
MOM for Vale was Marco for his endeavour who never shirked
his responsibilities even though he missed the penalty.
Lesson learned. Don’t experiment against a top side
as we looked as good as them when we reverted to type.
Raynes Park Vale
Grand Drive 31 March
Vaughan, Reid, Stevens, Cox, Williams, Levene, Barge, Torino,
Gajree, Knowleden Subs:- Harkness (Barge)
Townsend (Stevens) Turner (Levene)
Ben Wright, James Cushen, Rod Van Niekerk.
There were 3 enforced changes from the previous squad,
who performed so creditably against Chipstead defeating them 3 – 2, this time against a team at the opposite end of
The changes were regrettably all in midfield including
the MOM from the previous fixture.
As your intrepid reporter missed the first half the description
of the initial phases are all heresay or should that be heresy.
We apparently opened the scoring on 15 minutes Thomas
Barge on debut returned a rebound from the crossbar into the net after good work by Gregg Levene who swivelled and volleyed
onto the bar for Thomas to complete the good work.
Bedfont replied with a justified penalty with Vale thinking
they had retaken the lead when Dan Stevens headed home but the goal was disallowed for a collision with the goalkeeper after
Their keeper was shown a yellow for raising his hands
and at least the ref was consistent when giving another yellow card for another assault by the keeper making a red and an
1 – 1 at half time with little to comment on other
than the gale force wind presenting an even worse spectacle for the spectators than usual.
Vale went 2 – 1 down at the start of the half when
a half hearted cross was not attacked by the several defenders in attendance and was touched home for his first goal for the
club much to the delight of his father if no one else.
As there was little to report of interest I allow myself
the opportunity to criticize the application of the playing advantage rule.
It invariably happens that both teams seek to impose themselves
in midfield which means the commit initial fouls in midfield without censure and generally the advantage does not accrue but
breaks down in the second phase so no real advantage has occurred.
The referee then doesn’t know who committed the
foul so the culprit gets away scot free. Give me a free kick in the centre circle any time issue a yellow card and then be
consistent and continue to clamp down on tackles rather than failure to retreat 2 metres from the ball at a throw in.
Two further incidents annoyed me, once when a player was
barely a yard into our half but flagged offside but the ball ran through to the goalkeeper with a play on signal, how can
that be to our advantage when we have a dead ball specialist who can deliver the ball from the halfway line into their box
whereas the keeper can only launch it with the result a lottery.
In the final moments Vale were on the attack at the edge
of their box when the play was stopped for an injury in the box which was attended to. The referee then gives them the ball
to return to the Vale which they do by booting the ball the length of the pitch not back to the position when the play was
I am sure that commonsense should prevail otherwise you
can see why teams will cease to put the ball out of play when they realize they will not be the beneficiaries of the stoppage.
After the Lord Mayors show against Chips this was indeed
poor fare to serve to the hardy souls who watched this return to Vale’s Jekyll & Hyde performances.
Raynes Park Vale 3-2 Chipstead
Grand Drive 28 March 2007
Team:- Cornwell, Vaughan, Reid,
Stevens, Cox, Vine, Levene, Kay, Torino, Dobinson, Knowleden Subs:- Williams (Vaughan) Townsend (Cox) Turner (Levene)
Officials:- Vince Penfold, Mike Stevens, Rod Van Niekerk.
There were 5 changes from the previous squad, how many were enforced and how many were selections remains
with the management.
From the sidelines it certainly appeared some square pegs were sitting uncomfortably in round holes.
We were entertaining our local rivals from Chipstead who are runaway leaders in the division at a time
when recent results suggest a minor wobble in their performances.
Vale opened brightly without troubling the Chips keeper and surrendered the opening goal on 25 minutes
when Oakins somehow unmarked in a penalty area full of Vale defenders fired home a cross from the right.
Chipstead retained supremacy when a needless free kick conceded on their left was met with an unchallenged
header six yards out but contrived to miss the goal.
Vale got back into the game when Dave Vaughan from right back found himself wide on the left, fed a
lovely pass inside where the defender tripped Gary for a penalty.
Although the referee made sure there was no encroachment he ignored the defender who committed the offence
to adjust both socks, retie both boots without comment before Marco smashed the penalty home just inside the post into the
side netting, suitable result after the delaying tactics.
Vale then committed the cardinal sin of losing concentration from the kick off, having regained possession
returned the initiative with a poor pass back for Ed to be beaten from the bye-line although to his defence those in the near
vicinity did say it was a superb finish instead of the gaffe it appeared to be from the other half, didn’t realize she
Vale continued to fight for the equalizer in the last five minutes in the half and it was pleasing to
see Coxy has not lost his range of passing and the defence in general defended tenaciously against some lively forwards.
In midfield Darren and Gary combined well on the flank with Kay returning to some form which has been
missing recently. Antony as usual carried the Duracell batteries
and was lively all over the pitch.
The front two of Marco and young Gregg Levene challenged for everything with Marco doing well in the
air and Gregg feeding off him.
2 – 1 at H.T. was probably a fair reflection of the first half.
Vale were busy in the second half and looking the more likely to score particularly with the introduction
of fresh legs of the three substitutes.
Marco fired wide when clean through on 70 minutes and it looked like the opportunity to get something
from the game had gone.
Chips had their only opportunity to put the game beyond reach when a free kick over the wall was only
just wide, but was ordered to be retaken for encroachment. This time a missile was heading for the top corner until Ed intervened
with a double fisted block to safety.
The game continue at pace right until the death when a cross from our right was met with a crashing
volley by Gary Knowleden giving the keeper no chance, a timely equalizer on 90 minutes.
Vale continue to press and with the benches and spectators calling for time Nathan Turner scored a spectacular
winner with an overhead volley a fitting end to a pulsating game with Vale happy with the finish although Chips probably deserved
MOM Antony Vine for his infectious enthusiasm
to compete and challenge all over the park.
Raynes Park Vale Reserves Vs Molesey Res
Saturday 24 March 2007
Vale Line Up:- Skinner, Toulson, Stones, Townsend, Sparkes, Barge, Williams, Gajree, Forsyth, Fernandez, Power, Subs:-
Trefry, Turner, Torino.
The reserves showed 5 changes from the selection on Thursday with a further 5 after the first team game was postponed
last night, a factor which had regrettably not been notified to the Soccer Supremo, Kit man and general dogsbody who was sorting
the kit early doors before being suitably advised by Mr Till the kit was not required with several blasphemous comments from
Smithy demanding the immediate re-instatement of Paul Armour as the Secretary.
Vale were seeking to overturn an early season reverse at Molesey and felt we had a strong chance with the squad on
We welcomed back young Adam Skinner in goal with a stronger back line in front of him which would hopefully give him
greater cover than his 7 goal debut concession!
It was with some initial concern that we watched the keeper play rush goalie fortunately without conceding and he did command his area well making a couple of excellent saves in both halves particularly
in the second period when foiling a forward clean through on goal when blocking with his legs.
The twin pronged attack who are both normally midfielders found it difficult to stay onside although they were probably
unfortunate to be on the wrong side of offside calls on several occasions.
Neither side looked particularly dangerous in front of goal and the 0 – 0 result set us up for a woeful England display and similar result.
The substitution of the front two by Marco and Nathan allowed us to push up on the attack although the offside count
continued to soar even though they were both strikers.
The final throw of the dice saw Trefry replace Martin with almost immediate results when he was left unmarked at the
far post a yard from goal before he completely mis-kicked and the ball was scrambled clear.
He was so annoyed at the chance going begging he could have kicked himself but he would have probably missed!!!!
MOM Stoner, although he could also have been a goal scoring hero had he not headed wide.
Epsom Ewell Reserves Vs Raynes Park Vale Reserves
Monday 19 March 2007
Team:- Eldergill, Sparkes, Toulson, Townsend, Harkness,
Trefry, Fernandez, Forsyth, Gajree, An, Hasa, Subs:- Green, Turner, Barge,
Only five changes, almost a settled side considering we
are picking from a squad of approximately 70 although many have fallen by the wayside since the sunny start to the season.
We always anticipate a cold and windy reception to Merland
Rise and we were not to be disappointed when we arrived to blizzard conditions which soon obliterated the markings delaying
the KO by 15 minutes whilst some hardy souls brushed the lines clear, not sure whether to thank them or curse them as we walked
out to play.
The temperature at KO had obviously risen as the snow rapidly
became slush making feet cold and wet!
We really needed a good game to keep us concentrating on
this fixture instead of wishing we were warm inside watching Chelsea or Man U.
The players competed well all over the pitch although the
standard of football was probably inferior to either FA Cup replay. We continued to watch and freeze until the deadlock was
broken when Epsom broke clear after a poor Vale free kick presented them with possession which was quickly dispatched into
the net giving Chris no chance.
Vale replied with a better free kick which was guided home
by Dan Green at the front post.
It looked like a draw until Epsom broke away again and clinically
finished with Chris a mere bystander. Epsom having a couple more breaks without a finish, with the Vale not learning from
conceding two goals in similar fashion whilst our more controlled passing tended to lead into dead ends.
Paul An has shaken hands with more people than the American
President which somebody may explain to him as he like many others sure as hell don’t understand me!!!
The third team were better than the two teams which helped
the teams play. We were disappointed to lose to a side well below us in the table but we performed considerably below our
MOM Chris Eldergill for a faultless performance at both
sweeper and keeper particularly under the conditions
Vale Reserves Vs AFC Wimbledon Reserves
Saturday 17 March
Team:- McCoure, Sparkes, Toulson, Townsend, Cox, Barge,
Power, Fernandez, Gajree, An, Hasa, Subs:- Green, Trefry, Dyer, Achene
After completing the double over local rivals Tooting it
was unfortunate that we had to make a total of eight enforced changes to the team which lined up against league leaders Wimbledon
seeking to reverse our early season defeat.
On a day perfect for football it was good to see Vale shade
the early exchanges considering the multitude of changes and lack of match practice for several players returning from long
Neither side created clear cut opportunities although our
young keeper did foil a one on one attempt when out swiftly to block with his legs after spreading himself bravely at the
Probably the best chance of the game fell to Marcos Fernandez
after good work by Paul An left him free 6 yards from goal but he was thwarted when Paul Smith brilliantly forced the ball
wide for a corner, a save Smithy senior would have been proud of!!
On the balance of play and the work of the two keepers Vale
probably deserved to nick it. Regrettably this was not to be when after two appeals for hand ball by AFC players the 9 was
left free to slot home when it was fortunate he was still on the pitch after elbowing Townsend in the face right in front
of the referee’s nose, (as well as Towners broken nose!!) who after a “War and Peace” lecture proceeded
to bottle it when producing a yellow card.
Considering the makeshift nature of the team Vale produced
a decent performance to make AFC look anything like the runaway leaders they are.
Several injuries occurred and it will be interesting to
see who is fit for yet another local derby at Epsom & Ewell on Monday.
MOM Sparksie wearing the captains armband with distinction.
Tooting & Mitcham Res Vs RPVFC Res
Wed 14 March 2007
Team:- Best, Sparkes,
Toulson, Stones, Forsyth, Scott-Lee, Williams, Fernandez, Green, Turner, Heuston Subs:- Jackson,
Barge, Cox, Gajree.
After a fine win on Saturday
at Horley changes were only necessary due to availability, Chris was replaced in goal by a debutant, Paul Best, Toulson swapped
the first team bench with Ashley Reid, Nathan was reinstated after a mix up on meet times replacing the unfortunate Jackson
with Fernandez in for the unavailable Trefry.
The Vale were seeking
a double over their local rivals having won the early fixture 2 – 1 with a brace from Anthony Ashman.
Early exchanges were fairly
even before Vale broke the deadlock with a goal from a corner which eventually crossed the line from Chad Heuston’s
Vale were under pressure
but refused to wilt even though Mitcham held territorial and possession advantage.
The lack of games for
the Vale began to show with tired legs and cramp showing up in the first half!!
Rob Toulson was replaced
at half time after a fine display, even receiving the accolade of “great ball Rob” from the manager, something
never previously heard!!
Vale remained under the
cosh but continued to defend well particularly the debutant in goal who was exceptional shot stopping but also collecting
the ball cleanly in the air with significant punched clearances when necessary.
Vale increased the lead
when SSL laid a beautiful ball through to Turner whose finish was exemplary across the keeper into the far corner.
Tooting continued to dominate
the play but tended to lose their way by either admonishing the officials or arguing with each other whereas RPVFC were all
fighting for the cause.
Cox continued to deliver
long free kicks when frustrating Tooting by playing into the corners.
Tooting pulled one back
with about 10 minutes to go when a speculative cross from the left floated just under the bar into the far corner with everyone
Dan Green was replaced
by Dan Jackson who looked lively but the 433 formation proposed with Chad
in the hole behind the front two obviously needs some attention on the training ground before it becomes effective!!!!
Vale held out for the
10 minutes of added time to record the same result as earlier in the season.
This result with a win
double with the first team 3 – 2 at home to Camberley provided a fine night for the Vale.
Banstead Athletic 3-2 Raynes Park Vale
League Cup Quarter Final
Played at Merland Rise
Banstead progressed to the semi-finals of
the League Cup last night when they defeated Raynes Park Vale 3-2. A Paul Hunt double and a Marcus Campbell effort secured the win.
was a very open 1st half and Raynes Park opened the scoring in the 5th minute when Anthony Vine ghosted through the home defence
and slotted the ball past keeper Mark Rouse. We responded well and only 3 minutes later Russell Townsend played the ball through
to Paul Hunt who steadied himself and lofted the ball over the visiting keeper to level the scores. Half chances were created
by both teams, Banstead's Tom Jelley guilty of missing the best chance when he screwed his shot wide from close range and
at the other end Rouse made a fine save to push the ball over the bar.
The A's came out 2nd half determined to
take the game to RPV and in the 55th minute James Deacons sent in a delightful free kick towards Hunt who ghosted round the
back to slot home in to the roof of the net. Campbell scored
his 25th goal of the season in the 63rd minute when he latched on to a Hunt through ball and calmly placed past the advancing
keeper to make the score 3-1. Banstead made 3 substitutions not long after and were cruising on a 2 goal lead until the referee
gave a slightly controversial penalty in the 88th minute when it looked like defender Dean Gunner had won the ball. Marco
Torino stepped up to reduce the arrears and ensure the last few minutes were a bit dodgy.
United 4-3 Raynes Park Vale
at Youngs Drive
got off to the perfect start when from their first attack in the opening minute they took the lead. The ball was played around
neatly down the right before the ball came across to Paul Bonner, he picked out Matt Brunt who lifted the ball over the keeper
& almost out off play, but he somehow headed the ball into the back off the net. It got even better for Ash as on four
minutes it became two when a good run & cross down the right by Matt Brunt saw Adam Crittenden beat the defender to the
cross & head the ball past the Ed Cornwell. The first twenty minutes Ash dominated & could easily have scored more
than they did. Gavin Evans was presented with a great chance after a Paul Bonner pass had set him up but Gavin’s shot
went well over. However on 21 minutes Ash did get a third when a good ball by Karl Dallaway sent Adam Crittenden away, he
held off the defender before placing the ball into the net off both posts. Three nil down Raynes Park finally created n opening but the
effort went over. However this seemed to lift them & on 34 minutes they pulled a goal back when from a freekick Chris
Andrews fumbled the ball & Dave Vaughan followed up to slam the loose ball home. This goal lifted Raynes Park & they went close a couple
more times before halftime, the closest was when David Johnston had to head the ball off the line from a corner.
The second half saw again Ash start well & for some better finishing they could easily have gone further
in front. They did however on 55 minutes when a break down the left saw Raynes Park fail to clear their lines & when the
ball fell to Gavin Evans 20 yards out he turned the defender before leaving the keeper stuck to his line with a well placed
shot into the bottom corner off the net. The Raynes Park keeper then denied Karl Dallaway with a good save. Then came a turning point of
the game when Raynes Park had a player sent off for dissent, this seem to work in Raynes park favour as they now played some
good attacking football & pulled a goal back on 65 minutes. From an Ash corner Raynes Park broke quickly & the ball
was played up to Marco Torino, he held off Paul Bonner before lifting the ball over Chris Andrews & tapping the ball home.
Ash did at times use the extra man & made the Raynes Park keeper makes some good saves. Then on 80 minutes from a corner a shot came in from
a Raynes Park player, which beat Chris Andrews, but smacked against the crossbar, however Ash failed to clear & when the
ball was played back into the box An Jae-Chelil was left unmarked to head the ball home. Ash now looking nervous managed to
hold on to collect the three points.
Dorking 2-2 Raynes Park Vale
Tuesday 20th February 2007
Dorking were 1-0 down after 5 minutes to a Marco Torino strike, and it took the double
substitution at half time from the Chicks manager of Adrian Butler and Craig Duffell to spark Chicks into life, Butler doing
well to equalise early in the second half.
Dorking looked on top against a physical RPV side, but it was RPV who went 2-1 midway through
the half through Torino again, only for a great free kick from another second half sub, Danny Smith, to make it 2-2 with 15
minutes to go.
Dorking had the chance to take all 3 points in the final stages, but like Saturday were not
able to make them count.
The draw though does make it only one defeat in 8 league games as Dorking look to build on
their improved form on Saturday away at Bedfont. Vale are without a win in six matches and entertain Epsom & Ewell on
RPVFC Vs Godalming Town
Saturday 17 February
Team:- McCoure, Fernandez, MacFarlane, Brown, Sparkes, Botchey, Wood, Trefry, Wellman-Formont, Jackson, Forsyth, Subs:- Ashman, Turner, Couch, Barge.
Officials :- Barry Lynch, Paul Montague, Colin Greenway.
Once again Vale had several changes from last week which showed in the early stages where a lack of
cohesion saw Vale trail by two goals after 15 minutes.
Our biggest problem was locating a goalkeeper and we were fortunate to secure the services of a youth
team player from Tooting & Mitcham.
Vale gradually got back into the game when reducing the arrears through Martin Forsyth dispossessing
the full back and progressing along the bye-line only to see his shot ricochet off the post to Reece Wellman-Formont to net
his first for the club.
Regrettably Vale went further behind when Marcos Fernandez slipped when defending a cross from the
right allowing the winger to score with ease with a second opportunity available from a hand ball had significant advantage
Vale were obviously disappointed with the first half display and made two changes at the break, debutants
Barge and Couch replacing Botchey and Macfarlane
Vale immediately looked threatening with players supporting each other with Toby Couch impressing with
his positional play and defensive qualities.
Young Reece brought Vale back into the game when out-muscling a far larger defender to set up his strike
partner Dan Jackson for a tap in. Martin Forsyth brought us level and we had several opportunities to make the game safe but
tended to over elaborate in the final third but we accept the point hoping the lessons learned may improve our league position
over the rest of the season.
The three debutants, Warren in goal,
Toby marshalling the defence and Tom bringing support to the midfield all performed well which augurs well for the future,
There were several contenders for MOM but the skipper, Rob Sparkes who unselfishly plays where asked
had yet another outstanding performance not only to win this award but make himself front runner for the player of the season.
North Greenford United 3 Raynes Park Vale 0
An early Luc Kenny strike and second half goals from Jon Hill and
Gary Senior, secured a comfortable home win for North Greenford at Berkeley Fields on Saturday. Keeping a clean sheet was
particularly pleasing, the first since United’s 1-0 win against Cobham at the beginning of December, some eleven matches
ago. Unlike in recent performances, it wasn’t until the second period that the United team really began to assert itself
and dominate proceedings. Overall, the first half was a rather scrappy and bitty affair. On too many occasions, players failed
to retain possession and promising moves broke down more often than not. However, although Raynes Park at times looked the
livelier and more dangerous of the two teams, the visitors never seriously troubled United’s keeper, Josh Lennie. Indeed,
it was North Greenford who scored the only goal of the half, going in at the interval with an important cushion. The goal
came early, following some excellent work from United’s talented sixteen-year-old, Ross Ahir, a player gaining in confidence
with every game. From Ahir’s pass, striker Liam Chambers played a first-time ball through to Luc Kenny, and Kenny, keeping
his composure, neatly chipped the ball over the advancing Vale keeper, Ed Cornwall, to maintain his recent scoring run.
The second half saw a much better overall performance from North Greenford.
Striker Gary Senior, making a welcome return to the first team after being out through injury for over four months, came off
the substitute’s bench, and it didn’t take him long to add to his early season nine goal tally. On sixty minutes
fellow striker Jon Hill was played down the line and Senior, getting in front of the Vale defence in typical fashion, met
Hill’s lovely low cross to stab the ball with the outside of his boot past the bewildered Cornwall into the opposite
corner of the Raynes Park net. Two minutes later Senior returned the compliment for his strike partner, slipping the ball
through to Hill for Hill to hit a tremendous shot into the top left hand corner. North Greenford continued to control play
for the remainder of the game, playing composed and, at times, fast-flowing and attractive football, but despite efforts from
Lee Gritt and Richard Gell amongst others, the team was unable to add to its account. In the end it didn’t matter. The
club would be more than happy if the team can consistently produce solid performances like this in their remaining seventeen
Camberley Town Vs RPVFC
Saturday 10 February 2007
Team:- Eldergill, Ennis, Macfarlane, Harkness, Brown, Sparkes, Forsyth, Trefry, Ashman, Turner, Scott-Lee, Subs:-
Jackson, Botchey, Wood.
Officials:- Ian Hart, C Barnett,
The game against Camberley made
a welcome return to action for the reserves, with the pitch in surprisingly good condition especially after the rain we have
The Vale side showed 9 changes
from the early season clash at the Vale which the Vale won fairly easily. Camberley themselves had 8 changes though mainly
on the bench.
Richard did remind the squad
before KO that they were playing for their places with Gajree, Green, Heuston, Power, Reid, Toulson, Townsend and Vaughan
to come back into contention along with current members of the first team squad seeking games to improve match fitness after
suspension and injury as well as the new signings two of which made debuts from the bench today.
Vale soon demonstrated they were
up for it when Ashman broke down the left and fired a fierce cross into the box which caught Forsyth in the chest before he
could adjust to the pace and the ball went harmlessly behind.
The team seemed to settle quicker
than recently with everyone doing their jobs with the minimum of fuss each phase protecting the other with Chris virtually
untroubled throughout other than calling and collecting crosses with ease. Damian and Harky provided an athletic and stable
central pairing each looking competent in defence with the odd sortie forward.
Ashman and Turner were proving
a handful before Turner had to be replaced after a hamstring pull with Jackson
replacing him up top. Jackson looked positive from his introduction
obviously keen to demonstrate how unlucky he was to be dropped to the bench. He was unfortunate to see the keeper block his
shot when through one on one.
The midfield who had been solid
if unspectacular was rearranged at half time when Ennis withdrew and Botchey made his debut with Sparkes switching to full
back to allow Botchey to play wide right. We unfortunately didn’t see him
at his best as he tweaked a hamstring after a long lay off in his first effort to impress.
Trefry who was unfortunate to
be booked although predicted made way for Wood to make his mark in midfield.
Every player played his part
well with a MOM performance from SSL obviously inspired by his sister looking like he was skating on ice as he passed his
fullback at will particularly when setting up the goal after a fine move down the left saw him cut in along the byeline to
dump his opponent on his backside with a drop of the shoulder get in a neat cross to the near post where the ever alert Jackson
turned it home.
The ball was returned to the
middle for KO with the fullback still trying to untangle his legs to get back to his feet!!
All those who have not had a
mention Ennis, Macfalane and particularly Forsyth all played their part in an all round team performance.
Banstead v Raynes Park Vale
Cherry Red Records
Combined Counties League Premier Division
Saturday 13th January 2007
Played at Merland Rise
Vale Team – Cornwell, Vaughan, Dobinson, Stevens, Stones, Williams, Skinner, Vine, Heuston, Mosley, Knowelden,
Subs –Rogers, Fernandez, Forsyth.
Officials- Mike Argile, Danny Jenkins,
were not perfect but everyone was pleased that there was the prospect of some football at last, with the Xmas turkey well
digested and a thing of the past.
starting line up was surprisingly similar to the first game early in the season with eight from each side participating again
although with some positional changes.
most noticeable feature from the start was the constant challenging of every
decision by the home side laced with a large proportion of industrial language without any rebuke from the referee.
was difficult to determine if turning a deaf ear to the cacophony was the wisest course of action or whether an early yellow
card may have nipped it in the bud however had this not had the desired effect the game would have been abandoned due to lack
sides were trying to play football but the final ball proved problematical getting away regularly on the slippery surface.
took a deserved lead when an attack down the left wrong footed Marcos Fernadez, who had only just joined the fray replacing
Adam Stones who suffered a dead leg, a fine near post cross was headed home by Russ Banyard.
had a glorious chance to go level when Chad
Heuston had the simplest of chances to side foot home into an empty net only for a defender to scramble the ball clear.
move down the left between Darren Dobinson and Gary Knowleden resulted in Darren being clear of the defence cutting in with
a choice of options only to choose I’ll hide the ball option by lobbing the ball over the fence behind the goal, totally
break down our right saw Banstead hit the post with Ed beaten, so although it should have been 2 – 2 at the half it
1 – 0
Rogers replaced Heuston his first contribution was to switch
play from the centre circle to our wide right where Skinner raced past the full back to deliver the perfect cross which was
thundered home by Dave Mosley for a deserved equaliser.
content with this Skinner decided to go it himself when he cut in and lashed the ball into the net from the edge of the box
to give Vale the lead and within minutes he almost made the game safe with a tremendous shot from the right again only for
the keeper to pull off a magnificent fingertip save which the officials gave as a goal kick.
then had a period of ascendancy when they pressurised the Vale goal and eventually scrambled home an equaliser almost on full
time to deny Vale a marginally deserved victory.
Skinner for his ten minute spell when he terrorised the Banstead defence. If Stones had not been substituted he may have been
MOM for playing like two men as Cossar swore blind he was still on the park in the guise of Dave Vaughan!!
Raynes Park Vale
v North Greenford United
Cherry Red Records Combined Counties League Premier
Saturday 18th November 2006
Played at Grand Drive
Vale Team – Cornwell, Gibson, Dobinson, Stevens, Townsend, Williams, Skinner, Kay, Torino,
Mosley, Knowelden, Subs – Vine, Frimpong, Stones.
Officials- Mark Williams, Terry Pickering, Steve
We were pleased to welcome our visitors
NGU who are particular friends of the Vale.
We are unsure of the condition of the
team because in preparation for the X Factor some of the players held an impromptu “Mastermind “ competition where
surprisingly Ed “Boffin” Cornwell was the star of the show on his specialist subject of doughnuts. Without missing
a mouthful he nominated the following, “honkin” crunchy cream doughy’s, NBA “dunkin” donuts
“haemeroid” ring doughnuts and finally “lucky bugger” jammy doughnuts.
Before KO Ed was seen to lay a minefield
of boffs to protect his area in anticipation of war games to come to frighten away his equally “Sychophant” (“sicko”phant,
a pachyderm engaged in heinous antisocial, immoral or illegal behaviour.) defender who added to the defences with his own
involuntary contribution to the mess. (by the way a pachyderm is any of various non ruminant hoofed mammals having very thick
skin, elephants, rhinoceros, or hippopotamus). Darren did not enter Mastermind as in the rules he was not allowed any passes.
The game opened to the cry of “Towners”
who only managed a flick on to one of their forwards who unmarked crossed to the far post where a call of cut it back was
heeded and the resultant pass was stroked past Ed from the edge of the area.
Vale were then lively for a spell and
Gary Knowleden stepped past several defenders before converting with a smart finish
NGU regained the lead when a nothing
ball over the top was chased down on our left, with Ed initially making ground to cover before spotting the mines and retreating
to his shelter only for the grenade to be hurled into the middle where the 10 headed from point blank range but Ed beat it
out for the 10 to return it to the net.
NGU went further ahead within 3 minutes
when another ball over the top landed in an undefended Vale half with Ed having an air shot leaving the 10 the simplest of
tasks to double his total.
Vale pulled a goal back with the best
move of the game when a sweeping diagonal pass from Kay to Gibson was controlled and despatched on the opposite diagonal to
Knowleden who controlled and fired home quite beautifully.
Whilst not wishing to single out anyone
in the defence it is apparent that when the central defenders call their ball almost without exception the rest of the defence
anticipate them winning the ball they all the take offensive positions without thinking they may occasionally lose it leaving
Ed exposed because we are gunning forward in kamikaze fashion and are unable to turn and recover. Is it not possible that
our defenders think first about defending then about attacking.
Once we regain the ball we have midfielders
and forwards who can hurt the opposition but even they make mistakes in front of goal which are soon forgotten whereas a goalkeeping
error is long remembered.
Gary Knowleden was in line for the MOM but I didn’t notice him leave the field after scoring presumably
in a direct attempt at jug avoidance and therefore instead made Steve Gibson MOM being the only defender to be absolved from
the defensive confusion.
Reserves 2-0 Raynes Park
The Vale have played some
of their best football in league cup competition over recent years but this disappointing defeat sent them crashing out of
cup at only the second round.
They visited Chipstead
seeking revenge after losing 2-1 at home to them earlier in the season, but received a sucker blow inside the first minute.
Straight from kick-off,
Chipstead moved the ball down the right and with Vale playing a high line, a through-ball found their winger in what surely
was an offside position. However, the flag stayed down and with the defence motionless, the winger had time to pick his spot
from an acute angle.
Shell-shocked, Vale needed
to respond quickly but a combination of slack officiating and kamikaze defending nearly resulted in a second for the home
side. With the flag again staying down with Chipstead’s striker appearing an offside position, the defence recovered
well only to give the ball the away unnecessarily. It left a gaping goal for Chipstead’s onrushing midfielder 12 yards
out but a mixture of Ashley Reid’s good block, and a sprawling Chris Eldergill alleviated the danger.
It was a messy but entertaining
encounter on a pitch holding up extremely well considering the amount of rain over the past couple of days. For all the defensive
frailties, Vale were creating chances of their own. Chad Heuston, playing against his old club, twice got the better of his
marker but couldn’t make the keeper work as hard as he would have liked. Top scorer Anthony Ashman also had an opportunity
to equalise when he headed just wide from a Steve Scott-Lee centre.
If Vale were playing the
better football, Chipstead were playing to their strengths even better and they continued to stretch the Vale defence. The
high line wasn’t working and if the final ball had been better, Chipstead would’ve extended their lead.
Midway through the first
half and Vale had the right to once again feel aggrieved. A cross from the Vale right caused danger in the Chipstead penalty
box and a defender appeared to handle in the melee. With the linesman vigorously waving his flag for the infringement, the
referee waved play on much to the disgust of the Vale players. Having gone behind to a controversial opener, it would appear
the Gods weren’t shining on the men in blue and red.
Indeed, it got worse for
Vale on 23 minutes. A corner from the right was only half-cleared and allowed time and space to shoot, the Chipstead player
smashed in his shot which Eldergill got a hand to but could only deflect it into the top corner of the net.
Right on half-time, Chipstead
nearly made it 3-0 when their midfielder made a great break through the middle but with only the keeper to beat, he struck
the legs of Eldergill, who stood up well.
There were some heated
exchanges in the dressing room at the break and an overwhelming sense that Vale’s discipline had let them down along
with the officials. Despite some encouraging link-up play and good chances, Vale were failing with the basics, and, as a team,
not just in defence, were defending badly.
A resurgent Vale side appeared
at the start of the second half but Chipstead probably went up a gear as well. In contrast to the first half, chances were
few and far between and Vale lacked cutting edge in the final third.
When the likes of Scott-Lee
and Nathanial Achene did penetrate the Chipstead defence, their keeper was on hand to mop things up in confident manner.
Nathan Turner and Lawrence Power replaced Achene and Ashman midway through the second
half in a bid to inject new life into Vale but Chipstead’s defence was holding firm. Meanwhile, the home side was exposing
an increasingly stretched Vale backline and had chances of their own to make the game safe.
With around 10 minutes
of the game remaining, Vale came the closest they had come to scoring, and it was courtesy of centre-half Lee Harkness. His
free-kick from the right hand edge was delightfully floated over the wall but their keeper made an excellent save.
The final few minutes
saw Vale run out of ideas and Chipstead could have easily put the nail in the coffin with two of three clear cut opportunities.
FINAL SCORE 2-0
Chipstead held on for a
relatively comfortable victory in the end, helped by some dubious decisions, and on their second-half display, will be a hard
team to breakdown. As for the Vale, the much maligned cliché ‘a game of two halves’ is once again most apt. Time
and time again this season the final 45 minutes are in stark contrast to the opening 45 minutes, and there are various views
as to why this is happening. In my view, it starts from when the players turn up and in the hour build-up to kick-off. Everyone
needs to make sure they’re ready to perform as soon as that whistle goes, and it was again evident in this game that
that didn’t happen. It is also about adapting to certain situations quicker. The Chipstead pitch was narrower and slightly
smaller than usual, therefore Vale’s high-line resulted in bunched up play and areas which the home side could exploit.
In the second-half this was corrected and that threat was nulled. All in all, not a terrible performance by any stretch of
the imagination but a disappointing exit from the cup on a day that lady luck stayed at home.
Raynes Park Vale Reserves 3-0 East Grinstead
The Reserves returned to winning ways at Grand
Drive as they swept aside the leagues bottom club.
Having lost four in a row, it was imperative that Vale started brightly and a goal
after just 3 minutes set them on their way.
Chad Heuston was the provider as he swept in an excellent cross that eluded
Grinstead’s centre-half and Anthony Ashman was there to put away his 11th goal of the season with a low diving header.
Despite the early goal, it was Grinstead who were playing the better football and
they had the ball in the net three times within the first 30 minutes! Thankfully a combination of offsides and a foul throw
ensured Vale remained in front.
The playing surface was tricky through the middle so it was imperative to get the
ball into wide areas but all too often panic would set in and the players would resort to long balls over the top.
Midway through the first half Vale almost doubled the lead against the run of play.
From a set-piece, Steve Scott-Lee’s header was flicked on by Ashman just a couple of yards from the goal but it hit
the crossbar and bounced down on the goal-line, much to the relief of their goalkeeper.
One-nil is the way it stayed up until half-time and quite frankly, Vale were lucky
to go into the break leading. Too slow to the second balls, too many touches on many occasions and a tendency to go long too
often were Vale’s major failings.
However, the home side did improve on these frailties at the start of the second half
and the only criticism was the quality of the finishing. Martin Forsyth, twice worked himself into good positions but on both
occasions missed the target.
Dave Vaughn was suffering from a foot injury and was replaced by Marcus Fernandez
around the hour mark. The tenacious midfielder immediately got involved with some hard hitting tackles and also linked up
well with Ajay Gajree who switched the play effectively.
Vale went 2-0 up on 65 minutes and Lee Cox was the orchestrater. Cox showed his composure
on the ball with a confident run and pass to Heuston. The impressive striker managed to get his shot off and despite an excellent
save, Ashman once again showed his predatory instincts by poking the loose ball home.
A two-goal cushion against the leagues bottom club at home should have brought about
more goals and an air of confidence but Vale showed their shortcomings in killing games off. The referee also showed some
of his shortcomings when he gave the visitors a glimmer of hope by awarding them a dubious penalty. The excellent Scott-Lee
was adjudged to have impeded Grinstead’s winger on the edge of the area. However, perhaps justice was done as the penalty
kick was well saved by Chris Eldergill low to his left.
Vale nearly made the game safe and Cox nearly had a goal-of-the-season contender to
cheer about, Fernandez playing a corner to the edge of the box and Cox’s first time blockbuster superbly tipped over
by the keeper.
The game was put to bed, however, when five minutes from time, substitute Nathan Turner
finished off an excellent move, heading home from a Scott-Lee cross.
The full time whistle marked a long
overdue clean sheet, the first in 12 games, and a performance that was patchy in places but ultimately good enough.
Raynes Park Vale v Hanworth (League Cup Round 3)
Vale needed to open sharply against up and coming Villa and they did just that with Torino driving the keeper
Terry Buss in the third minute. Vale took the lead on 8 minutes when a super Knowelden cross from the left allowed Mosley to duck in and chip over the keeper for a fine finish. A superb cross from Mark Buss soon
after was not converted by Sidwell and a fine 5 pass move saw Mark Buss curl a shot just over. Vale were awarded a penalty
in the 19th minute when Knowelden was felled by Hare as he was about to shoot. The Villa defender was dismissed and Torino sent the keeper the wrong way. Dobinson had a fine cross cleared and some fine passing ended
with Torino missing an opportunity to extend the lead. Skinner saw a run and, then, shot parried behind and he linked up with
Mosley soon after to set up Torino but he fired over from close range. Gibson showed great quality to feed Mosley whose
eye for a pass was equally as good but Knowelden headed over from 12 yards. More fine interplay from Torino, Knowelden and
Mosley led to a fine clearance from Byron as half time approached.
Townsend popped up, itching for a goal, and a long Vale throw saw Terry Buss palm behind off a defender's
head. From the corner, Torino saw a header cleared off the line and this was followed by another fine block from the Villa
netminder. Gibson saw a shot blocked but Vine was alert to clear a flicked corner off the line. One supporter, down from Altrincham,
commented that the sending off had ruined the game but Villa were showing some character now. A 30 yard drive from Knowelden
was parried behind but Vale were caught napping as Pollard broke and drove inches wide of Cornwell's goal. Cornwell did well
to block a Pollard raid and thje Villa keeper did equally as well to deny Mosley soon after. Knowelden drove a 25 yard free
kick just wide following more dissent and Torino failed to convert a right sided cross following a good Vale break. Mosley
headed home from close range after good work from Dobinson and Torino but he was, rightly, flagged for offside. Dobinson did
well to slide in and clear a cross over the bar and Buss did well to deny Torino and Mosley from a fine run from Gibson. In
stoppage time, Stevens cleared a free kick over the bar but from the corner Pollard netted,
unmarked, at the front post before the final whistle sounded.
Vale man of the match - Marco Torino - a handful for the Villa defence
all night and who might have scored several times.
Report From Bedfont Green Website
Saturday 4th November 2006 Raynes Park Vale
0 v 2 Bedfont Green - Premier Division
|The Green in need of a win and a change
of fortunes forced their wishes to come true this week with a fine 0-2 victory over Raynes Park Vale. The home side probably
shaded the first 45 but on the stoke of half time a clever freekick by Jason Moore picked out Aaron King’s run at the
near post, the ball came down off the bar for Andrew Newbury to notch his first goal for the club. The second period saw Bedfont
grow in confidence and one of the clearest penalties ever seen (on JJ) not given by the assistant referee when the man in
the middle had whistle to mouth. The Green continued to press and with the back four of Lee Morley, Newbury, Jamie Read (!)
and Joe Taylor playing so well Vale rarely troubled Liam Stone’s goal. Moore was pulling the strings and JJ made it
0-2 on 75 minutes when Jamie Lee Smithers charged down the left wing to square for a tap-in. |
|Stand-in Management team of Oliver
Brooks and coach Kevin Finnerty were delighted with the three points and the performance of their patched up side following
injuries to regular sicknotes Millington-Lee and Paul Wilsher. Next up is Colliers Wood United at The Warren, another tough
match but this win will do wonders for confidence.|
Carshalton Athletic Reserves 2-0 Raynes Park Vale Reserves
Surrey Premier Cup Round 2
Raynes Park Vale reserves were knocked out of the second
round of the Surrey Premier Cup and condemned to a fourth straight defeat, but the performance was anything but disappointing.
The Vale were looking to improve on Saturday’s disappointing
defeat at Burgess Hill but were up against a side a division above them.
Vale started the game in a much improved fashion, albeit on a
pitch that allowed for free flowing football. Nathan Perrott and Martin Forsyth were seeing a lot of the ball on the wings
whilst Dave Vaughan and Lee Harkness were marshalling the defence in a confident manner.
There’s no question Carshalton showed glimpses of why they
play at a higher level, particularly when it came to getting the ball wide and switching play, and they had the better of
the opening exchanges.
Chances were few and far between early on but Carshalton’s
left-footed centre forward was clearly a danger. He took on the job of holding play up well and wasn’t afraid to take
players on, but to their credit, the Vale defence stuck to their task admirably.
The first real opening came midway through the first half. Carshalton’s
winger escaped the attentions of Andy MacFarlane but made placing the ball too obvious and Chris Eldergill was able to palm
the ball away from danger.
At the other end, Perrott linked up well with Ashley Reid before
a cross-cum shot had Carshalton’s goalkeeper scrambling it away for a corner.
Carshalton continued to dictate large parts of the play without
creating clear cut opportunities and that was largely down to two figures – Ajay Gajree , who was typically dogged and
determined in the challenge, and the Franco Baresi swagger of Vaughan who’s reading of the game was excellent.
A fair scoreline at the break and to the credit of the Vale players,
they weren’t content with their performance. Sloppy in possession and occasionally suspect holding a high line, Vale
knew improvement was necessary, whilst introducing Anthony Ashman and Nathanhal Achene into the game more was critical.
No changes were made at the break and Carshalton made a better
start to the second half but any pressure that was mounted came courtesy of the long ball. Vale withstood some tense moments
with Ashley Reid continuing to show what an important asset he is to the team.
Nathanhal Achene was replaced five minutes into the second half
and that allowed John Osunkoya a chance to impress in only his second game for the club.
As play continued to bounce back and forth in the midfield, Vale
grew in confidence and Carshalton’s composure was tested. Perrott continued to be Vale’s most dangerous attacking
player, frequently willing to take on their right back, but a final ball never materialised, much to the credit of Carshalton’s
The first goal to this match was always going to be crucial and
it was made all the more cruel by the fact that it came against the run of play. Vale’s high line had tempted Carshalton’s
forward line all game and after a slip-up by MacFarlane, their midfielder was in and finished neatly, placing the ball low
to the left of Eldergill.
One-nil down and clearly despondent, the next five minutes showed
Vale’s frailty and it almost led to Carshalton doubling their lead. After some good defensive work by Reid, Eldergill
picked up what the referee interpreted as a back-pass just 12 yards from goal. From the resulting free kick, Harkness took
one hell of a blow to the anus before a Carshalton player laced one into the far corner of the net. If Eldergill had been
slightly unfortunate to be penalised then Vale’s luck was evened out when the linesman spotted an offside infringement,
which could have only been for a player infringing the shot.
To Vale’s credit, they battled back and they did have a
couple of chances to equalise. Perrott continued to shoot on site and Gajree probably should have done better, placing a shot
straight at the keeper 18 yards out.
Steve Scott-Lee and Lawrence
Power came on to freshen things up for the final third of the game and they both made positive contributions.
However, it was Carshalton, who perhaps showed exactly why they
are a league over Vale, who got the second goal of the game. With the Vale defence stretched, Carshalton worked the ball from
the left to the right quickly and despite a good block from Reid, their midfielder hit the top corner from just inside the
area – a toe poke the away fans would call luck and the home fans would say clinical.
2-0 down with five minutes or so to go and the game was as good as over. Carshalton had a couple of opportunities to extend their lead but
Eldergill was able to turn them round the post. At the other end, a Vale corner nearly went directly in, but the referee adjudged
there had been a foul on the goalkeeper.
Perhaps a little cruel on Vale although Carshalton were probably
the slightly better team over 90 minutes, if only for fitness levels. It was a much improved performance on, admittedly a
much better surface than Saturday, and above all, a performance that 14 players worked their socks off for. Aside from fitness,
the one attribute this team needs to develop quickly is a belief amongst themselves. Too many times in recent weeks reputation
has preceded performance and games like this should illustrate Vale can compete with the best.
Burgess Hill Town
2-0 Raynes Park
Coming off the back of two defeats, Raynes Park knew this would be a tough fixture
if they were to reverse this trend, with Burgess Hill sitting second in the table.
Having played away fixtures at Lewes, AFC Wimbledon
and Haywards Heath among others, the team could be forgiven for expecting a slick playing surface against such an outfit,
but were instead greeted with a boggy marsh.
It was perhaps not surprising then, that the first half didn’t
offer much in the way of football. Both teams started with a lack of ideas through the middle of the park with the ball over
the top the preferred method of attack.
The first chance came the way of Burgess Hill when a snapshot
from the edge of the area was turned round the post from Eldergill, when the ball was perhaps going wide anyway. From the
resulting corner, Perrott had to be alert to head the ball over on the post from an excellent Burgess Hill header.
The reversal of full backs – MacFarlane to right-back
and Reid to left-back seemed to working well with both players looking accustomed to their new positions. Alongside
Harkness and Vaughan, the back four were successfully holding a high line but it was Town who had the first clear cut opportunity.
An attack down the right saw a floated ball to the far posted where an unmarked forward had time to bring the ball under control
and pick his spot. However, his spot was too close to Eldergill who was able to turn it round the post.
At the other end, Town’s goalkeeper was doing his part
to keep the Vale forwards interested. Aside from his rather shaky kicking, he inexplicably picked up a backpass that Vale
rather wasted just inside the penalty box.
Power and top scorer Ashman also had pot shots from
outside the box but it was particularly frustrating that we failed to truly test this rather nervous goalkeeper.
Town took the lead after 41 mins and from a defensive
point of view, they don’t come much worse than this. A simple ball over the top caused confusion at the back and Town’s
forward was onto it sharply. Despite strangled appeals for offside, the striker pocked the ball past the onrushing Eldergill
and put the home team in front.
The goal failed to spark either side into life and the rest
of the first half was rather forgettable.
The second half saw Burgess Hill replace goalkeepers with
an outfield player replacing the injured keeper. Despite Vale emphasising the need to get the ball down and play at half-time,
the words weren’t put into action, and it was Town who were causing more of the problems.
Vale’s high line was beginning to faulter and after
an initial mistake from Vaughan, he made an excellent last ditch tackle to deny the striker.
At the other end, Achene and Ashman were unable to create
any clear opportunities although a mistake by Hill’s centre half did present Ashman with a snapshot opportunity which
he put just wide.
After 52 mins, Vale received what would prove the knockout
blow. As Town broke down the right, a ball got cut inside and the striker let fly from just inside the penalty area. It clearly
hit Harkness’s hand but it was certainly unintentional. However, the referee took the point of view that the ball was
heading goalwards bound and awarded a penalty kick. For the second week running, the opposition gave Eldergill no chance in
the Vale goal.
Last year’s star striker, Nathan Turner, who has been
laid low with injury this season, replaced Achene soon after, and he soon showed his quality. Receiving the ball on the
left, a quick gink one way and a first-time shot saw the ball smash the crossball with the goalkeeper a mere spectator.
Vale did continue to mount the pressure with Perrott always
willing to dictate the play but it was Town who continued to have the better opportunities. Twice in the space of five minutes
saw Town in on goal and twice they were foiled by Eldergill.
Any sign of a comeback was halted in a moment of madness.
Power had taken a blow to the face and after verbally abusing the ref over the incident, he went off for treatment. The torrent
of abuse continued from the sidelines and the referee brandished the red card.
John Osunkoya replaced Forsyth on the right side
of midfield for his debut and he saw plenty of the ball as Vale tried to work the flanks. And on 86 mins, Vale had their
first shot on target as Perrott had a shot on the turn from a tight angle that the keeper tipped over.
But that was as close as Vale came to grabbing a goal and
two-nil was the way it ended.
Frustrations all-round for a Vale side that slipped to a
third straight defeat against a rather disappointing Town outfit. Once again penalty decisions didn’t go in our favour
– a dubious one was awarded for Town, whilst a similar handball at the other end was waved away. But, it would be rather
short-sighted if luck was purely to blame and the fact was that we had one shot on target against an opposition with a goalkeeping
crisis, tells its own story.
The match against Carshalton reserves in just 48 hours time
will be a stiffer challenge for the team but will represent an opportunity, and a playing surface that will be conducive to
a higher standard of football. (CHRIS ELDERGILL).
Colliers Wood United v Raynes Park Vale
Cherry Red Records CCL Premier Division
Wednesday 1st November 2006
Played at Wibbandune
Vale Team:- Cornwell, Gibson, Williams, Stevens, Kay, Vine, Agyeman, Mosley, Torino,
Dobinson, Knowelden. Subs - Townsend, Frimpong, Skinner, Heuston, Fernandez.
Woods and Vale fought out a frenetic match at a chilly Wibbandune. The home side took the lead
in the 6th minute when FLEET broke on the left, clearly two yards offside, and he slotted the ball
home with ease. Dobinson produced a fine run and shot before Vale levelled on 15 minutes. A quick break and the persistence
of Agyeman enabled him to square to MOSLEY, on his full debut, who scored from
close range. Agyeman headed over a fine Williams cross but the 3-5-2 formation from Vale was allowing a lot of space on the
flanks for Woods. Mosley provided a fine touch to Agyeman but he fired wide under pressure from Beard. Melloul provided a
cross that saw the Vale defence floundering. They didn't heed the warning in the 28th minute when Beard was allowed too much
time and his cross saw FLEMING head home unchallenged. This was harsh on Vale who were playing
well in attack. Vine provided the latest in a series of fine touches but the visitors fell further behind on 33 minutes. Fleet
fed McKay on the left and his cross was parried into his own net by Vale keeper CORNWELL. Torino,
as busy as ever, held up play well but lacked support and he fired over with no other option. McKay was booked for another
petulant kick out, this time on Agyeman.
The second half saw Frimpong replace Kay who had suffered an elbow in the face but was fit
to carry on. Fleet, McKay and Barnes linked well and Cornwell was brave in blocking at McKay's feet. Woods extended their
lead on 69 minutes. A low cross from Barnes on the left saw McKAY unmarked and he netted far too
easily. Torino headed home a Gibson free kick and was wrongly given offside. Barnes was booked for a trip on Gibson. Skinner
replaced Knowelden. The impressive Fleet produced a fine turn but shot poorly. Mosley, equally as impressive for Vale, showed
great strength to set up Torino but his shot was deflected over. From Dobinson's corner in the 80th minute, MOSLEY
forced the ball home at the front post. Heuston replaced Agyeman. Vale finished strongly with Skinner denied by Dennehy on
a one on one and Dobinson volleying across the goal where there were no takers. Vale Man of the Match - Dave
Guildford City Vs Raynes Park
Cherry Red Records Combined Counties League
Saturday 28th October 2006
Played at Spectrum Arena
Vale Team:- Cornwell, Gibson, Frimpong, Stevens, Williams, Agyeman, Vine, Kay, Torino,
Dobinson, Knowelden. Subs - Mosley, Skinner, Fernandez
Spectrum Arena is aptly named as the surroundings are gladiatorial with one side being terraced where the spectacle of warring
giants drawing blood for the baying hordes could be pictured, but not today as Vale sought revenge for a recent 2 –
0 Vase humiliation.
early arrival allowed for a pitch inspection which showed a very uneven surface with bobbles aplenty to come.
had obviously heeded the CCL and FA dictat on the proximity of alcohol to the pitch as they had managed to secrete it in the
Spectrum Centre a mere half tank of petrol away.
to say the spectators were few in numbers as the pitch is open with a running track separating them from the pitch which if
viewed from the terracing made the players look like Subbuteo figures or perhaps this was due to the small stature of the
game itself was a poor advert for the CCL with Vale dominating without exerting any pressure on the City goal and little in
return from Guildford.
game meandered along to about the 20 minute mark when a rare City attack resulted in a cross from the right being turned past
his own keeper by Gibson via the crossbar, knee, post, shin etc etc.
half time whistle brought welcome relief and the opportunity to take on a “Bovril” as is only right to enjoy at
a proper football match.
half time conversation revolved around potential changes for Vale with the objective of increasing the tempo and converting
any chances we were likely to create.
it was all three substitutes made it from the bench, newcomer Dave Mosley making his entrance after 70 minutes replacing Joe
Frimpong in a bold move to strengthen the attack with immediate dividends as Dave made his mark as a tenacious fast moving
forward with an eye for goal.
came on for Agyeman who was injured on 79 minutes in a like for like move.
who tried all afternoon had more success with Mosley in combination to net after 85 minutes which we were pleased to see go
in but the Vale were not finished yet with a winning goal from the debutant in an impressive performance which deserved the
“thumbs up” from Emperor Lee to his new Spartacus.
complete the day Marcos got on late for Vine who had as usual run himself into the ground.
Raynes Park Vale v Egham Town
Cherry Red Records Combined Counties League
Saturday 21st October 2006
Played at Grand Drive
Vale Team:- Cornwell, Gibson, Frimpong, Townsend, Stones, Williams, Agyeman, Vine,
Torino, Dobinson, Knowelden. Subs - Rogers, Skinner, Fernandez.
Vale took maximum points from this keenly contested match.
The visitors opened positively but lacked any real quality around the area. On 16 minutes, Marco Torino took down a high pass
and forced a fine save from the Egham keeper. Gibson did well to clear a lob off the line but the move was brought back for
a foul. Vale took the lead on the half hour mark. A fine through ball by Knowelden pick out Vine and he lobbed the ball over
the keeper and it bounced over the line off the underside of the bar. A good finish. Cornwell made a fine save from a free
kick and he denied Egham again following a loose pass in midfield. Vale continued to look threatening on the break but, as
with the visitors earlier, the final pass was a little short. As the rain began to fall, tempers became more frayed and the
Egham manager was sent off following a comment made to the referee, who was having a good game. Vale held on relatively comfortably
for three valuable points.
Vale man of the match Anthony Vine
(Terrier like in midfield).
The reserves lost 0-2 at high flying AFC Wimbledon. After some
early scares, Vale created chances of their own. However, they conceded in the first minute of the second half and never really
recovered from that.
Ash United v Raynes Park Vale
Surrey Senior Cup 1st Round
Tuesday 17th October 2006
Played at Young's Drive
Vale Team:- Cornwell, Gibson, Skinner, Stevens, Stones, Williams, Agyeman, Vine,
Torino, Dobinson, Heuston. Subs:- Rogers, Dyer, A.Brenen.
Vale were knocked out of the Surrey Senior Cup at the
first stage but the club will look upon this as an opportunity missed to progress to a possible big pay day. With so many
players missing for various reasons, the re-shuffled pack opened brightly with Steve Gibson catching the eye at right back
with his progressive runs and for the first 20 minutes, Vale looked to be heading in the right direction. Mitchell looked
to have been hauled down in the area in the 8th minute but the youthful referee said no and Andrews did well to block a Heuston
effort following a rapid run and cross from the lively Agyeman. A Stones slip saw an Ash striker sky over from close range
and Stevens did well do block another shot soon after. On 22 minutes the Ash 10 eluded Skinner and crossed for the experienced
Shaun Mitchell and he netted from 6 yards in fine style. Rose drove just over from 25 yards as Ash began to dominate a rather
disorganised Vale back line and, with Vale looking to turn around with just the 1 goal deficit, Dobinson hauled down an Ash
player in the area and Chris Rose sent Cornwell the wrong way for a 44th minute second goal. As with Saturday at Camberley,
Vale needed a quick response in the second half and Heuston put Torino in but Vale's top goal-getter prodded wide when a left
foot strike would have been more appropriate. However, on 57 minutes, the South African striker made amends with a fine close
range finish following a deflected shot and Vale looked to be in business. Cornwell made an heroic save from a deflected shot
and the Ash number 8 hit the bar as the home side looked to kill the game off. Dyer replaced Stevens (hamstring) and Rogers
replaced Heuston (far more comfortable having started a game). Rogers fed Vine and his pin-point cross found Torino unmarked
at the far post and his excellent volley was, apparently, clawed out by the keeper although many felt the ball had crossed
the line. On 86 minutes, an offside looking Mitchell rounded Cornwell to win the tie and Skinner was cautioned for his
protests. Torino, somehow, managed to head a Dobinson free kick over at the death and, once again, cup-wise, it was a tale
of what might have been for Vale. Selection may be interesting ahead of two difficult matches on Saturday for the club.
Vale Man Of The Match - Nick Williams (No.6) (
a fine display in various roles and beginning to look like the Vale lynch pin)!
Camberley Town v Raynes Park Vale
Cherry Red Records CCL Premier Division
Saturday 14th October 2006
Played at Krooner Park
Vale Team:- Cornwell, Vine, Dobinson, Stevens,
Stones, Williams, Skinner, Kay, Torino, Fernandez, Knowelden. Subs - Hewston, Rogers, Gibson.
Camberley Team:- Clayton, Dixon, White, Galvin, McGarry, Dadson, Cobbett, Bazen,While,Thomas,
Broadbent. Subs - Hoppitt, Stevens, Lance.
Vale succumbed to a heavy defeat on an uneven surface at Krooner
Park. The Vale cause wasn't helped by some strange refereeing decisions but it was a poor first half showing that did most
of the damage. The writing was on the wall right from the start when it appeared that some players may have had other things
on their minds. In the 11th minute, Cornwell was lobbed and the striker ran straight into him. The yellow card for the Vale
keeper would suggest some doubt in the referee's mind but Tom McGarry sent Cornwell the wrong way from the spot kick. Dobinson
volleyed wide after good link play with Williams and Cornwell turned an ankle over while retrieving a ball. Camberley extended
their lead on 39 minutes when Knowelden miskicked and swore at himself. The harsh free kick was headed home by an unmarked
Mitch While from 10 yards. Vale reduced the arrears 2 minutes after the re-start when a Knowelden pass was latched on to by
Marco Torino and he finished expertly. Any hopes of returning back up the M3 with anything were dented in a 6 minute spell.
While added a fine second with a clever finish on 58 minutes and 2 minutes later he finished equally as well when through
on goal. A clear offside was missed by a linesman and Stevens' comment to him resulted in a second yellow card, the first
arriving whilst questioning the free kick which led to the home side's second goal! Many players were slipping on the tricky
surface, including the Camberley keeper who suffered a similar fate to that of Cornwell, but Gary Knowelden finished
brilliantly on 68 minutes to give the score some respectability. The 10 men were run ragged in the closing stages as they
pressed for another goal and substitute Jamie Hoppitt lived up to his name to streak clear and net a fifth goal. Further comments
on the officials are not warranted here but will, no doubt, be reflected in any report the club choose to sent to the league.
However, to be fair, Camberley were worthy winners and Vale will need to re-group after two disappointing, and heavy defeats
Vale man of the match - Marco Torino for
90 minutes of endeavour in a lone role up front.
Vale Reserves v Chipstead
Suburban League South
Saturday 7th October 2006
Played at Grand Drive
Team:- Perrott, Reid, MacFarlane, Townsend, Stevens, Skinner, Gajree, Scott-Lee,
Power, Rogers, Ashman. Subs - Bristow, Fernandez, Fish.
Everything was set up for a fine day's football. Good
weather, a good surface and a strong looking Vale team. However, none of the four goalkeepers signed on were available so
Nathan Perrott deputised between the sticks. Vale opened brightly but the final ball was lacking to underline their dominance.
Chips attacked on the break when they could but Rogers and Skinner missed golden opportunities to open the scoring. Neither
linesman looked at ease with themselves and there were some shocking offside decisions for both teams. Jellow, the powerful
number 9 for the visitors, escaped punishment on several occasions for pushing and elbowing and the first half ended right
Chipstead took the lead on 50 minutes when Perrott spilled a routine catch and Jellow prodded
home unchallenged. Vale were level, however, within 2 minutes when a speculative shot from Ashman, who was about to be substituted,
flew over the head of the Chips keeper.
The pattern remained, with Vale dominating and Chips relying on the counter attack. Stone headed
a fine Rogers effort off the line and Vale had two perfectly good goals wiped out by a confused linesman who didn't, it appeared,
understand the offside law. Even so, Vale did enough to suggest a win but the left the field empty handed when Inikio Tobin,
a triallist from East London, netted following a quick break down the right as the game entered stoppage time. There
was no sign of the officials or the visitors after the game! No doubt they were in a hurry to watch the England game but a
courtesy thank you would have been nice. Of course, it might be that the comments from the bench, some of them justified, deterred
them but I find that most unlikely.
Vale man of the match - Ajay Gajree (solid and consistent in midfield).
Vale v Bookham
Cherry Red Records
Combined Counties League Premier Division
Saturday 30th September 2006
Played at Grand Drive
Vale Team - Cornwell, Cossar, Skinner, Stones, Stevens, Williams, Vine, Kay, Torino,
Fernandez, Knowelden. Subs - Hewston, Perrott, Power.
Vale went down to a disappointing home defeat against Bookham at Grand Drive. Vale opened brightly
however and almost went ahead in 10 minutes when Nick Cossar headed against a post. Vale's inability to convert
their obvious advantage and possession into goals was punished on 22 minutes when a Piercey cross eluded Busch and Vale keeper
Cornwell and went in off the far post. Vale tried to rally but the harder they tried, the more frustrated they became and
when Busch beat the offside trap on 45 minutes to score easily, it was clear that it might not be Vale's day. The second half
saw lots of Vale possession again with the visitor's playing on the break. Vine and Power missed chances before Gatford broke
on the right and scored cleverly to secure 3 much needed points for the promoted side. With several key Vale players out of
sorts, a week off may just sharpen up their minds a little.
Vale man of the match - Danny Stevens for a brave and battling defensive
performance just ahead of Marcos Fernandez and Anthony Vine.
The reserves gained an excellent point from their trip to much fancied Lewes. Vale conceded
two goals in a lively first half but Anthony Ashman continued his rich vein of form to score and keep Vale in it. Ajay Gajree
scored midway through the second half and there were opportunities for Vale to secure all three points as Achene and Fish
missed their chances. However, Rob Toulson was dismissed at the death for a professional foul and the points were shared.
Vale v Chessington & Hook United
Cherry Red Records Combined Counties League Premier Division
Wednesday 27th September 2006
Played at Grand Drive
Vale Team:- Cornwell, Cossar, Towse, Stones, Stevens, Williams, Skinner, Kay, Torino,
Vine, Knowelden. Subs - Cox, Fernandez,Ashman.
The visitors opened positively and aggresively and,
after a few scares, they took a deserved lead on 14 minutes when Terry Fennessy drove home in fine style on the left of the
area. For another 15 minutes, Vale struggled to get a foothold in the game but their persistence paid off on 35 minutes when
a corner was cleared into the path of James Kay who rifled an unstoppable drive into the roof of the net from 25 yards. Chessington
were faltering, their early pace setting appeared to take quite a bit out of them, but half time saw the teams go in level.
Little happened in the second half as united tried to take command but with less of the verve
they had shown earlier. On 63 minutes, Marco Torino drifted across the 18 yard line before driving home a peach of a shot
and two minutes later, Marc Skinner finished off a wonderful passing move down the right which exposed the visitor's deficiencies
for all to see. Towards the end, Torino struck again; all four Vale goals were well constructed. Marcos Fernandez had a goal
written off in harsh circumstances and the crowd, including a good group from Chessington agreed that the result was a fair
one. Vale may need to get out of the traps a little smarter on Saturday but there was, ever so slightly, a little something
about the performance tonight.
Vale Man of the Match - Marco Torino (Imagine another forward up there
Haywards Heath Town v Vale Reserves
Suburban League Cup
Saturday 23rd September 2006
Played at Hanbury Stadium
Vale Team:- Perrott, Sparkes, Reid, Vaughan, Harkness, Gajree, Knight, Fernandez,
Ashman, Achene, Wootton. Subs - Fish D.Brenen.
Vale progressed to the second round with a relatively comfortable win despite two late cry
offs and a serious injury. Nathan Perrott took over in goal and Vale were all at sea early on but the hosts failed to take
their chances. Gradually, Vale settled and the pace of Ashman and Achene was causing problems. On 12 minutes, Sparkes lobbed
the keeper and was checked by the keeper. Fernandez, expertly, converted the spot kick. Chances went begging throughout the
first half but no further goals came. The second half was pretty even but Vale, playing more on the break went 2 up through
Ashman following good work from Achene. It was all over 2 minutes later when Achene blasted home at an angle to the near post.
Palmer pulled one back before Wootton fell awkwardly and dislocated his knee. 64 year old David Brenen helped to see out time
after a 30 minute delay.
Vale Man of the Match - Marcos Fernandez
Vale visit Chipstead in round 2.
East Grinstead Town v Vale Reserves
Tuesday 19th September Played at East Court
Team :- Symes, Forsyth, MacFarlane, Reid, Harkness, Dobinson, Knight, Gibson, Ashman,
Gajree, Wootton. Subs - Dyer, Bristow, Nelson.
Vale came away from East Court with maximum points
but the home side will be kicking themselves for failing to turn their second half dominance into goals. On a beautiful evening
for football, and on a lush playing surface,Vale shaded the early exchanges but had to wait until the 33rd minute before opening
their account, when Anthony Ashman drove home following some poor home defending. On 43 minutes, Darren Dobinson finished
expertly from an acute angle but the Wasps pulled a goal back within a minute despite cries of handball from the Vale players
Despite a bright start to the second half, Vale's form
detereorated rapidly and only some last ditch clearances and some fine saves from Andy Symes in the Vale goal ensured Vale
climbed a little further up the Suburban league table. With a little better organisation and better player availability, Vale
could surprise a few sides this season, but they will need to improve on this form greatly!
Vale man of the match - Andy Symes
Reserves v Tonbridge Angels
Grand Drive 13th September
Team:- Pay, Reid, Sparkes, Cox, Toulson, Power, Fernandes, Knight, Earp, Ashman,
Dyer. Subs - Turner, MacFarlane, Achene
Rain arrived at kick off as Vale looked to consolidate their mid table position against a confident
Angels outfit, who appeared unimpressed by the surroundings!
From the off, Vale dominated and the visitors persistently struggled to clear their lines and
mount any attack of worth. Ashman might have headed a Dyer cross home as the Angels keeper looked to be lacking in confidence.
The home side's pressure paid of in the 23rd minute when an acrobatic effort by the lively Earp was deflected and looped up
over the keeper into the far corner. Vale continued to play with confidence and some good set pieces and corners went begging
before the half time whistle sounded.
The second half opened in similar fashion although Angels looked to exploit the defensive high
line of Vale. Cox limped off, again, but Vale had pace in abundance in Ashman and Dyer and the introduction of Turner and
Achene offered little respite. At times, Vale were guilty of over playing and three times, Pay denied the visitors breakaway
goals. An imposing presence indeed! Toulson continued to put his head where many wouldn't put their feet and Knight and Fernandes
held the midfield together well. Earp looked a class act tonight; his first touch a country mile ahead of anyone else on show
and the width of Power and Dyer posed enough problems and offered outlets which weren't always taken. The absence of Cox and
Toulson is problematical on Saturday, but Vale will pose a real threat to old foes Merstham.
Special mention to the referee who was more than competent, a rarity thus far this season!
Heavy rain and a pile of food (!) ensured a late departure from the ground by a happy band
of Vale faithful!
Man of the Match - James Earp
Chipstead Vs RPVFC
CCL League Cup
Tuesday 12 September 2006
Team: Cornwell, Vine, Towse,
Stevens, Stones, Williams, Agyeman, Kay, Torino, Dobinson, Knowleden, :- Subs Earp, Townsend, Brenen A.
The line up as above showed personnel and positional
changes from the side which lost to Chips 3 – 0 on Bank Holiday Monday.
Agyeman returned from injury to replace the injured
Cox, no surprise there then, Skinners ban saw Vine move to full back with Stevens coming into the back four. Knowelden and
Earp swapping a starting position for one on the bench.
Chips made even more changes introducing 5 new
faces and dropping 2 to the bench. which may have been due to held over suspensions from last season a la Skins.
The early exchanges were so shambolic defensively
for the Vale I actually thought I was back at St James’s Park watching Newcastle gift two goals to Fulham by failing
to mark from set pieces, when lo and behold we conceded a goal from a corner, though I was unable to pick out the “Whitish
Bramble” as there was nobody marking anyone, one down in 3 minutes does not bode well for the rest of the game bearing
in mind the respective starts to the season.
Vale eventually got into the game with Marco as
prominent as an oasis in the desert when surrounded by half the Chips team brought a ball down with his chest and volleyed
onto the crossbar with no contact on the rebound.
Danny Stevens had an unchallenged header from
a corner but straight at the keeper.
Chips attack brought a full length save from Ed
with the resultant corner being somewhat better defended.
Vale were having success down the left with both
Knowleden and Dobinson in sparkling form which they turned into goals firstly when Knowleden cut back a cross into Dobo’s
path whose take and finish was superb followed by Gary’s cross to the far post with a headed finish by Marco, Vale ahead
2 – 1 and deservedly so.
Chips stung into action with a well worked attack
brilliantly thwarted by a fingertip save by Ed.
Dobinson on fire against his old club nonchalantly
chipped the keeper to further extend the lead, shame he hadn’t as many old clubs as Tiger Woods!!!
The whole team were doing their jobs well from
back to front with Ed in inspired form and Marco giving their defence plenty to think about on the deck and in the air. The
one anxious moment for Vale occurred just before half time when Agyeman went down under a heavy challenge but fortunately
was able to continue after treatment.
3 – 1 at H.T.
We naturally anticipated that Chips would come
out firing on all cylinders after the break and it was fascinating to count down the minutes currently with 30 minutes gone
and no real alarms and we continue to give as good as we get.
Darren continues to work hard with no tricks just
clever touches which make him a highly influential player and infinitely more effective for the team.
Chips nick one back with ten to go 3 – 2
Aaron shows a fantastic turn of pace to bring
the ball out of defence but is stopped in full flight by a foul which sees him replaced by Earp who obviously had no time
to make an impact as the substitution took place on 90 minutes until a helpful ref gave him another 10 minutes to perform!
All the players can deservedly say they played
well and if they reduce the mistakes and maintain the quality then a better season beckons
M.O.M. All twelve but recipient on behalf of the
team Darren Dobinson.
Off home now after maintaining our proud tradition
of being last in the bar to see who we’ve got in the next round.
Reserves v Camberley Town
Suburban League South
Wednesday 6 September
2006 at Grand Drive
Team: Pay, Reid, Perrott, Townsend, Harkness, Sparkes,
Fernandez, Knight, Ashman, Peters, Dyer, Subs:- Trefry, Turner, Power, Ennis
Officials:- Steve Tyler, Steve Simpson, Ian Stemp
The game against Camberley eventually was arranged after a couple of
blanks when either there were no officials or Camberley had a first team fixture at home.
Initial indications were RPVFC were considerably quicker in the forwards
than Camberley were in defence.
Vale opened the scoring from a free kick from the left of the penalty
box taken by Fernandez to the far post where Ashman planted an unchallenged header into the net.
Vale added to their score when the Camberley keeper in an attempt to
clear had an air shot under pressure from Sparkes who calmly stroked the free ball into the net.
The referee was controlling the game like an under 10’s game by
a schoolteacher with little regard to the flow of the game but full of demonstrative signals and comments.
Just before half time Camberley reduced the arrears when Perrott at the
edge of the box lost the ball after an awkward bounce and the forward lobbed Dale to concede his first goal.
Vale continue to command and added two more one from Fernandez from a
cross he demanded to the far post sweeping home and then substitute Turner running on the diagonal to the left of the box
cleverly toe poked a right foot shot into the opposite far corner.
The Lawrence twosome were introduced, Ennis for fitness and Power for
match play and each performed well with Power in particular being very unfortunate when hitting a volley which the keeper
Everyone contributed to an all round performance but the M.O.M. was Townsend
for a sterling job in defence calling and winning headers at will and even making the odd sortie up-field when he could have
had a brace.
RPVFC Vs Dorking
CCL Premier Division
Saturday 2 September 2006
Team: Cornwell, Skinner,
Towse, Cox, Stones, Williams, Vine, Kay, Torino, Earp, Knowleden,:- Subs Dobinson Stevens,
Grout, Pay, Knight.
Several key personnel were unavailable today,
not players but the “Heartbeat” of the club with Vice Chairman Nigel “ Greengrass” Thorn on a have
it away day in the Yorkshire Dales although he felt unable to “Settle” wondering how life would go on without
The game was fairly even with the blustery wind
making it difficult for all the players.
The difference in taking free kicks was clearly
demonstrated when Cox delivered a precision ball over the top to Knowleden whose excellent cut back was planted high and wide
by Earp. Towse then totally overhit one out of play followed by another one into the wall, Pink Floyd greatest “hits”
now available on CD on the DT label.
Some quality passing particularly by Cox from
the back and Kay and Williams in midfield gave opportunities to the front two of Earp and Torino but neither was unable to
convert until Marco flighted a cross into the top corner, of course he meant it!!
Regrettably Dorking were level within minutes
when poor defending left their winger with some work to do but he curled a shot into the far corner with Ed well beaten.
Cox was injured when an opponent accidently stepped
on his Achilles, if he didn’t have bad luck he would have no luck at all, replaced by Stevens though not like for like.
We continued to have the better of the play with
both Knowleden and Vine catching the eye, Gary with a beautiful take down and shot which was
deflected over and Antony latching onto a through ball from
Williams only to be denied twice in succession by the keeper.
The half time comments involved serious discussion
regarding Steve the “Supremo” Smith who was away with “Las Playas” in Tenerife leaving us with his
RPVFC ballboys “headed” by Jamie and Monty who finished the half one ball ahead, so we were able to inform SS
we were 1 – 0 up (balls that is) at half time but the score was 1 – 1.
Vine opened the second half by almost replicating
Marcos goal only to be outdone when a cross from the right held up in the wind and drifted into the top corner to put us one
down on 65 minutes.
The hirsute “Leprechaun” has still
to return from the Emerald Isle which means we should be fully staffed for next weeks game at home to Cobham. It was then
learned that Emil Harkness, no relation to “Pikey” had failed to produce his QPR season ticket in order to gain
half price admission to the ground, who says the Vets don’t contribute to the club!!
Changes saw Dobbo on for Skins and Knight on for
Williams. We managed a late equalizer when Stones thumped an unstoppable header into the net from a Kay corner almost repeating
the feat a couple of minutes later.
game passed without incident although Grouty was apparently on the wrong end of a spread bet on the result.
More disappointing was the split factions in the
two bars watching, “How do you solve a problem like Maria” with the others next door viewing “The X Factor”
what a set of sad bastards.
M.O.M. Kay for a decent performance which would
be enhanced when Agyeman regains his fitness as we miss his pace and goals.
Chipstead Vs RPVFC
CCL Premier Division
Monday 28 August 2006
Team: Cornwell, Skinner, Towse, Cox, Stones, Williams, Vine, Kay, Torino,
Earp, Dobinson :- Subs Knowleden, Ives, Fernandez.
Bank Holiday fixture which was not as well attended as anticipated considering the perfect excuse to
give the shopping a swerve.
Chipstead have had a considerably better start than the Vale although this was not apparent in the
A ball from Cox over the top released Vine but his far post cross to Marco was intercepted by the keeper.
A chip by Earp was narrowly over and a Cox free kick skidded just wide.
We then conceded a penalty which was easily converted after 15 minutes. This was a bitter blow to Vale
as we were marginally on top at his stage.
Ed saved at full length, a Kay shot from distance went wide and an Earp cross was too close with Marco
Vale were failing to attack the ball outside the box but fortunately the Chips shooting was poor. Ives
replaced the injured Cox who had been playing well after 40 minutes.
Darren apparently disorientated gave the ball away needlessly and although the Chipstead break was
tracked with Ed forcing the forward wide he was still able to cross from the byeline with no one picking up the oncoming forward
who scored even though we were 3 against 1…
Another Earp chip over saw him caught late, a lecture but no card.
Another Vale free kick was taken by Dave “Pink Floyd” Towse who hit another “brick
in the wall”
H.T. 2 – 0 probably a harsh reflection of the first half play.
The second half opened with an early chance for Marco after good build up play. Knowelden replaced
Kay but failed to make an impact. Towse was then unfairly booked when conceding a penalty which should have been the other
way for simulation but Ed saved the resultant spot kick with his feet.
The injustice of it all became apparent when moments later the same player went down theatrically only
to be waved away by the ref with the forward complaining that was even worse than the first one which it was but no card shown.
Dobbo was replaced by Marcos after 80 minutes which left him little time to impress.
A break by Chips was only tracked by Phil Ives but he was unable to block the cut back and an easy
sidefoot finished the scoring 3 – 0
Too many players fail to take responsibilities and we will not get anywhere going through the motions
at 75% of our maximum.
M.O.M. Antony Vine for unselfish running, wish it could be for superb performance, high quality goals
Raynes Park Vale v Banstead Athletic
Cherry Red Records Combined Counties
League Premier Division
26th August 2006
at Grand Drive
Vale Team –Pay, Skinner,Towse, Stones, Stevens, Williams, Agyeman, Vine, Rogers, Kay, Dobinson, Subs –Torino, Cox, Cornwell, Fernandez
Officials- Andrew Roberts, Irwin Chin, Richard Hailstone
It was a pleasant if windy day at the
Vale with the pitch looking impressive in stripy green thanks to Tony Hurrell and his assistant Mike who must have dreamt
of moving it to Colliers Wood for them to play on!
I was interested to see the first team
debut of the new keeper whose first reserve team game must have been a low key affair as one of his friends asked what impressed
him most about the Vale said Graham Till’s rolls, loads of filling and an absolute must have at only £1. We obviously
need to increase prices to improve our cash flow which should be helped by “Pay” the new keeper who was competent
in all departments, taking crosses and making the odd save look easy.
Having watched the opening 15 minutes
without even a word entering the match report the first noteworthy event was when “Syd the Gate” announced that
a Chelsea season ticket holder had utilised the same to get
half price entry as advertised on the website! It would be fine if a few more would do the same.
The changes at the heart of the team
stabilised the defence and the lively work by Ageyman and Vine in midfield complimented the passing of Kay and Williams.
Joel was replaced by Marco just before
half time and again his pace troubled the Banstead defence.
Cox replaced Skinner after 70 minutes
and determined to impress showed a fine range of passing with both
feet and was also sound defensively
with some strong headers clearing the danger.
Midway through the second half Ageyman
was hacked down by a high late tackle from behind to suffer the same fate as his assailant after a little skirmish both receiving
the yellow card when it should have been a yellow for “handbags” and at least a yellow for the tackle which would
have added up to a red for the Banstead player.
There were a few attacking movements
fairly evenly split before the moment of the game saw a pass down the left to Dobinson who took it in his stride and hit a
first time whipped, curling cross to the far post giving Marco the opportunity to finish with a well struck sidefoot into
the empty net timed at 90 minutes.
Marcos Fernandez made his debut and
must have been nonplussed how he got almost 10 minutes when coming on in the 90th minute suffice to say he integrated
neatly into midfield.
I suppose it was worth waiting for our
first win but why the referee then played a further 9 and a half minutes for 6 substitutions (3 mins) 3 bookings (1.5 mins)
and several minor injuries 5 minutes, he may have felt the need to give value for money but the souls on the terraces would
sooner have partaken of a glass or two!
Antony Vine for ceaseless chasing and harrying followed closely by Aaron who may have pipped him had it not been for
the injury suffered in that tackle which slowed him down to a blur
Raynes Park Vale v Chertsey Town
Cherry Red Records Combined Counties
League Premier Division
16 August 2006
at Grand Drive
Vale Team – Cornwell, Skinner, Dobinson, Ennis, Stevens, Kay, Agyeman, Vine, Rogers, Loyza,Knowelden,
Subs – Grout, Earp,Torino, Towse, Knight,
Officials- Simeon Potter, Dave Sheldrake, Keith Slaughter.
Minor adjustments to the squad saw Grout and Earp
drop to the bench to be replaced by S(k)inner and Loyza.
The opening period was very tentative before Vale
illuminated the proceedings with a well worked goal on 12 minutes. A neat header on halfway by Joel to Loyza whose control
and through ball to Gary was converted with aplomb.
Dobbo then had to be aware to foil a decent chance
with a well timed last ditch challenge.
Another bout of impressive passing eventually released
Dobbo and Loyza who beat the keeper but it still required a brave header from Aaron to complete the move.
He was then booked for a rash challenge near the
corner flag, fortunately the free kick was wasted.
A brilliant move initiated by Skins to Aaron who
worked the move across field to Gary and Dobbo whose superb cross on the run deceived the keeper at the near post for Joel
to tap home the simplest of chances.
3 – 0 at half time looked an excellent situation
though to be fair to Chertsey other than the goals Vale were hardly in it and with better finishing Chertsey
would still be in the game.
The second half was a similar affair to the first
with flashes of brilliance mixed with large portions of dross.
Chertsey did have some reward when
a breakaway resulted in the ball being forced home after 65 minutes.
Marco replaced Loyza after 68 minutes. Chertsey further reduced the arrears when a smart back heel lay off and a superb finish brought the
deficit to one with 17 minutes still to be played.
A terrific dribble by Aaron was spoiled when with
players waiting he took the wrong option to find Marco in the 6 yard box only to be flagged for offside.
Aaron was again involved when a Knowleden cross
was met with a diving header but just wide.
Ed continued in the same vein of form from Saturday
tipping a close range effort over the bar.
A right wing cross and side foot finish saw Chertsey
draw level in the 85 minute leaving only sufficient time for Aaron to trip a player, concede a penalty, Ed to save and Skinner
to be sent off for a comment to the referee. Ed Knight replaced Joel for the last couple of minutes with both sides having
opportunities to score the winner.
Never has the comment “A game of two halves”
been more appropriate
Ennis for a sound all round performance. (att 91)
Sandhurst Town 3 Raynes Park Vale 1 (att 48).
Despite an early goal from James Kay, Vale went down to three first half goals from
The Fizzers, all from set plays. Ed Cornwell turned in a man of the match performance against a side expected to be challenging
for the title. Vale rarely threatened throughout and will be looking for a better showing against Chertsey and Shoreham this