The stress of getting enough league points to stay
out of the bottom two was put on the back-burner for one night as Sutton United came to town in a Surrey Senior Cup clash.
The thought of playing a team three divisions higher
didn’t daunt the Vale and the first chance of the night fell to Shaun David in the second minute with his shot hitting
the side netting. Sutton were awarded a penalty after only five minutes when man of the match Warren McBean was upended in
the box and the resultant kick was coolly put away by Nicky Greene.
RaynesPark came back at Sutton
straight away and started to play some inventive football that opened up the Sutton defence on regular occasions. The only
thing missing was a cool head in front of goal as chance after chance went begging without once making the Sutton keeper do
Arguably, the turning point of the match came on the
half hour as Darius Heravi was put clean through only to be upended by the last defender. To the amazement of most of the
people in the ground the referee decided a yellow card was all that was needed despite no other defender being anywhere near
the incident at the time of the offence.
Halftime came and RaynesPark would have been more
than happy with their contribution in the match and full of confidence for the second half.
That confidence was shattered within a minute of the
restart as Sutton were allowed to go two up through some defensive mistakes where the ball wasn’t cleared properly.
To their credit the Vale didn’t allow their
heads to drop and still battled gamely in an attempt to reduce the deficit, but slowly and rather inevitably Sutton showed
their extra experience and fitness and started to carve out good openings of their own.
The goal of the night came from Warren McBean on 75
minutes when he found space on the edge of the box to curl a beautiful shot around Chris Eldergill to totally knock the stuffing
out of RaynesPark.
The Vale had now run out of steam and the rest of
the game was an exercise in damage limitation which saw Sutton score another two goals to give the scoreline of 5-0 which
nobody could have envisaged after the first half.
Sutton march on in the cup and Vale are left looking
at whether some of them are fit enough to play 90 minutes of competitive football.
RaynesPark Vale: Chris Eldergill,
Ashley Reid, Mark Townsend, Stefan Perkins, Daniel Dean,Dan Mason, Matt Farrell,
Elliott Thompson, Marc Skinner, Shaun David, Darius Heravi. Substitutes: Dan Stevens, Josh Williams, Andrew Trefry, Nathan
RaynesPark V Guildford
When you are down on your
luck you sometimes need the rub of the green and match officials who know what they are doing. Raynes Park Vale got neither
of these as they narrowly lost 2-1 at home to Guildford City to keep them nervously looking over their shoulders at what the
few teams below them are doing.
In all honesty, the first
half was instantly forgettable with only Chris Eldergill back in the RaynesPark goal having anything to do and that was to palm
away a tame header. In fact, the busiest person in that first half was the referee who seemed intent on blowing for minor
fouls and booking people on a whim, leaving the impression he was so cold he needed to keep active to stop himself from freezing
The second half started
in much the same vein the first had finished with neither team able or willing to apply pressure to the other.
All that changed, however,
when the referee from a fully 40 yards away decided that a challenge by Mark Townsend in the 70th minute was worthy
of a penalty award. Call me cynical but the fact that a couple of half hearted appeals went up by Guildford players seemed
to galvanise the referee into awarding something he had no hope of seeing from his position on the field.
Needless to say, Guildford
scored from the penalty despite Eldergill getting a hand to the ball but unluckily not enough to stop it entering the net.
The harsh award seemed
to spur the Vale into playing some football and at last a match broke out.
Vale managed to keep the
Guildford goalkeeper waiting until the 80th minute for their first shot on target which was hit by an out of sorts
Marco Torino and comfortably saved.
In a last ditch attempt
to salvage something from the game, Raynes Park manager, Mark Williams threw on young striker Darius Heravi and with practically
his second touch of the ball he brought the Vale level with a beautifully struck shot from an acute angle.
The scent of victory was
in the RaynesPark
players nostrils now and they pushed forward in search of all three points.
In stoppage time another
Vale attack saw the keeper turn a shot away across the face of the goal and had another player been following up then the
points would have been Vale’s, but to their dismay Guildford cleared their lines and swept the ball upfield to score
the winner with four Vale players still standing in the City half.
Overall a massive improvement
on the Epsom game, but still room for improvement and lessons to be learned even when losing to a team standing fourth in
Raynes Park Vale: Chris Eldergill, Ashley Reid, Mark
Townsend, Stefan Perkins, Daniel Dean,Dan Mason, Nathan Woodbridge, Lee Harkness,
Marc Skinner, Nathan Turner, Marco Torino. Substitutes: Dan Stevens, Ricky Wallace, Darius Heravi, Josh Williams, Rhys Wellman-Fromont.
After beating Dorking in their previous game, RaynesPark Vale travelled to
Merland Rise in confident mood to face Epsom& Ewell in another vital Combined
Counties league clash.
By the end of the match all that confidence had been
shattered as Epsom ran out comfortable 4-1 winners after a performance by the Vale that can only be described as pitiful.
The first fifteen minutes were no real indicator of
what was to follow as Epsom controlled the game but only had one long range effort to show which nearly caught Dale Pay in
the Vale goal out,although he did well to tip the shot over the bar.
Epsom took the lead on sixteen minutes when a defensive
lapse saw several opportunities to clear the ball wasted and allowed Robbie Burns to open the scoring.
The shock of going behind seemed to awaken RaynesPark from their slumber
and a good ten minute spell of passing football culminated in an equaliser with an overhead kick by Marc Skinner on 30 minutes.
In the 35th minute, RaynesPark broke again and a
run into the box by Skinner saw him whip the ball across the face of the goal only to see that nobody was following up. Epsom
broke away with the ball and were allowed to take the lead again through sloppy defending.
The second half didn’t get any better for Vale
as changes were made in search of another equaliser but any team cohesion melted away as Epsom were allowed to score another
Vale were given a chance to make the score look a
little more respectable when they were awarded a penalty late on, but with usual taker Marco Torino already off the pitch
it was left to substitute Nathan Turner to take the kick. To top the torrid afternoon for all those in a yellow shirt, Turner
proceeded to put his kick high over the Epsom bar and really put a nail in the RaynesPark coffin.
Overall, a rotten afternoon for Raynes Park who gifted
Epsom all four goals and played like eleven strangers put in a field with blindfolds on and told to build a house.
Man of the match: The referee for blowing the full
Raynes Park Vale: Dale Pay, Ashley Reid, Nathan Woodbridge,
Dan Stevens, Mark Townsend, David Mosley, James Kay, Ricky Wallace, Dan Mason, Marc Skinner, Marco Torino. Substitutes: Bo
Site, Lee Harkness, Nathan Turner, Daniel Dean.
When you are facing the league leaders who have won
fourteen consecutive matches, and you are fourth bottom without a win in six league games you hope to get off to a good start
and contain them for a while. Well, Merstham came to town and were held off for a massive twelve seconds before taking the
Yes, luckily for RaynesPark Vale, Merstham were
rather slow in knocking the ball upfield to Kevin Lock to open the scoring and stun everybody in a blue shirt.
On a far happier note the shock of conceding so early
on seemed to galvanise the Vale and they came out fighting and took the game to the runaway leaders.
With both teams trading proverbial blows it was RaynesPark Vale’s turn
to stun the crowd when they equalised on 17 minutes through Nathan Woodbridge.
The rest of the first half saw possession shared equally
betweenthe haves and the have-nots and in all honesty anybody who had never
seen either team before would have been unable to decide who was top and who was struggling near the bottom.
With spirits lifted in the battling qualities displayed
by the RaynesPark players, hopes and dreams were looking ahead to the thought of denying Merstham
maximum points, a feat which no team had achieved since the opening day.
The second half started in much the same vein the
first one had ended with both teams trying to find the third goal although Merstham were at times denied by an inspired performance
by Dale Pay in the RaynesPark goal.
Inevitably, as the half wore on, RaynesPark started to run out
of steam as Merstham exerted more and more pressure in search of a winner.
The Vale defence stood firm until the 75th
minute but were undone again by Lock when he found space to head home and knock the stuffing out of the home team.
Merstham then proved merciless and forced home another
three goals to give the scoreline a somewhat unfair look in light of the early performance of the RaynesPark team.
If they can re-produce the first half performance
and improve fitness levels then the future for RaynesPark doesn’t look
too bad in an increasingly difficult league.
Raynes Park Vale
RaynesPark Vale crashed out of the FA Vase
to Combined Counties league rivals Cobham in a game best forgotten by all concerned at Grand Drive.
One could have guessed it wouldn't be our
day when Cobham took only a minute to get their first effort on goal when a blistering shot was superbly saved by Dale Paye.
Two minutes later and Vale had a chance of
their own as the Cobham keeper came rushing out of goal to challenge Dave Mosley who managed to go around him and knock the
ball into the box where it was blasted over the bar by Reece Wellman-Fromont.
Paye was again called into action in the fifth
minute when he managed to tip over a powerful header for a corner.
The luck ran out after nine minutes when a
defensive mix-up by Vale allowed Cobham's centre-forward to nip in and head past an out of position Paye and put the visitors
a goal up.
In all honesty the rest of the match was a non-event
for RaynesPark as most of the players seemed either tired or distracted by events off the field
and therefore unable to put pressure on a side who were quite frankly ordinary to say the least.
Matters weren't helped when Wellman-Fromont
got sent off in the first half for picking the ball up and kicking it at a Cobham player who was on the ground.
Despite being down to ten men Vale still puffed
away in the hope of forcing something but it wasn't to be as Cobham broke away twice in the last three minutes to wrap the
win up and take the prize money.
To add insult to injury both Nathan Woodbridge
and Tom Barge received serious looking injuries that may keep them out for some time.
Raynes Park Vale:Dale Paye, Lee Harkness, Nathan Woodbridge, Dan Stevens, Tom Barge, Marc Skinner,
Darren Dobinson, Reece Wellman-Fromont, David Mosley, Josh Williams, Bo Site,Subs:
Shaun David, Sikomo Kambiri, Chaz Wilson, Elliott Thompson,Alomeen Amadu.
v Raynes Park Vale
RaynesPark Vale were unlucky not to make
it five consecutive wins when they were held 1-1 at Merland Rise against Banstead Athletic. In a reversal of the Dorking match
where Vale were under the cosh it was Banstead's turn for desperate defending as Vale looked to keep the winning streak going.
As early as the fifth minute Reece Wellman-Fromont received the ball in the Banstead box and instead of taking a shot, decided
to round the keeper and hit a hard ball across the face of the goal, but it had too much pace for the onrushing Marco Torino.
The rest of the half saw little in terms of entertaining
play but plenty of Vale pressure which with a little more composure would have seen them take the lead.
Vale's wastefullness in the final third came to haunt
them in first half stoppage time when Banstead had a rare foray into the Vale half and a defensive lapse saw Athletic take
an undeserved lead into the break.
The second half started in much the same form and
it wasn't until the 67th minute that Banstead posed another threat on goal again due to a defensive lapse. A back pass was
played to Dale Paye in the RaynesPark goal and as no Banstead player came to challenge, Dale decided to play keep
ball for what seemed an age. By the time he decided what to do he seemed to forget where the ball came from originally and
picked it up, giving Banstead an in-direct free-kick in the box. Luckily for the Blues the kick was wasted and we all breathed
a sigh of relief.
Vale started to exert more pressure but were kept
waiting until the 73rd minute for an equaliser when a lovely through ball by Bo Site found substitute Josh Williams who in
turn cracked home a powerful shot past the Banstead keeper.
The referee had shown weakness all night and as a
result the game began to get niggly because of it. In the 80th minute Banstead were reduced to ten men when a two footed tackle
by their left-back on Wellman-Fromont was rewarded by a red card. In the melee that followed the Banstead manager was also
red carded and sent from the pitch.
Vale had perfect opportunities to wrap the point up
in the last five minute but both James Kay and Torino were unable to finish with their chances.
The game ended on a sour note for Vale when Site received
his second yellow of the match in stoppage time for a mild challenge that gave the referee the opportunity to level the cards
Man of the match: James Kay
Raynes Park Vale:Dale Paye, Lee Harkness, James Kay, Dan Stevens, Tom Barge, Darren Dobinson, Sikomo Kambiri, David Mosley, Bo Site,
Marco Torino, Reece Wellman-Fromont Subs: Marc Skinner, Josh Williams, Andrew Trefry, Lee Cox
Park Vale v Sandhurst Town
The Vale made it four wins on the bounce with a comprehensive
5-0 win over Sandhurst in this Combined Counties League clash.
Despite some of the players looking a little weary
after the exertions of the past couple of weeks they had enough left in the tank to overcome a dogged Sandhurst without having
to play fantastic football.
The first 20 minutes saw plenty of huff and puff by
both teams, but little in the way of cohesive football until Sandhurst started to exert some pressure
which was easily dealt with by a Vale defence that is growing in stature with every passing game.
On 25 minutes a Sandhurst ball into the Vale box was cleared long and hard
by James Kay and reached Andrew Trefry who found time to lay a crossfield pass into the path of Marco Torino. Torino showed a pair of lightning heels
to outpace the tracking defender before slotting the ball home with a cool finish and give Vale the lead.
Again, there was a passage of play with little in
the way of action until Vale went 2-0 up after 34 minutes when a loose ball fell to Trefry who struck a sweet shot from the
edge of the box to leave Sandhurst deflated.
Vale went in at the break 2-0 up after a half of very
little in the way of action and people wondering where two goals had come from.
The second half began in the same way the first had
ended, until eventually Vale started to put the pressure on and see two good chances wasted by Theo Guechev and substitute
Marc Skinner who both blazed over the bar.
The amount of chances wasted by Vale started to mount
with Torino, Skinner and Darren Dobinson all putting efforts either wide or over the bar instead of putting the game out of
the reach of Sandhurst.
With nerves getting slightly twitchy in case Sandhurst
got one back, it was left to Bo Site on 84 minutes to decide the outcome when he picked the ball up outside the Sandhurst
box and went for a mazy run around the Sandhurst defence before sliding the ball home to make it 3-0.
Sandhurst totally caved in now and were
little more than spectators as both Torino and Reece Wellman-Fromant found time to score to give Vale a well deserved victory.
Man of the match: Darren Dobinson
Raynes Park Vale:Dale Paye, Lee Harkness, James Kay, Dan Stevens, Tom Barge, Josh Williams, Theo Guechev, Andrew Trefry, David Mosley,
Bo Site, Marco Torino, Subs: Darren Dobinson, Reece Wellman-Fromant,Marc Skinner,
Sikomo Kambiri, Lee Cox.
v Raynes Park Vale
After two great cup wins RaynesPark Vale returned to the serious business of league
action and the small matter of not having a win after seven games. Anybody who thought playing the only team below Vale in
the league would be an easy matter were left in no doubt there is such a thing after coming away with a lucky 2-1 victory.
The fact that Vale came out of this game with all three points shows
there is a new resilience in the side and a never say die attitude.
Vale got off to an almost perfect start within a minute when James Kay
hit a shot from 20 yards that hit the post with the Dorking keeper floundering.
Dorking responded in resounding fashion when a blistering shot from
just inside the halfway line was well tipped over by Chris Eldergill.
Vale were unable to get any fluid movement with the ball and Dorking
started to apply pressure that had everybody working overtime to stifle.
On 26 minutes Vale took
the lead when man of the moment Bo Site managed to beat the offside trap inside the Dorking penalty area and somehow managed
to put the ball home with a sublime finish that stunned everybody.
Dorking were stung into action by this and after 30 minutes nearly grabbed
the equaliser when the ball was crossed into the box and met by their centre forward who hit the ball goalwards only to be
denied by a desparate goal-line clearance by Dan Stevens.
Vale managed to hold onto the lead until half-time, but the second half
started in the same fashion with Dorking pushing forward in search of an equaliser. On 53 minutes a desperate goal-line clearance
by Tom Barge maintained the Vale lead, but the inevitable goal came after 62 minutes when Dorking worked out that the only
way they would breach the stubborn Vale defence and an in-form Eldergill would be a wonder strike from fully 30 yards out.
The goal seemed to calm Dorking down and they dropped down a gear which
allowed Vale to come back into the match a little more, but it needed another goal-line clearance by Barge on 82 minutes to
keep things level.
Dave Mosley was brought on to try to keep Dorking busy at the back and
Vale spent the last period of the game starting to exert their own pressure which saw a long range shot by Kay in the 87th
minute well saved by the keeper.
A minute later Vale put on their ski masks and robbed Dorking of all
three points when a through ball beat the Dorking offside trap and found Torino 25 yards from goal. He managed to keep his head, run forward and slot
the ball home to score the winner.
The goal knocked the stuffing out of Dorking and they spent the last
few minutes in a half-hearted attempt to level the scores again, but the Vale held out for a hard fought win which was undeserved
in terms of gameplay, but was a rich reward for determination and resilience.
Man of the match: Tom Barge
Raynes Park Vale:Chris Eldergill, Lee Harkness, James Kay, Dan Stevens, Tom Barge, Josh Williams, Marc
Skinner (capt), Sakomo Kambiri, Elliott Thompson, Bo Site, Marco Torino, Subs: David Mosley, Darren Dobinson, Reece Wellman-Formont,Andrew Trefry, Lee Cox.
Man of the match: BO SITE
Raynes Park Vale:Chris Eldergill, Lee Harkness, James Kay, Dan Stevens, Tom Barge, Josh Williams, Andrew
Trefry (capt), Reece Wellman-Formont, Bo Site, Marco Torino, Subs: Elliott Thompson, Marc Skinner, David Mosley, Darren Dobinson,
Lancing v Raynes Park Vale
With hopes lifted after a resounding midweek win over
Hanworth Villa, RaynesPark Vale made the trip to Sussex to face Lancing in the FA Vase
and came away convincing winners. Even though the scoreline was only 3-2 it was one of the most one-sided matches in RaynesPark history and Lancing can thank
themselves lucky to have got away with a one goal defeat.
Vale forced their first good chance as early as the
tenth minute when Bo Site received the ball in the box and managed to get a good crack at goal which was well saved by the
Lancing keeper. On 21 minutes the ball was whipped across the face of the Lancing goal and was missed by both Marco Torino
and Site but fell to Theo whose snap shot went back across the face of the goal and away to safety.
Vale had the vast majority of the pressure without
playing fluid football and couldn't find a way to breach the Lancing defence. Their profligacy in front of goal came back
to bite them on 32 minutes when Lancing found themselves in the strange territory of the Vale half and a through ball was
knocked forward to Ricky Mitchell who ran on and cooly slotted the ball home past Chris Eldergill.
The shock stirred Vale into action again and within
a minute Torino thought he had levelled the score but was pulled back for being offisde.
Torino was again in the thick of the
action when he saw a 20 yard shot tipped over by the keeper on the stroke of half-time.
Even though the Vale went in a goal down at half-time
everybody seemed confident that the superior class would tell in the second half.
The second half started as the first one ended with
total Vale dominance but they had to wait until the 65th minute for their first real chance when Site fed Torino whose first
time shot from 25 yards was again tipped over by the Lancing keeper.
Just as it started to seem it may not be Vale's day,
Mark Williams made changes to the line-up and a deserved equaliser was finally forthcoming after 74 minutes when substitute
Darren Dobinson managed to beat the offside trap and ran forward before sliding the ball into the path of Site who slotted
Four minutes later and Vale took a deserved lead when
Site turned provider to feed the ball to Torino who smashed the ball home to the relief of both himself and the travelling contingent.
The game was effectively over as a contest from the
resulting kick off when a Lancing back pass was intercepted and taken up by Site who managed to stay cool enough to run twenty
yards before rounding the keeper and sliding the ball home to give Vale a 3-1 lead.
Lancing were dumbstruck and were lucky not fall further
behind when efforts by Josh Williams and Torino went agonisingly close.
Deep into stoppage time Vale switched off and allowed
Lancing to get a goal that they truly did not deseve on the balance of play.
Man of the match: BO SITE
Raynes Park Vale:Chris Eldergill, Lee Harkness, James Kay, Dan Stevens, Tom Barge, Josh Williams, Andrew Trefry (capt), Reece Wellman-Formont,
Bo Site, Marco Torino, Subs: Elliott Thompson, Marc Skinner, David Mosley, Darren Dobinson, Sakomo Kambiri.
Raynes Park Vale v Hanworth
Vale grabbed their first win of the season against their unbeaten rivals from Division 1 in convincing fashion to progress
to the next round of the cup at Grand Drive last night.
In a wholehearted display it looked as if it would be business as usual as the boys dominated the early exchanges and
missed a succession of chances. Vale had the setback of losing Anthony Vine after 4 minutes to what appears to be an ankle
ligament injury and he was replaced by Andrew Trefry who came in for his first start of the season. There were penalty shouts
at both ends, Sebe who was making his debut went over after rounding the keeper but he appeared to slip and a Villa player
appeared to run into Eldergill when through, both would have been given on another night. Vale were playing in an attacking
manner and our midfield runners coupled with our pacy wingers were pulling an aggressive Villa side all over the place. Vale
grabbed a 32nd minute lead when Reece Wellman collected the ball in his own half and played a slide rule pass into debutant
Sebe who showed great composure to finish one on one with the keeper. The final 10 minutes of the half (plus the 7 that were
added on??????) saw our worst period in the game. At 1-0 and drawing towards half time, we over committed on too many occasions
and gave the ball away far too cheaply, inviting Villa to attack us, a little more common sense and discipline was required
in this situation but hopefully it will prove to be a lesson learn't from in future games.
The 2nd half saw Villa come out fighting and Vale started a little tentatively as Villa forced 2 early corners but
they soon stormed back into the game. It was 2-0 on 57 minutes, Sebe swung in a right wing corner that was well challenged
by Torino and Josh Williams who came back
into the squad after a long absence, struck the ball home sweetly to give us a much needed 2 goal cushion. Villa had a go
at us but we controlled the game fairly well from this point onwards and when they did breach our backline, Eldergill
stood firm with some tidy saves. On 67 Sebe was pulled down in the area to give Torino the chance to convert
but the keeper pushed his kick wide. Trefry was booked on 68 for delaying the restart which is fair enough but how does a
referee enforce that law when he can allow another player to grab someone around the throat and hurl him to the floor? Sebe's
fine debut with a goal, assist and a penalty award was ended on 70 when he was replaced by Marc Skinner and Andrew Trefry
who had shown excellent temperament in the face of some harsh treatment as well as some superb football was replaced
by Darren Dobinson on 82 minutes after suffering with cramp. The boys grabbed another goal as Skinner latched onto Torinos
flick to outpace the defence to cut the ball back intelligently for Dobinson to convert neatly on 93 and there was still
time for Torino to deny Harkness his first goal of the season by deflecting it away from the top corner???
In a complete team performance where "everyone" emerged with credit, man of the match went to Josh Williams. Not only
did he turn in a wholehearted display (Just like everyone else in the squad) on his return to 1st team action but he did it
under the burden of a recent family bereavement. Well done to the 16 man squad! You met the standards that we deemed
required for success after the Wembley game tonight, now carry it on!
Raynes Park Vale
v Chessington & Hook United
This Bank holiday clash was not a game to live long
in the memory as both teams seemed to be half awake due to the 11.30 kick off and determined to send the spectators back to
sleep in this 0-0 bore draw.
Vale made two changes to the line-up from the Chertsey
game with Lee Harkness replacing Shaun Henry in defence and James Kay in for Chaz Wilson in midfield.
The first 30 minutes saw Vale shade possesion without
creating any real chances and both teams were looking as though they wished they had taken the Bank holiday off and gone swimming
in the Serpentine.
The crowd were finally awoken on 31 minutes when a
surprise well hit shot by Chessington was brilliantly saved by Chris Eldergill.
Vale were given the chance to take the lead after
38 minutes when Shadi Mallah was given the opportunity to test the keeper with a shot only to see it tipped over the bar.
The resulting corner from Darren Dobinson was met by Dan Stevens at the near post who was frustrated to see his glancing header
go over the bar.
The second half saw Chessington having to replace
their goalkeeper with an outfield player due to injury.
After 52 minutes, Vale's Marco Torino was brought
down in the box and valid appeals for a penalty were turned down by both the referee and linesman who seemed determined to
be the stars of the show.
The rest of the half saw several good saves by Eldergill
but none from Chessington's stand in keeper as RaynesPark were unable to test him at all and left him touching the
ball three times.
A good result in the fact that the first clean sheet
of the season was gained, but slightly worrying that a stand-in keeper will never have a quieter match in goal.
Raynes Park Vale:Chris Eldergill, Nathan Woodbridge, Ashley Reid, Dan Stevens, Lee Harkness, Tom Barge, Shadi Mattah, James Kay, Marco
Torino, Nathan Turner, Darren Dobinson. Subs: Shaun Henry, Dane Jaeger, Greg Levene, Shaun David, Chaz Wilson.
ChertseyTown V RaynesPark Vale
RaynesPark Vale's run of bad luck continued
at Chertsey after falling to a 3-0 defeat
despite dominating early preceedings in this Premier Division clash at Alwyns Lane.
There was no sign of the scoreline to come in the
first 20 minutes as Vale dominated proceedings without creating any clear cut chances. The one chance that did come their
way fell to Nathan Turner who was unable to get any power into a shot that fell gently to the Chertsey goalkeeper.
Chertsey eased their way into the game and a cheeky lob from
Ricardo Alves on 21 minutes went over Vale kepper Chris Eldergill and fortunately bounced off the bar and away for a goal-kick.
Chertsey only had to wait four minutes for their next chance
when a vicious cross from the left was met by the Chertsey centre forward whose goalbound effort
was somehow saved by Eldergill in what seemed like a pure instinctive reaction.
Vale's persistent inability to deal with crosses cost
them dearly on 30 minutes when Alves gave Chertsey the lead after being allowed to head home unmarked from a Ridell cross.
The rest of the half saw Chertsey get a stranglehold on the game
although they were reduced to speculative long range shots which failed to trouble Eldergill.
The RaynesPark bench were enraged just before half-time when Turner
was brought down in the box and despite the linesman flagging for a penalty, the referee decided to overule him and wave play
Within five minutes of the re-start Chertsey had a
two goal lead when the Vale midfield failed to win the ball and allowed it to be fed to Matt Graves whose shot from the edge
of the box found the back of the net.
From then on Vale were totally dominated in midfield
and it was surprising that Chertsey were made to wait until the 73rd minute for their third goal and final goal from Scott Edgar.
A strange day for Raynes Park when after dominating
the first quarter of the match they then crumbled and were lucky to get away with a 3-0 defeat. The only question was would
things have been different if the penalty had been given?
Raynes Park Vale:Chris Eldergill, Nathan Woodbridge, Ashley Reid, Dan Stevens, Shaun Henry, Tom Barge, Shadi Mattah, Chaz Wilson, Marco
Torino, Nathan Turner, Darren Dobinson. Subs: Lee Harkness, Adam Skinner, Dane Jaeger, Greg Levene, Reece Willman-Formant.
RaynesPark Vale V DealTown
Christmas came early for Deal as they progressed in
the FA Cup 4-2 courtesy of some gifted goals from the RaynesPark Vale defence. The first fifteen
minutes gave no hint of what was to follow as both teams probed each other without creating any real clear cut chances.
The game changed when an ambulance was called on to
the pitch to give aid to the Vale bench and a delay of nearly quarter of an hour saw only one team stay alert as within a
minute of the re-start a gentle, hopeful punt into the box was helped into the goal by Ed Cornwell despite being the only
person in the six yard box. A minute later and Deal took a two goal lead when they were allowed to put a cross into the box
which was headed home by David Cory who was left unmarked.
Vale were kept waiting until the 38th minute for a
reply when the first bit of cohesive play saw a build up from left back to right back and up to midfield where Marc Skinner
took the ball on a whipped a hard ball into the box which was narrowly put out for a corner. The resultant corner found Nathan
Woodbridge who forced the ball home and gave Vale the psychological edge going into half-time as Deal were reminded of Saturday's
Any hopes that Vale would start the second half as
well as they finished the first were soon dashed when Deal went 3-1 up after 47 minutes thanks to another cross into the box
which eluded everybody except Mark Pollard who gratefully headed home.
Three minutes later and all seemed lost as Deal were
gifted yet another goal to go 4-1 up. An offside decision against Vale deep inside the Deal half saw the resultant kick kicked
long and hard into the Vale area and evade everybody but Deal's Cory who prodded the ball over a rather static Cornwell.
To give the Raynes Park team some credit they didn't
stop battling and managed to pull a goal back on 52 minutes when a through ball found Nathan Turner who ran on, evading two
tackled before coolly slotting the ball past Wild in the Deal goal.
Luck was not on Vale's side this night when after
68 minutes a ball was crossed into the Deal box and met by Turner who couldn't get anything on the header and the chance went
tamely into Wild's hands.
Despite constant pressure by Vale another goal would
not come despite the feeling that if it had, then Deal may have crumbled and an equaliser would have followed.
Deal saw the rest of the game out and go through to
meet Corinthian Casuals. As for Vale, ten goals conceded in three games shows that a settled line-up is needed and mistakes
learned for any hope of a half decent season.
Although going out of the cup was a massive disappointment
it was really heartening to see so many players make the effort to get to Deal for a Tuesday night match.
Man of the match: Nathan Woodbridge
Raynes Park Vale:Ed Cornwell;Nathan Woodbridge; Marc Skinner; Dan Stevens (capt); Al Ameen
Amodu; Darren Dobinson; Chaz Wilson; Thomas Barge; James Kay; Nathan Turner; Alex xxxxxx. Substitutes: Shaun Henry; Lee Harkness;
Raynes Park Vale v Deal Town
FA CUP Extra Preliminary Round
Sat 18th August
After a mauling by Horley Town in the league three days earlier Raynes Park were hoping to redeem
themselves in the FA Cup against Deal Town in this clash at Grand Drive. Any thoughts that the defensive lapses from the previous
game had been eradicated were soon put to rest when Deal took an early lead in the third minute when a cross from the left
managed to elude everybody in the Vale defence and was met by Danny Smith to prod home untroubled.
Three minutes later Vale had a chance to level the score when a cross field pass by Marc Skinner
was met by Darren Dobinson who then found Tom Barge in the box which allowed him to get a shot in which was saved comfortably
by the Deal goalkeeper.
Barely a minute later and Marco Torino was given the perfect opportunity to score when he received
the ball just inside the Deal half and after going on a run and managing to evade one tackle he sent his shot high over the
bar to the frustration of everybody in a blue shirt.
With both teams intent on attacking play Deal nearly extended their lead when Mark Pollard was allowed
to get a good shot in on goal which was well saved by Ed Cornwell.
Relief was short lived for Vale when on thirteen minutes a quickly taken throw in by Deal was crossed
into the box and met by David Cory who was able to head home totally unmarked to give the away team a 2-0 lead.
Vale carried on trying to take the fight to Deal and a first time cross by Shadi Mallah after 29
minutes was met by a diving header by Torino only to see it go agonisingly wide.
Deal' s accurate crossing was causing major concern for RaynesPark and they were again undone when a corner on 32 minutes was met by Pollard who,totallyunmarked,put his
downward header into the net for a 3-0 lead.
Vale managed to get to half-time without conceding any more and were probably frustrated that they
hadn't managed to get one back as their wastefulness in front of goal looked to be costing them dearly.
Skinner was desperately unlucky on 60 minutes when a well hit shot cannoned off the Deal post and
the rebound fell to Tom Barge who shot the ball back on target only to see it tipped over by Jurgen Wild.
Amazingly, Raynes Park kept plugging away and scored what seemed like a consolation goal on 68 minutes
when a ball was lofted out of defence and picked up by Torino, who managed to keep his cool this time and ran through before
slotting the ball past Wild.
Deal were again given the chance to put the game out of reach when after 75 minutes another corner
was met by Pollard but his header was well saved by Cornwell.
With only five minutes to go James Kay hit a well struck shot from 25 yards out only to see it well
saved by Wild. It really did appear to be a day of frustration for Vale who, despite the scoreline kept plugging away in a
never say die attitude rarely seen at Grand
With six second-half substitutions and a couple of visits onto the pitch by the physios the referee
added on seven minutes of stoppage time and four minutes into that time Vale sub Greg Levene pulled the score back to 3-2
with a well placed shot into the corner of the Deal net.
With the seven minutes of stoppage time nearly up and the referee seemingly ready to blow for full-time,Raynes Park pulled off mission impossible by levelling the score through another Vale
substitute, Chaz Wilson, who's shot was deflected into the Deal net to send the tie into a replay.
This really was a last gasp goal as there was only time for the re-start.
Man of the match: Tom Barge (non-stop running and battling for a cause that seemed lost)
Henry; Marc Skinner; Dan Stevens (capt); Lee Cox; Darren Dobinson; Shadi Mallah; Thomas Barge; James Kay; Nathan Turner; Marco
Torino. Substitutes: Greg Levene; Adam Skinner; Chaz Wilson; Nathan Woodbridge.
Deal Town: 1- Jurgen Wild 2- Darren Waring; 3- Josh Davidson; 4- Ian
Wallace; 5- Paul Lamb; 6- Aaron Robinson; 7- Michael Casser; 8- Mark Munday; 9- Mark Pollard; 10- David Cory; 11- Danny Smith;
12- Lee Jones; 15- John Utterson; 14- Jordan Barnett; 16- Robbie Summers
RaynesPark Vale V HorleyTown
15th August 2007
he Vale managed to put their
encouraging opening day draw firmly behind them on Wednesday
with a horror display which culminated in a 3-0 defeat at home to Horley.
Nathan Woodbridge took his place at right-back after shaking off a bout of suspected food poisoning
and Shaun Henry made his full debut at left-back after Ashley Reid was unable to recover from the hamstring strain he sustained
Raynes Park were nearly in trouble as early as the fifth minute when Horley's Guscott made a jinking
run which took him into the Vale box before being unceremoniously body-checked. To the surprise of most of the people at the
match the referee waved play on and Vale managed to clear away the danger.
Horley were stretching Vale all over the park and dominated play and possession throughout the half.
Vale managed to get a rare chance on goal when in the 20th minute Marco Torino managed to get a shot in that went wide. Horley
responded within a minute when Gilbert was allowed to turn in the Vale box but put his shot high over the bar.
On 25 minutes Tidy made a run down the right wing before putting in a stinging cross which was cleared
for a corner. Vale's luck ran out from the resultant kick when Tidy's corner was met by a grateful Grant who was practically
unmarked and put his firm header home to give Horley a well deserved lead.
Horley doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time when Tidy was again allowed to run riot down
the wing before putting a cross over for Gilbert to prod the ball home at the near post.
The second half started as the first ended with Horley pressure and within ten minutes of the re-start
they had a 3-0 lead when Clarke's free-kick on the edge of the box went past a static wall into Cornwell's net.
Things continued in the same vein with the only difference being the torrential rain that poured
down throughout the second-half. One can only hope it was the tears of angels at the RaynesPark performance.
It took until the 75th minute for RaynesPark to cause any real trouble for Horley when some good passing play found Nathan on the edge of the box and he managed
to turn and get a shot in on goal which was saved by Lockwood.
The last fifteen minutes saw Vale actually start to play some football but it was too little too
late against a Horley team that were well organised and look to be well set for a good season in the CCL.
On the night the better team won comfortably and RaynesPark can only hope it was a bad night at the office and one that can be confined to the memory bank very quickly.
Vale: Ed Cornwell; Shaun Henry; Nathan Woodbridge; Dan Stevens (capt); Alomene Amodu; Darren Dobinson; Thomas Barge; James
Kay; Sirak Solomon; Dave Mosley; Marco Torino. Substitutes: Nick Williams; Chris Eldergill; Nathan Turner; Chas Wilson.
Ash United v Raynes Park Vale
11th August 2007
The Vale got their 2007-08 league season off to a good start
at bogey team Ash with a 1-1 draw, despite searing temperatures and a late change to the starting line-up when Nathan Woodbridge
was forced to sit out the match with suspected food poisoning shortly before kick-off.
Shaun Henry was drafted in as replacement at right-back and was one of three players making their
Raynes Park debuts.
It took only four minutes for Vale to get their first sniff at goal as a floated cross into the
Ash box by Shadi Mallah was narrowly missed by both the Ash goalkeeper and Marco Torino.
Two minutes later and the home team were stunned when a through ball by Dave Mosley was chested
down by Torino into the path of the onrushing James Kay who unleashed a stunning 25 yard volley into the Ash goal that left
the keeper with no chance.
Ash were taken aback and were nearly caught out again a minute later when Mosley charged down an
attempted clearance and the loose ball fell to Mallah who ran forward and hit a shot into the side netting when he maybe should
have passed into the box where an unmarked Mosley was calling for the ball.
Ash got their first chance to level the score after twelve minutes when a cross from the right was
met by Karl Dallaway who managed to get a powerful header in which was thankfully aimed into the path of Ed Cornwell who was
unable to catch it but did well to stop it entering the net with an instinctive flick of the right arm. The ball fell loose
in the box and was finally cleared to safety by Henry.
More bad luck befell the Vale on fifteen minutes when Ashley Reid was forced off injured. Nick Williams
was brought on as a replacement and put into the right back spot meaning Henry had to cross to left-back.
The rest of the first half petered out as the heat began to take its toll on players and the next
half an hour saw only a couple of speculative efforts from the Vale.
Within a minute of the start of the second half Vale should have been two up when the Ash captain
decided to cross the ball along the width of the pitch ten yards inside his own half but managed to miss all his players and
found Mallah instead.
Amazingly, despite having plenty of time to take the ball further, Mallah ran two yards with the
ball before hitting a weak shot that troubled no-one.
On 54 minutes the defensive injury jinx struck Vale again when henry was forced off through illness
to be replaced by Sirak Solomon. Again, another shuffle was needed and Williams went to left back to allow Solomon to slot
into the right back position.
Ash piled the pressure on in search of an equaliser but were met by resolute defending by the Raynes
The equaliser nearly came after 60 minutes when Dallaway met a cross into the box with his head
that went narrowly wide.
Mosley was forced to drop into midfield to help stem the tide of Ash pressure and his non-stop running
was one of the features of the day as every player gave his all to protect the slender lead.
With only five minutes remaining Nick Sowden struck a shot at the Vale goal which Cornwell tipped
over for a corner. the resultant kick found its way to the far post where substitute Shaun Mitchell forced home a header to
give Ash the equaliser they had been striving for.
With two minutes remaining Torino made way for Ally Wiltshire to make his debut and the match thankfully
stayed level to give Vale a hard fought, but well earned draw at a ground that has been a less than happy hunting ground in
Ed Cornwell; Shaun Henry; Ashley Reid; Dan Stevens (capt); Alomene Amodu; Darren Dobinson; Thomas Barge; James Kay; Shadi
Mallah; Dave Molsey; Marco Torino. Substitutes: Sirak Solomon; Ally Wiltshire; Nick Williams; Chris Eldergill;
The whole team for showing a great attitude. If had to pick one individual, Dave Molsey.
East Preston 2 v RPV 1
We arrived to find a pitch that was in perfect
condition and a rather nice clubhouse. Pre match preparation began at and the
boys ploughed through a thorough warm up in a good spirit though maybe still a little quiet for our liking.
The game began with Vale setting out in a 4-3-3 formation and to be fair to our players, we never really got to grips with
it or looked comfortable throughout the 1st half. The strikers failed to create width, our midfield didn’t
get forward enough and they got played through to easily. East Preston took advantage of our lack of
width and thoroughly exposed our fullbacks as an endless stream of crosses rained into our box that generally the centre backs
Having only worked on pressing and dropping prior
to the game, it was pleasing to see that the back four were able to keep the ball in front of them. The half hinged on a poor
refereeing decision, Williams N was adjudged to have fouled the striker in the air when he merely won the header inside the
18 yard box, in a league game it would have been a harsh decision but in a friendly it was really soft. Cornwell was sent
the wrong way from the spot. If that decision was soft, the referee’s next one was Christmas come early for East
Preston. Debutant Amodu was deemed to have fouled the striker from behind when he clearly won the ball, even the
home fans laughed as they agreed that it was a good tackle. This time though, Cornwell outfoxed the taker and palmed it away,
he then did enough to force the striker to fire the rebound wide. We could have gone in level had either debutant David or
Torino done better when they got into good positions without really troubling the keeper.
2nd half saw Vale switch to a 4-4-2 and within 2 minutes we were level, Molsey flicked ball onto David who took
a touch before deftly lobbing the keeper. The celebrations were short lived though, less than a minute later, Skinner jockeyed
the winger inside, applying decent pressure but the back four dropped away and the ball was played into the edge of the area,
Amodu allowed the shot to be fired in, Cornwell had taken up a position that was not in relation to where the ball was and
a tame shot was slotted into the far corner. It stayed like that, a 2-1 win to the home team. Levene did hit the bar and Skinner
should have done better from a good chance. This game was all about gaining a starting reference to work from for the rest
of pre season.
Subs: Noel; Fowosere; McLaren; Skinner; Williams
M.o.M Sean David
RPV 0 v AFC Wimbledon 3
A youthful AFC reserve squad turned up at Grand
Drive for our 2nd match of pre season. The boys had worked hard in preparation for this
game the night before in order to push on from the East Preston game. The boys were exemplary in their
pre match preparation.
AFC looked bright in the opening exchanges and
they bossed the game for the 1st 15 mins. On 6, a cross came in from the right, we dealt with it but it was swung
back in and Cornwell was alert to save the header. On 8, Kay fed David who turned and ran aggressively at the defence before
being denied by the keeper. Dobinson got into a good wide area but his cross was straight to the keeper. After settling, we
played reasonably well, Skinner cut inside after 22 and cut the ball back to Levene who really should have hit the target.
Skinner was involved again and after combining down the right with McLaren, his cross was poor this time. On 30, after having
a good balance, we were caught out of position when Dobinson and Kay got sucked too far forward together and they both put
in rather tame efforts at recovery runs as the defence were under pressure. On 34 we were nearly caught out from a corner,
Cornwell came and flapped it away but the defence didn’t react to the clearance very well. HT 0-0 and against a good
young side we had coped reasonably well.
In the 2nd half we became rather disjointed,
substitutions caused us to lose shape and structure but we continued to battle, we were also a little bit lax when in possession
as we gave the ball away far too often and invited pressure on ourselves rather than applying it to the opposition. Amodu
was a culprit on 2 occasions but Cornwell thwarted the opposition. On 51, Cornwell produced one of the moments of the match,
denying a certain goal with a wonder save as he tipped the ball onto the bar, unfortunately it appeared to be a forlorn effort
as the the rebound was smashed at goal, this time though Captain Stevens flew through the air to head the ball over! Again,
we allowed too many crosses into our 18 yard box though and on 60 we finally paid the price, a far post cross was not dealt
with, Stevens and McLaren were caught too square causing them both to be unaware of the man at the far post, who tapped in
the easiest goal of his career! 2 minutes later it was 0-2, this time Barge was out muscled, Amodu was got past too easily
and Cornwell was beaten by a superb finish that flew into the far corner off of the post.
Vale though had their chances, Torino
was a threat and he powered down the right before cutting in and being denied by a near post save. Moments later in an identical
situation Torino this time cut the ball back to Wilson who met the ball fiercely but hit it straight
at the keeper. The scoring was completed on 83 when a long range effort was spilled by Eldergill into the corner of the net.
The score was harsh on Vale but we must start
learning to convert our chances or continue to pay the penalty. The 1st half was a stirling effort but the imbalance
of our bench combined with injuries and fatigue caused too much of a disruption to our shape and structure in the 2nd
half. We also came 2nd best in terms of fitness.
Williams N; Torino; Molsey; Barge; Eldergill
M.o.M Myles McLaren
RPV 0 v Whitehawk 1
After working hard in a 1 hour training session
prior to the game the boys showed a good collective spirit and attitude to succeed during pre match preparation. The squad
have now only been back together for 7 training sessions and 3 matches, 4 of those sessions were solely based on fitness,
1 was spent on defending corners whilst 2 were spent on defending. As coach I have seen clear signs that the squad are moving
in the right direction in terms of attitude, application, spirit and commitment and after today, I felt that there was a clear
improvement in terms of defending and team shape. Lets remember what the goal of pre season is, to be ready for Ash United
on Aug 11, we still have 3 weeks left. For the 1st 40 minutes we were tough to play through and we kept the ball
away from our box and prevented at least half the amount of crosses that we conceded on Wednesday. Pleasingly, we had 11 players
who defensively seemed to know what their role was and they applied themselves diligently to it. Cornwell was only called
upon once really and that was from long range and he recovered well to backtrack quickly to tip a dipping shot over the bar.
Our attacking play was generally thwarted anytime we got into the attacking third with lets say some thuggish defending and
although the referee granted us free kicks, we showed no discipline or thought as we constantly berated the referee and wasted
our dead ball situations. We capitulated down our left just prior to half time as Reid was left too exposed by Dobinson and
4 dangerous crosses were swung into our box, these crosses generally came from naivety at throw ins.
This time we had balance on the bench and we were
able to continue in a similar vein to the 1st half. We did though, lose our focus as the 2nd half began,
we became jittery on the ball and unsettled when in possession. The irony of Half times conversation was left ingrained with
all of us as we conceded a throw but this time on the right, Skinner and Mallah were dragged out of position, the ball was
thrown in behind them, cut back and smashed into the roof of the net and that was the game lost in the blink of an eye from
a throw in, yet we wasted endless dead ball situations.
Collectively the performance was a massive improvement
we had a solid shape and rarely looked imbalanced defensively. Next we need to bring a cutting edge to our attacking play.
There were superb performances from Cornwell, Reid, Stevens, Kay and Molsey but man of the match went to Mark Skinner. I would
also like to mention Thomas Barge who has waited patiently for his opportunity to play in his favoured position without complaining
whilst also playing anywhere that he has been asked to do so, a real team player, well done!
Subs: Thompson; Chapman; Williams N; Barge; Mallah;
Williams J; Kambiri; Torino; Levene; Skinner
M.o.M Mark Skinner
RPV 1 v Met Police
The Police rolled
into Grand Drive
as Lee Dobinson made a couple of changes to the squad that took Whitehawk
to the wire. For 20 minutes we were pretty poor as the lessons of the previous Saturday seemed to have slipped from our memory
banks as an energetic Police side distorted us at will. We were defending very deep, almost inviting them around our 18 yard
box. It was inside this period that we went a goal behind, Reid had done a good job on the touchline in forcing the winger
to play back but neither covering defender reacted quickly enough, the cross was swung in and headed
home. The debate was to whether the Keeper should have come or the Centre halves should have dealt with it, either way there
was an uncertainty from the cross, so that will be worked on. After 20 we seemed to settle and created some half chances,
Solomon had a weak header saved from Amodu‚s cross, Williams headed Mallah‚s
corner wide, the later wasted a good free kick opportunity and Skinner fired a cross into the side netting. Generally though,
our midfield had dropped far too deep.
half saw our best period of the pre season so far, we took the game to our higher opponents and frightened them half to death.
They knew that they had had a game tonight. Unfortunately debutant Jaeger was dispossessed on 52 from Torino‚s
stray pass and as Jaeger and Skinner tried to retrieve the situation out wide, a cutting slide rule pass split our defence
and the finish gave Cornwell no chance and we were 2-0 down. A minute later we were back in it though, David seemed to have
lost possession after looking like levelling but he battled back to retrieve the ball before being fouled and the ref pointed
to the spot. Torino despatched it comfortably. David then played in Torino
again and in a 1 on 1 that he looked favourite for, the keeper did well to deny him. Kay then lobbed
the ball wide with an audacious effort. Barge, again giving a distinguished display in the centre after coming from the bench
played a great ball out to Dobinson whose cross was claimed well by the keeper. On 66 Jaeger was
caught in possession but Cornwell produced a good save to keep us a goal adrift. David then made a chance for himself after
twisting and turning from a corner after Mallah‚s free kick was turned wide but he screwed the shot
wide. We had our chances and could easily have won the game against a well established Ryman Div 1 side. Well done everyone.
M.o.M Thomas Barge (Waited for his chance and took it)
RPV 1 v Eastleigh
DobboSnr added debutants John Woodward and Shaun Henry to the squad as Kay was
carrying a knock and Wilson was away as we set out against a young Eastleigh side. The lads again were put through a 40 minute
session prior to the game in an attempt to drag as much out of them in pre season as is possible. The culmination of just
over 3 weeks of hard work by the players was rewarded with not only their first win of the season but as some were keen to
point out, their first clean sheet. As defensive performances go, apart from conceding a horrendous amount of free kicks in
dangerous areas, this was admirable. We had worked on defending crosses this week and I was delighted with how they applied
this in the game. We stopped more crosses than in previous games, yet when they did get them in, we dealt with them superbly.
We lost Skinner early with a heel injury and Jaeger is taking time to get used to his new surroundings and the pace of the
games but that is expected. The only complaint from the 1st half was the way that we wasted possession in the attacking
half through just a sheer lack of composure at times. At one point drawing to the close of the half, Stevens got dragged wide
due to a lack of cover out wide and as the cross came in we almost conceded a goal identical to the opener against AFC Wimbledon.
Eastleigh also hit the post from a free kick that should never have been where Jaeger clearly won the ball.
Prior to kick
off we worked on getting the ball into the oppositions box, this was rewarded when Levene did just
that from the left side 3 minutes into the 2nd half. It was probably not the best cross that the youngster has
ever hit but he got it into a good area and Torino made the most of it and slipped it past the keeper
seconds after being denied from a better opportunity. The rest of the half saw us make things harder for ourselves than it
should have been. Eastleigh‚s youngsters battled hard but generally we really did defend well. For
us in attack David, usually a good team player showed a lack of team play and greed that unsettled himself
as well as others as he wasted possession after getting into some good positions. Certain attitudes were unacceptable today
and we hope for the right response from several players. Just as players sometimes make horrendous mistakes, so do match officials
but by concentrating on their mistake and berating them for it means we are not focussing on what we are responsible for,
OUR OWN JOB! Our focus is also dented if we are throwing tantrums or sulking during the 90 minutes, we can do all that in
the dressing room after the game, only one thing suffers if we do it during the 90, our team! Well
done today guys, you won’t always get the praise that you deserve in any walk of life but today, after the last 3 weeks,
Dobo and I could ask no more of you! MW
Henry; Williams N; Woodward; David; Levene.
M.o.M Dan Stevens (A Captains display omitting the DISSENT)
RPVFC 1 v
Kent Leagues Croydon FC were last nights visitors to Grand Drive and they left with a comfortable 4-1 win under
their belts against what looked a jaded Vale line up. There was an air of over confidence in the ranks after Saturdays win
and it ended up biting us in the ass. Croydon were there to play as we appeared to be going through the motions in warm up.
Amodu came in for Jaeger, Kay replaced the injured Solomon, Levene replaced the absent Molsey, Wilson returned to the squad and Akeem Jackson
made his debut in the squad.
The 1st chance fell to Croydon, Amodu cleared weakly but the striker
fired over from outside the box. On 7 Kay should have put Vale ahead, Mallah hit a sweet corner but Kays downward header went
wide. The game was evenly contested in the middle of the park and on 17 the best chance of the game was created by Levene,
he won the ball from the back four, twisted his way towards goal before releasing Torino whose powerful shot was well saved
by the keeper at the near post. From this point on, around 25 mins, we looked a very jaded team and churned out a rather lacklustre
performance. The defence became unbalanced and we were pulled apart by Croydon seemingly at will as we lost our positional
discipline all over the pitch. The defence were left exposed far too often by a lack of consistent pressure in the attacking
third and the midfield were asked to win too many high balls, an area that we had a distinct disadvantage in height.
The opener came on 37, a deep cross from the left to the edge of our box was
headed back across goal and volleyed past Cornwell, a cutting move on the counter from Croydon combined with lethargic defending
all over the pitch from Vale.
In the 2nd half we never ever got going, it was a poor performance
all over the pitch. On 55 Reid & Henry had a ball lobbed over them as they failed to react to the situation and Cornwell
failed to make a decisive decision one way or the other and the striker slotted past him, it was a horrible goal to concede,
possibly the worst of pre season. A penalty made it 3-0 after Cornwell was adjudged to have committed a foul?????? And in
the move of the match where Croydon played through us in neat triangles, Adam Skinner was beaten with a powerful shot into
the roof of the net moments after tipping a certain goal around the post.
Vale got a consolation goal back on the break when Jackson ran through before teeing up Wilson who fed Torino. There was an element of frustration about the goal as he launched it into the top corner from 25 yards.