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New Malden Athletic      0  -   Raynes Park Vale     3

Sunday 11th May   KO 10.30am

West Surrey Youth League - U18 Premier Division


Vale started well in this last league fixture of the season but it was New Malden who created the first real chance. Vale keeper Elliot Hind saving a low shot from the edge of the area. Vale dominated the play and created some good chances with the New Malden keeper making two fine saves. Vale deservedly took the lead in the 31st minutes when the ball fell to Matt Walsh on the edge of the area. His powerful shot with the outside of his foot left the keeper with absolutely no chance.

Vale went close again a few minutes later when Joe Hill fired wide and then increased their lead on 35 minutes. John Gardener created space for himself on the edge of the area and managed to get a shot on goal. The ball deflected off of a defender straight into the path of Gary Allen who made no mistake with his powerful low drive.


0-2 Half-time


The pattern of play in the second half was much the same as the first and on 10 minutes Rob Hill headed over following a corner from brother Joe. Vale brought on substitutes Simpson and Brackstone up front for Walsh and Gardener as they continued to search for another goal. New Malden only really had two serious attacks in the half as the Vale defense again looked solid. From a free kick two New Malden players were caught off side but Vale keeper Hind still managed a spectacular save despite a free kick already being awarded.

On 40 minutes Vale put the game beyond any doubt when Joe Hill was left unmarked to score with a low shot. Vale brought on Nyman for Joe Hill as Vale held firm to collect all 3 points with a very impressive performance.


0-3   Full time


MoM - Gary Wells. Dominated the centre of midfield with a hardworking and faultless performance.

Raynes Park Vale 3 - Hinchley Wood 1

Sunday 4th May KO 12.30pm

West Surrey Youth League - U18 Premier Division

The opening exchanges in this match were evenly contested with both defences looking very solid. It was not until the 21st minute that the first real goal attempt was made as Elliot Hind in the Vale goal saved well to push the ball away for a corner. Vale had a good spell around the half hour mark as attempts from Matt Walsh, Gary Wells , Anthony Nyman and John Mooney all went close.

Vale broke the deadlock in the 43rd minutes following good work by Dean Brackstone on the edge of the Hinchley Wood penalty area. His clever through pass found Matt Walsh who finished well with a powerful low shot.

Unbelievably Hinchley Wood were level within seconds with an absolutely outrageous goal. Hinchley Wood number 9 Ahmed Hussien who had been causing Vale problems with his trickery got the ball from the restart. His wriggled his way past two Vale players and unleashed a shot from just inside the Vale half that went like an arrow into the top corner. A contender for goal of the century let alone goal of the season!

1 - 1 Half Time

Vale started to dominate at the start of the second half with Jeriah Simpsons pace causing problems for the Hinchley Wood defence. Efforts by Jeriah, Gary Wells, Michael Bayley and Matt Walsh all went close.

In the 15th minute Vale brought on substitute Filipe Martins and he was soon involved in the action as he saw his shot saved by the Hinchley Wood keeper.

On 22 minutes Vale brought on John Gardener and played with three up front as they went in search of a victory. Hinchley Wood looked dangerous on the break but rarely troubled Hind in the Vale goal.

On 33 minutes Vale took the lead when Matt Walsh broke down the right hand side. As the Hinchley Wood keeper came out to narrow the angle Matt unselfishly squared the ball for John Garderner to score with an easy tap in.

On 44th minutes Vale wrapped the game up with a well crafted goal. A long kick from keeper Hind was headed on by Gary Wells who found Matt Walsh. Good inter passing between Matt, Gary and John Garderner created space on the left of the Hinchley Wood area and John Garderner finished with a low left foot shot across the face of the Hinchley Wood keeper.

3 - 1 Full Time

MoM - The two substitutes, Filipe Martins and John Gardener who turned the game and salvaged the points for Vale when a draw looked inevitable.

Match Stats                RPVFC           Hinchley Wood

Goals                               3                           1

Shots on target                 5                           3   

Shots off target               12                           4

Corners                           6                            6

Fouls committed              2                            4

Offside                            1                            3

Booked                           0                            0

Sent off                           0                            0



Wandgas 1 - Raynes Park Vale 1

Sunday 27th Apr KO 14.15pm

West Surrey Youth League - U18 Premier Division

Vale started strongly against top of the table Wandgas and applied early pressure. In the 3rd minute Vale were awarded a free kick on the left which Gary Wells hit only inches over the crossbar. In the 12th minute Vale centre back Richard Bayley broke up a Wandgas attack and his through ball found Matt Walsh just inside the Wandgas half. Matts neat turn beat the last defender and he set off towards goal. Despite the close attention of another defender Matt kept his nerve and despatched a powerful low shot into the corner of the net to give Vale the lead.

Wandgas responded well and applied pressure on the Vale defence. Vale keeper Elliot Hind was called into action a number of times but his safe handling on both crosses and shots ensured that Vale maintained their lead. In the 29th and 31st minutes Wandgas had two good scoring chances but on both occasions Elliot Hind was equal to the task and pushed the ball away for a corner.

0 - 1 Half Time

Wandgas took immediate control from the kick off and went in search of an equalizer but good defending by the Vale back line meant that most Wandgas attempts on goal were from distance. On 15 minutes they should have scored when a good cross from the left was headed narrowly wide.

On 23 minutes Vale countered and good work from Matt Walsh saw a dangerous cross into the Wandgas area. Jeriah Simpsom raced into the area but was only millimetres away from making contact for what seemed like a certain goal. Three minutes later Wandgas again looked dangerous and an acrobatic save by Hind saw him push the ball over his crossbar for a corner.

On 29 minutes Wandgas equalized following good work down the left flank. When the ball arrived in the Vale penalty area it was converted with a neat finish low into the corner of the goal.

On 32 minutes Vale again broke away and Matt Walsh raced in on goal but his shot was saved by the Wandgas keeper.

Wandgas finished the stronger of the two teams and they thought that they had got the winner on 40 minutes only to be denied by a spectacular save low to his left by Hind in the Vale goal.

On the balance of play Wandgas will be dissapointed to come away from this game with just a draw but it was a spirited and determined performance from Vale who worked extremely hard in every department.

1 - 1 Full Time

MoM - Elliot Hind. Great all round goalkeeping display

Match Stats       RPVFC            Wandgas

Goals                         1                         1

Shots on target           2                         8

Shots off target           2                         9

Corners                     3                        13

Fouls committed       12                       11

Offside                      1                          3

Booked                     0                          0

Sent off                     0                           0


Ashford Town 1 - Raynes Park Vale 2

Sunday 13th Apr KO 10.00am

West Surrey Youth League - Under 18 Premier Division

Vale dominated the first half and took the lead early on when the Ashford defence failed to clear. The ball fell to midfielder Gary Wells who finished well when he placed his shot low into the corner of the net. The Ashford defence struggled to cope with the pace of Jeriah Simpson who saw two efforts just off target in the 21st and 24th minutes. Vale also saw efforts from Brackstone and Joe Hill go close. Ashford rarely looked dangerous as the Vale back three of Richard Bayley, John Mooney and Rob Hill dominated the Ashford forwards who didnt have one shot on target in the first half.

0 - 1 Half Time

The second half was only a minute old when Vale struck again. Rob Hill broke up an Ashford attack and played the ball up to Matt Walsh. His lay off found Dean Brackstone who played a first time through ball to Jeriah Simpson. As the Ashford keeper rushed from his goal he looked favourite to win the ball but Simpsons pace saw him round the keeper and roll the ball into the empty net.

Ashford Town fought back and started to dominate the play but rarely troubled the Vale defence. Vale only attacked very rarely as they found it difficult to create scoring chances.

Vale brought on substitutes Gardener, Martins and Nyman as they continued to withhold the Ashford pressure. In the 40th minute Ashford pulled a goal back when a cross from the right was headed home but Vale held out for the remaining minutes to earn a deserved victory.

MoM - Gary Wells. Dominating display in the centre of midfield capped with a well taken goal.

1 - 2 Full time

Match Stats              RPVFC            Ashford Town

Goals                          2                          1

Shots on target            3                          4

Shots off target            4                          1

Corners                       5                          5

Fouls committed          7                          8

Offside                        1                          3

Booked                       0                          0

Sent off                       0                          0

North Kingston Colts 1 - Raynes Park Vale 1

Raynes Park Vale 8 - North Kingston Colts 0

Sunday 23rd Mar KO 10.30am

West Surrey Youth League - Under 18 Premier Division

The first game in the double header was a very one sided affair with Raynes Park Vale dominating. However NKC scored first after a breakaway in the 34th minute. A shot from the right was well saved at the foot of the post by Hind in the Vale goal. From the resulting corner the ball was headed clear but NKC scored with a blistering drive from just outside the area. Vale applied lots of pressure and eventually equalised in the 39th minute when Joe Hill scored from close range after some good work from Matt Walsh. Vale had lots of chances to win the match but NKC hung to snatch a point.

1 - 1 Full time

Match Stats           RPVFC             NKC

Goals                           1                   1

Shots on target             5                    1

Shots off target            12                   0

Corners                        9                   1

Fouls committed           2                   5

Offside                         2                   0

Booked                        0                   0

Sent off                        0                   0

The second game was even more one sided than the first but this time Vale didnt make any mistakes. They took the lead in the 9th minute when Michael Bayley scored with an unstoppable drive from the edge of the penalty area. Further goals from Rob Hill, Matt Walsh(3), Joe Hill, John Gardener soon followed as NKC folded. Vale saved the best to last when Anthony Nyman cut in from the right and unleashed a left foot drive that flew into the top corner of the net.

Vale also had 3 penalty appeals turned down and had 4 efforts cleared off the line in this very one sided affair.

8 - 0 Full time

Match Stats             RPVFC           NKC

Goals                           8                   0

Shots on target             8                    0

Shots off target             10                  1

Corners                        2                    1

Fouls committed           3                    1

Offside                         0                     0

Booked                        2                     1

Sent off                        0                     0


MoM - Gary Allen. Strong when defending and excellent when going forward providing good crosses into the penalty area.

Raynes Park Vale 1   -   Leatherhead 2   (AET)

Sunday 9th Mar KO 14.30pm

Surrey Youth Cup - Under 18s

Leatherhead got off to the better start in this cup semi-final and took and early lead in the 6th minute when the ball broke on the edge of the area to their number 9. His pace took him past the last Vale defender and he finished well with a powerful low shot. Vale had hardly put two passes together but were back on level terms 3 minutes latter when a fine passing move saw a through pass from Joe Hill find Matt Walsh. Matt didnt need to break stride as he outpaced his marker and finished with a first time effort low into the corner of the net.

Vale had a good spell following the goal and on 12 minutes Matt Walsh saw his header pushed around the post by the Leatherhead keeper. A minute later Matt again had a chance but this time his effort was blocked.

Leatherhead started to claw their way back into the game and began to dominate. Elliot Hind in the Vale goal was now the busier keeper but his fine handling under crosses ensured that Vale remained on level terms.

Vale were dealt a blow on 29 minutes when they lost midfielder Dean Brackstone to injury, Filipe Martins substituting.

1 - 1 Half time

Leatherhead started the second half strongly and a fine defensive header by Paul Mulry under pressure meant that Leatherhead had an early corner. They continued to apply pressure and on 8 minutes Elliot Hind dived full length to stop a powerful shot to his left.

Vale counter attacked and following a Rob Hill corner, Gary Wells hit a tremendous drive from 25 yards that cannoned off the post.

Leatherhead replied and Elliot Hind did well to push an awkward looking cross over his own crossbar. Three minutes later Richard Bayley made an excellent last ditch tackle to deny the Leatherhead number 11 a scoring opportunity. On 19minutes Vale brought on Jeriah Simpson for Gary Wells.

The game was now very open and both sides went in search of the winner. On 27 minutes Rob Hill was unlucky as he spotted the Leatherhead keeper off his line and tried to lob him from distance. Unfortunately the ball not quite having enough height to beat him.

In the last minute Vale had a chance to win the match when Rob Hill rounded a defender but saw his shot cleared off the line.

1 - 1 Full time

Vale attacked early on and Matt Walsh broke down the right. His cross was met by John Gardener but John was adjudged to have fouled the defender as his goal bound effort rebounded off the post.

Elliot Hind was called into action on 8 minutes when he saved from the Leatherhead number 9.

At the close of the half Vale had to substitute Jeriah Simpson who picked up an injury and brought on Michael Bayley to replace him.

1 - 1 Extra time half time

Vale now looked the stronger and had two early efforts just of target. However Leatherhead countered and in the 8th minute took the lead when a harmless looking ball from midfield was pushed towards the Vale penalty area. Their number 9 latched onto it and outpaced the Vale defence to score with a low effort. Vale fought back but time was now against them and Leatherhead held on to win this closely contested cup tie.

MoM - Elliot Hind. A confident display from Elliot with fine handling under crosses and some excellent saves.

Match Stats        RPVFC          Leatherhead

Shots                       12                        20

Goals                        1                          2

Shots on target          8                          9

Corners                    6                         10

Offside                     4                          5

Fouls                      14                         23

Bookings                 0                           0

Sent off                    0                          0



Raynes Park Vale  4 - Horsley FC   2

Sunday 2nd Mar KO 10.30am

West Surrey Youth League - Under 18 Premier Division

This game got off to a lively start when in the first minute, Vales John Gardener robbed a Horsley defender, played a one-two with Matt Walsh, and then saw his shot go narrowly wide. Vale were quick to attack again and only brave goalkeeping denied Matt Walsh from scoring. Amazingly in the 3rd minute Vale went behind when Horsley attacked for the first time. A harmless looking cross from the right eluded Elliot Hind in the Vale goal and the ball drifted into the top corner of the net. Vale immediately responded and Gary Allen crossed to John Gardener whose header went just over the bar.

On 10 minutes Horsley had two good chances to score. A fine last minute challenge by Anthony Nyman denied Horsley a shooting chance from close range and then Gary Allen cleared off the goal line following a scramble in the Vale goalmouth.

Vale again applied pressure and Michael Bayley was unlucky on 15 minutes when his powerful drive just cleared the crossbar. Vale now seemed to be in the driving seat but Horsley still looked dangerous on the break and brought two fine save from Vale goalkeeper Hind.

On 32 minutes Vale looked certain to score when Anthony Nymans shot was charged down, Matt Walsh was first to the rebound but his shot took a deflection and was only just off target. Vale did have the ball in the Horsley net on 44 minutes when John Gardener scored from close range but was adjudged to be offside.

0 - 1 Half time

The start of the second half was just as lively as the first with both teams creating chances to score. On 6 minutes, Horsley extended their lead when a fine passing move found a forward free on the edge of the Vale penalty area and his powerful low drive beat Hind at the near post.

A few minutes later Vale made a double substitution, bringing on Jeriah Simpson and Dean Brackstone. Jeriahs impact was instant when he cut infield from the left and played fine ball into Gary Wells. Garys headed pass was inch perfect as he found Joe Hill breaking from midfield. Joes pace and skill took him past 3 defenders and he finished coolly as the goalkeeper advanced. Horsley responded well and had a header just clear the crossbar following a good corner.

Rob Hill then had two good chances for Vale. His first effort was easily saved by the Horsley keeper but his second was a precision chip that left the Horsley keeper with absolutely no chance as he made it 2-2.

On 20 minutes Vale got their noses in front for the first time. A strong run from Joe Hill made space on the edge of the Horsley area and he fed Matt Walsh who calmly finished from close range. Vale were now on the ascendancy as the pitch became very heavy and they completed a fine comeback on 27 minutes when Joe Hill made yet another strong run from midfield and again rounded a number of defenders before finishing well.

Horsley still threatened and Elliot Hind was again called into action. First a fine save low to his right and then a hard low cross from the left needed Elliotts full attention.

Vale brought on Filipe Martins into midfield as the tiresome pitch began to take its toll. Vale finished the stronger and again created chances when efforts from John Gardener and Rob Hill were saved.

4 - 2 Full time

MoM - Joe Hill - Another tireless midfield performance, capped with two superbly taken goals.

Match Stats            RPVFC              Horsley

Shots                         19                       9

Goals                           4                       2

Shots on target             5                       5

Corners                        7                       5

Offside                         9                       2

Fouls                         15                       8

Bookings                     0                       0

Sent off                        0                       0

Farnborough Town    2  -   Raynes Park Vale Youth    1   (AET)

Sunday 23rd Feb   KO 02.00pm

West Surrey Youth Cup Under 18s

This cup quarter-final game was played in spring like conditions at Farnborough Town but the good weather was the only high point on an otherwise bleak afternoon for Raynes Park Vale. It was soon apparent that this was going to be a tough afternoon for Vale when the referee awarded an extraordinary number of free kicks against them in the opening minutes. It was lackluster start by Vale who found them selves under early pressure. In the 3rd minute a Farnborough header was parried by Elliot Hind in the Vale goal and Rob Hill was on hand to clear the danger. Vale countered and John Gardener saw his shot deflected for a corner. After about 20 minutes Vale were eventually awarded a free kick, which was met with a resounding round of applause by the Vale supporters. Farnborough best chance came from a corner when Elliot Hind in the Vale goal failed to hold the cross but the incoming forward saw his header clear the crossbar. Vale occasionally created chances with efforts from Filipe Martins and John Gardener just off target.

0-0 Half-time

Vale were forced to withdraw centre-back Paul Mulry due to a hamstring injury and he was replaced by Gary Allen. Vale started brightly and Rob Hill had a shot collected low down by the Farnborough keeper. Vale were unable to reproduce the form of recent weeks but still managed to hold Farnborough at bay whilst creating occasional scoring chances for them selves. On 22 minutes Vale made another change when Michael Bayley replaced Anthony Nyman. Just as it seemed Vale were getting on top of their game a harmless looking ball through the middle led to confusion in the Vale defense and Farnborough scored to take the lead.

Within minutes Vale were level. Richard Bayley played the ball up to John Gardener whose first time touch found Joe Hill breaking from midfield. Joe carried the ball forward and finished well with a low shot in to the corner of the net.

Farnborough were confined to a few long-range efforts, which were wildly off target whilst Vale mounted a few dangerous looking attacks. One such attack led to a corner and when the ball fell to Michael Bayley he was impeded as he tried to shoot for goal. Despite a loud appeal for a penalty the referee waved play on. In the 45th minute Jovaughn Henderson robbed a Farnborough defender and was brought down heavily as he did so. The ball broke to Joe Hill who looked to be through on goal but the referee whistled for a free kick and failed to play the advantage. The wall charged the resulting free kick down.

1-1 Full time

In the 9th minute of extra time Vale should have taken the lead. John Gardener received a pass from Rob Hill and saw his shot hit the crossbar. Jovaughn Henderson following up looked certain to score but was dragged to the floor before he could make contact with the ball. Penalty appeal number 2 ignored. More was to follow. A few moments later Jovaughn again advanced into the penalty area and was completely wiped out by a crude tackle from behind. Again the referee chose to do nothing, claiming that Jovaughn had lost possession of the ball!  It now became abundantly clear that this referee was not familiar with the rules of association football and he again totally ignored the appeals of the Raynes Park Vale players. Just to add to this complete farce, when Vale kicked the ball out of play to allow treatment to a Farnborough player, play was restarted by the Farnborough manager throwing the ball to one of his players who then hoofed it out of play! Very strange!

1-1    Extra time half Time

In the 6th minute of the second period Michael Bayley met a good corner from Rob Hill at the far post but his header went just wide. Two minutes later, the referee, who earlier wouldnt have realized a penalty decision if it hit smacked on the nose, suddenly found the courage to award one! What a surprise, it went to Farnborough Town!!!!

John Mooney having been adjudged to have made contact with a Farnborough forward who went to ground. The referee did not hesitate this time! The penalty was converted to give Farnborough a 2-1 lead.

With just minutes now remaining Vale could have still salvaged something. A shot by Gary Wells deflected into the path of John Gardener but his header went straight into the arms of the falling Farnborough goalkeeper. Vale attacked yet again and with the ball buzzing dangerously around the Farnborough penalty area the referee blew for full time.

2-1 Final score 

A below average performance from Vale but still miles ahead that of the referee! Mind you, he did have a vested interest in Farnborough Town winning this match. His son was playing for them! What was he doing in charge of this cup game you might ask? Good question! It simply should not have been allowed to happen. Raynes Park Vale Youth have been denied a fair opportunity to progress in this cup competition!

MoM  - Joe Hill worked extremely hard in midfield throughout the game and capped his performance with a well-taken goal.

Raynes Park Vale 3  -  Croydon Athletic 2

Sunday 16th Feb KO 10.00am

Surrey Youth Cup - Under 18s

Vale conceded home advantage in order to get this game played but despite this they managed to come through this hard fought cup tie. Croydon started brightly and in the first few minutes tried a couple of shots from distance but both sailed well wide. The next 15 minutes was evenly contested with the ball spending most of the time in midfield. In the 23rd minute Croydon mounted a dangerous looking move only to be thwarted by a great tackle on the edge of his own area by midfielder Dean Brackstone. Vales best chance came in the 28th minute when John Gardener found himself in space on the edge of the area but his shot went straight into the arms of the Croydon keeper. John was involved again a few minutes later but this time his shot was off target. Croydon looked menacing going forward but strong defending by the Vale back line meant that most of their efforts were from distance.

Vale broke the deadlock in the 37th minute. A great through ball from Rob Hill found Matt Walsh. The close attention of a central defender seemed to have forced Matt too wide of the goal but Matt cleverly beat him and as the goalkeeper advanced to close him down he sent a curling right foot shot over the keeper high into the corner of the net. Matt could have scored again moments later but this time his effort was blocked.

On 42 minutes the Croydon number 15 cut in from the left and his low drive was well saved on the near post by Vale keeper Elliot Hind. From the resulting corner poor marking left the Croydon number 10 with a free header at the far post and he made no mistake with a powerfully headed goal.

Vale responded well and were soon on the attack again. On the stroke of half time they were awarded a free kick on the edge of the Croydon penalty area. Joe Hill curled his effort around the wall and despite the fact the kick did not appear to have a lot of pace, the accuracy had the keeper beaten at the near post.

2 - 1 Half time

Croydon started the second half in a very determined mood and spent long periods of time camped in the Vale half. But once again they were denied any close range efforts on goal and their long range efforts lacked any accuracy. Their only shot on target being easily saved by the Vale keeper.

On 19 minutes Dean Brackstone challenged bravely for a 50-50 ball in midfield and suffered a nasty blow high on the shin which left him writhing in agony. He could play no further part in the match and Vale were forced to reshuffle. Gary Allen coming on to replace him slotted in at right back with Joe Hill moving to the centre of midfield.

Two minutes later Vale were dealt another blow when the referee controversially awarded Croydon a penalty. Keeper Hind advanced from his line and seemed to fairly win a 50-50 challenge but the Croydon forward went to ground and a penalty was given. The resulting spot kick hit the underside of the bar with Vales Rob Hill being the first to react and clear the danger.

Vale then attacked strongly and seemed certain to score when a good passing move found Joe Hill inside the penalty area. His powerful shot brought a stunning reflex save from the Croydon keeper who managed to push the ball out for a corner. Joe Hill took the corner and when the ball arrived at the far post, Gary Allen propelled himself bravely amongst the Croydon defenders to score with a diving header.

Croydon retaliated strongly and pulled a goal back on 29 minutes. Elliot Hind saved well but as the ball was played back into the danger area Croydon managed to bundle the ball home at the far post despite the brave efforts of Vale centre back Richard Bayley.

Vale again attacked and John Gardener seemed to be outnumbered by Croydon defenders but his strength and pace won the ball and his shot beat the keeper but rolled agonisingly wide of the post.

Croydon went in search of the equalizer but found the Vale defence difficult to break down. A few long range efforts were dealt with comfortably by Elliot Hind in the Vale goal and a goal mouth scramble towards the end caused a few hearts to flutter but Vale held out to win through to the semi-final of the Surrey Cup.

3 - 2 Full time

MoM - The whole team! An all round team performance showing great spirit and determination.

Hanworth Utd  1   -   Raynes Park Vale  3

Sunday 9th Feb KO 14.00pm

West Surrey Youth Cup - Under 18s

This game, originally scheduled for December 2nd finally got under way on a mud heap of a pitch at Hanworth Utd. Vale started the stronger and soon had a couple of attempts on goal but neither really troubled the Hanworth Utd goalkeeper.

In the 14th minute Vale put together a good passing move which opened up the Hanworth defence. Gary Wells arriving from midfield struck his shot well and the Hanworth keeper seemed beaten but somehow managed to save with his trailing leg. A minute later Vale were in front. Rob Hill beat two players and hit a powerful shot which the goalkeeper could only parry and the ball broke loose to John Gardener who had the simplest of finishes.

Hanworth retaliated well and began to put together some attacks. The Vale defence looked solid though but conceded a few needless free kicks around the edge of their own penalty area, most of which mounted to nothing.

On 29 minutes Hanworth were level following a disputed penalty. Hanworth won a corner and positioned a player directly in front of Vale keeper Elliot Hind. Both players jostled for position but as the corner was taken the referee awarded a penalty for pushing by the Vale goalkeeper.

It seemed harsh as it appeared to be six of one, and half a dozen of the other but the referee was adamant that Hind was the culprit and also booked him for his protestations.

Vale were soon on the attack again and went close when Joe Hill fired just wide. On 40 minutes Vale again took the lead when centre back John Mooney started a move on the half way line. His accurate pass found Michael Bayley who in turn fed John Gardener wide on the left. John took on the full back and his superb cross was met by the onrushing Matt Walsh who finished from six yards.

1 - 2 Half time

Hanworth mounted some early attacks but the Vale back line of Paul Mulry, Richard Bayley, and John Mooney coped well on a pitch that was getting more treacherous as the game went on. Vale again applied pressure and had numerous efforts on the Hanworth goal that were either blocked or went wide. On 18 minutes Dean Brackstone replaced John Gardener as Vale went in search of more goals. In the 25th minute Vale won a corner. The ball was met by John Mooney whose shot was blocked but John reacted well to meet the ball again, this time his left foot shot finding the back of the net.

Vale brought on substitutes Anthony Nyman and Filipe Martins to work in midfield as the pitch became heavier and more tiring. Vale continued to dominate and brought the save of the match from the Hanworth goalkeeper on 42 minutes. His acrobatic leap denying a powerful Matt Walsh effort from close range. Hanworth did mange one last attack but the Vale goalkeeper, despite having very little to do in the second half, was alert and save smartly in the dying seconds.

1 - 3 Full time

MoM - Gary Wells - Worked very hard in midfield in very difficult conditions.

Whyteleafe 1 - Raynes Park Vale 2

Sunday 26th Jan KO 01.00pm

Surrey Youth Cup - Under 18s

This 3rd round cup tie finally got under way after being postponed for a number of weeks. Whyteleafe settled into the game immediately and had Vale on the back foot from the first whistle. Their first attempt on goal game on just 4 minutes when their number 9 fired wide. It was much the same pattern for long periods of the first half with Whyteleafe retaining possession well and Vale struggling to string any attacks together. Despite almost constant pressure, the Vale defence held firm and restricted Whyteleafe to a few long range efforts that went well wide. Whyteleafe nearly broke the deadlock on 27 minutes when a corner on the left was quickly taken. The resulting cross was headed goal wards but wing back Michael Bayley was on the far post to clear from the line.

Vales first serious attempt on goal did not come until the 29th minute. A free kick 25 yards from goal was struck well by Joe Hill but the Whyteleafe goalkeeper gathered down low to his right. This was a rare attack for Vale who soon found themselves under more pressure. More shots rained in on goal but most lacked accuracy. On 44 minutes there was a scramble in the Vale penalty area but Vale goalkeeper Elliot Hind raced from his line to emerge with the ball. From his clearance Vale mounted an attack which saw Joe Hills shot go well over the bar.

It was a first half that saw Whyteleafe dominate but fail to take advantage of their superior possession.

0 - 0 Half time

Vale started brightly in the second half and in the 2nd minute had a shooting opportunity that went wide. It was now a more evenly contested match with Whyteleafe again using the width of the pitch well and putting the Vale defence under pressure. Vale mounted a number of counter attacks and on 15 minutes a drive from Dean Blackstone went just wide.

On 19 minutes Whyteleafe finally broke the deadlock when a very dubious penalty was awarded. A cross from the right struck centre-back Richard Bayley high on the arm and despite the Vale protests the referee deemed it to be deliberate. The resulting penalty kick was dispatched without any problems.

Vale immediately brought on substitute Jeriah Simpson for Michael Bayley. Within 2 minutes Vale were level. Rob Hill advanced forward from his defensive duties, calmly beat two defenders and slotted a superb through ball to John Gardener. John took the ball on and buried a firm shot into the corner of the net. The dubious penalty decision seemed to spur Vale on and 2 minutes later they were in front. Forward Matt Walsh chased a long ball into the corner for what seemed to be a lost cause. His pressure caused an error from which Joe Hill seized possession. Joe hit a shot from the edge of the area which crept just inside the post with the Whyteleafe goalkeeper well beaten.

Whyteleafe responded strongly and were soon on the attack again but the middle of the Vale defence marshalled by John Mooney and Richard Bayley held firm. Whyteleafe did have a number of attempts on goal but again lacked accuracy and didnt really trouble goalkeeper Hind. One minute into injury time Vale broke away and only a superb block by the Whyteleafe goalkeeper prevented John Gardener from putting the game beyond doubt.

Based on the amount of possession and attempts on goal Whyteleafe will feel a little hard done by. However every player in the Vale team worked their socks off on a heavy pitch and battled very hard for this victory.

1 - 2 Full time

MoM - Richard Bayley - A pillar of strength at the heart of the Vale defence.

Hook Youth   1   -   Raynes Park Vale Youth   8

Sunday 8th Dec KO 10.00am

Surrey Youth Cup - Under 18s

This much postponed cup-tie finally got underway with the game being switched to Grand Drive, the home of Raynes Park Vale. With both teams having been out of action for 4 weeks, it was Hook who made the brighter start. On 5 minutes they launched an attack and when the Vale defense failed to clear, the ball fell to their centre forward who scored with an unstoppable shot into the top corner of the net.

It was a wake-up call for Vale who then started to put some passes together. On 13 minutes they were level when a cross from Jovaughn Henderson was slotted home at the far post by Rob Hill.

Three minutes later Rob Hill turned provider when his low cross was met by Anthony Nyman who scored with a low shot.

Vale now started to dominate and on 23 minutes they extended their lead when a fine passing movement involving Anthony Nyman, Jovaughn Henderson and Filipe Martins was finished by Rob Hill.

On 35 minutes it was 4-1 when Joe Hill picked up a pass on the half way line, advanced forward and scored with a powerful drive from 20 yards.

1 - 4 Half time

It was one-way traffic for most of the second half as Vale continued to apply pressure. On 5 minutes the lead was extended when Matt Walsh headed home from a corner. Matt almost added another seconds later but his shot went narrowly wide. Vale then brought on John Gardener for Matt Walsh and within seconds John had a powerful shot hit the side netting.

John was to be the next one on the score sheet when he headed home from a Rob Hill corner.

Vale brought on substitutes Richard Bayley and Dean Brackstone and Dean was soon in the action when he headed wide from a corner.

The Hook keeper was being kept very busy and on 25 minutes he brilliantly turned a Gary Allen shot around the post. On 30 minutes he could do nothing as Jovaughn Henderson advanced in the penalty area and as the keeper tried to close him down, Jovaughn calmly chipped the ball into the net.

A minute later it was 8-1 when Dean Brackstone hit an unstoppable shot from the edge of the penalty area.

Vale could of scored many more in a one-sided second half with Hook only attacking on very rare occasions. However, when going forward Hook still put together some nice passing movements. On 36 minutes they went close but the Vale keeper Elliot Hind made a fine save, showing great concentration despite having very little to do for most of the half.

1 - 8 Full time

MoM - Filipe Martins - Tireless performance in the centre of midfield for Vale.

Raynes Park Vale Youth    3  -   New Malden Athletic    3
Sunday 10th Nov   KO 10.30am
West Surrey Youth League - U18 Premier Division

Vale entertained top of the table New Malden Athletic on a wet Sunday morning at Grand Drive. It was a cautious start by both sides with Vale mounting the first serious attempt on goal after 6 minutes. Dean Brackstone met a Rob Hill free kick from the left but his header easily cleared the New Malden crossbar. A minute later Joe Hill had a low shot which was turned around the post by the New Malden goalkeeper.

On 11 minutes New Malden threatened for the first time but a shot from the edge of the area was well wide. Both defenses dominated with very few goal-scoring chances being created. Towards the end of the first half, New Malden started to find their rhythm with some good passing through the midfield. On 29 minutes they were awarded a free kick on the edge of the Vale area, which was hit narrowly wide of the right hand post. Two more chances were created just prior to half time. The first being comfortably saved by Elliot Hind in the Vale goal and the second being pulled wide from a difficult angle. Although both teams created chances during the first half, neither goalkeeper really had a difficult save to make.

0-0 Half-time

If the first half lacked genuine goal scoring opportunities the second half was about to make up for it. New Malden carried on where they left off in the first half and on 4 minutes had their first shot at goal. Vale brought on Paul Mulry and pushed centre back John Mooney forward to bolster the midfield. Vale soon responded and John Gardener saw his shot clear the crossbar.

On 9 minutes New Malden took the lead. A simple passing movement carved open the Vale defense and the centre forward was left with an easy scoring opportunity. Vale again responded well with Rob Hill breaking from defense but his shot again cleared the crossbar.

On 13 minutes New Malden extended their lead when a cross from the left was turned in at the far post. It looked like it was going to be a bleak day for Vale who brought on substitutes Matt Walsh and Jeriah Simpson in an attempt to turn the game around. On 16 minutes Vale were awarded a free kick on the edge of the penalty area and Rob Hills brilliant curling effort struck the post with the New Malden keeper easily beaten.

On 19 minutes Vale were back in the game when substitute Matt Walsh caused panic in the New Malden defense. The ball running loose to John Gardener who scored with a simple tap-in. The game was now very open and both sides had a player booked as the tempo of the game increased. On 29 minutes New Malden should have extended their lead further but a forward blasted wide from just a few yards. It was a let off for Vale who leveled 2 minutes later. On 31 minutes a corner from the right was headed goalwards by Dean Brackstone. A New Malden defender did well to clear from the goal line but the ball looped up and John Gardener was on hand to head the equalizer.

On 31 minutes Vale took the lead.  A fine passing movement down the left flank saw Jeriah Simpson feed Matt Walsh, whose clever flick found John Mooney. Johns run was timed to perfection and as he advanced into the New Malden area he resisted the close attention of the New Malden defenders to calmly slot the ball past the advancing goalkeeper. A fine comeback from Vale!

New Malden responded strongly and soon had Vale under pressure as they looked for the equalizer. In the dying seconds they were rewarded when a strong run down the left saw a cross loop towards the far post. As the ball dropped a New Malden forward was on hand to head home from virtually on the goal line. From the restart the referee immediately blew for full time!

It was a seesaw battle that nearly saw Vale complete a remarkable comeback, only to be thwarted in the dying seconds.

3-3   Full time

MoM  - John Mooney - Solid performance in both defense and midfield, capped with a well-taken goal.

 Hinchley Wood    0  -   Raynes Park Vale Youth    2

Sunday 27th Oct   KO 02.00pm

West Surrey Youth League - U18 Premier Division

In hurricane force conditions Vale chose to defend against the strong wind in the first half. However, it was Vale who first threatened when the Hinchley Wood keeper turned Dean Brackstones low shot around the post. From the ensuing corner Joe Hill played it short to Rob Hill whos shot only just cleared the crossbar.

In such atrocious conditions it was obvious that Vale would soon be under pressure and on 5 minutes Vale keeper Elliot Hind saved smartly with his legs to thwart the Hinchley Wood number 11. On 13 minutes Elliot was again called into action saving comfortably from the number 10.

The Vale defense was under a lot of pressure but centre-backs John Mooney, Rob Hill, and Richard Bayley defended strongly throughout.  On 22 minutes the Hinchley Wood number 8 tried a speculative long-range effort, which with the assistance of the force 10 gale, easily cleared the Vale crossbar.

Hinchley Wood was now on the ascendancy but most of their efforts on goal were from long-range and luckily for Vale, off target as well.

In the 30th minute Vale broke away and a smart interchange of passes between Joe and Rob Hill created a chance, which Rob smacked against the crossbar. From the rebound Matt Walsh fired his shot just over. It was soon back to defensive duties for Vale as Hinchley Wood again pressed forward but the hard working midfield trio of Brackstone, Wells and Martins meant that Hinchley Woods best efforts where from long range. Vale wingbacks Michael Bayley and Gary Allen spent most of their time defending and rarely had the chance to go forward as Vale were happy to play out a goal less first half.

0-0 Half-time

With the strong wind now behind them Vale were soon on the attack. In the 3rd minute Joe Hill fed the ball to Matt Walsh but his shot went straight into the keepers hands. In the 7th minute Matt Walsh was again through on goal, his lob over the keeper being cleared off the line for a corner. On 12 minutes Hinchley Wood mounted a rare attack and Vale keeper Hind did well to turn a cross come shot onto the crossbar. The ball fell into the path of an oncoming attacker who looked certain to score but a great block from Richard Bayley deflected the ball for a corner.

On 15 minutes Vale brought on forward John Gardener to replace midfielder Gary Wells. In the space of two minutes Vale had two good chances to score. First the keeper held a header from Joe Hill and then a minute later the keeper did well to turn a powerful Joe Hill drive over the bar.

Hinchley Wood mounted sporadic attacks and only smart defending from Gary Allen prevented a scoring chance on 20 minutes.

Vale wingback Michael Bayley saw a great curling effort drift just wide and a minute later Filipe Martins saw his shot narrowly miss the Hinchley Wood goal.

In the 31st minute Vale brought on Ben Clynshaw for Matt Walsh up front and his strong running and closing down had the Hinchley Wood defense under pressure. On 33 minutes John Gardener did well to win a corner and from Rob Hills deep cross, brother Joe was left unmarked at the far post to power in his header. Four minutes later it was 2-0 to Vale when Ben Clynshaw fed John Gardener who outpaced his marker to place his firm shot high into the Hinchley Wood net.

More chances soon followed. Ben Clynshaw fired over and then substitute Frank Okandju latched onto a smart through ball from Filipe Martins but his shot was deflected wide.

0-2   Full time

MoM  - Gary Allen - Tireless performance at right wingback. Defended superbly throughout whilst also creating good attacking opportunities going forward.

Raynes Park Vale Youth    0  -   Wandgas    1
Sunday 13th Oct   KO 10.30pm
West Surrey Youth League - U18 Premier Division

Vale made the stronger start to this game and produced the first attempt on goal after 7 minutes. John Gardener made good progress down the right flank and did well to get his cross over. Midfielder Anthony Nyman arrived at the far post but saw his first time effort go wide of goal.

On 18 minutes Matt Walsh was fouled on the edge of the Wandgas area but Rob Hills low free kick was easily collected by the their keeper.

Two bookings soon followed. Firstly, a Wandgas player was cautioned for a late tackle on Gary Wells, soon followed by a yellow card for Vale full back John Watkins for an innocuous challenge on the Wandgas winger.  A case of the referee trying to even things out!

On 22 minutes Matt Walsh was put through on goal only to be clearly held back by a Wandgas defender. The referee missed the incident altogether. Matt did manage to get a shot in despite the defender wanting to swap shirts early but the keeper easily saved it.

Despite showing some neat passing around midfield Wandgas where unable to make much of  an impression against the well organized Vale defense. It wasnt until the 34th minute that Wandgas really threatened the Vale goal when their number 3 fired his shot over the bar. Just prior to half time Vale mounted more attacks with shots from Matt Walsh and Jeriah Simpson but neither could find the target.

0-0 Half-time

Vale brought on Dean Brackstone for the Matt Walsh up front. Within seconds of the restart Wandgas were ahead. A passing move created space on the edge of the Vale penalty area and a low shot from the Wandgas number 3 found the corner of the net. The Vale players seemed to still be on their half-time break as Wandgas created another chance, which needed a brave save from keeper Elliot Hind at the feet of the oncoming forward.

Vale then launched 3 attacks in quick succession. John Gardener saw his shot saved by the Wandgas keeper, then Johns cross was plucked from the air as Dean Brackstone waited to pounce, and finally good work from Anthony Nyman and Dean Brackstone on the left created a shooting chance for Joe Hill but his attempt was off target.

With Vale in search of the equalizer, Wandgas started to create more chances and only a fine fingertip save from Elliot Hind prevented them from going further ahead.

Vale brought on substitutes Filipe Martins and Michael Bayley replacing Simpson and Nyman.

Wandgas created more chances and should have put the game beyond doubt 2 minutes from time when the number 12 headed wide from only yards out.

A disappointing defeat for Vale in a game that they probably didnt deserve to lose but didnt deserve to win either.

0-1   Full time

MoM - Anthony Nyman - good passing and movement, worked extremely hard on the left of midfield.

Staines Town    1  -   Raynes Park Vale Youth    4
Sunday 6th Oct   KO 11.00pm
West Surrey Youth League - U18 Premier Division

Vale got off to a bad start when centre back Paul Mulry pulled up injured in the opening minute of the game. His injury let in the Staines Town centre forward whose shot was collected easily by Vale keeper Elliot Hind. Forward John Gardener came on as substitute as Vale had to reshuffle their team.

Vale took the lead in the 7th minute when midfielder Anthony Nyman was fouled on the left touchline. Joe Hills long free kick had the Staines goalkeeper under pressure who fumbled the cross to leave forward Matt Walsh with an easy tap-in.

Vale went further ahead in the 17th minute with a goal of superb quality. Keeper Hind rolled the ball to Rob Hill on the edge of his own area who fed Michael Bayley in the left back position. His pass infield was collected by Gary Wells on the half-way line, who cleverly flicked the ball over his marker. Garys pass then found Matt Walsh with his back to goal on the edge of the Staines Town penalty area. Matt deceived his marking defender, turned and unleashed an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net. A goal that saw the ball move from one end to the pitch to the other in a matter of seconds without a Staines Town player getting anywhere near it!

Vale nearly went further ahead when a long-range effort from Gary Wells was tipped away by the Staines Town goalkeeper.

It was 3-0 to Vale in the 23rd minute. A long ball out of defense from Rob Hill caught the Staines Town defenders flatfooted. Matt Walsh raced through and casually lobbed the ball over the advancing goalkeeper. A hat trick for Matt Walsh!

On the stroke of half time Vale went 4-0 up when John Gardener latched on to a through ball to outpace the Staines Town defense. As the goalkeeper advanced John calmly slid the ball low into the corner of the net.

A superb half for Vale that saw them at their very best with passing and movement that completely mesmerized the Staines Town players.

0-4 Half-time

The second half saw a completely different approach from Staines Town whose half-time team talk could be heard in most parts of West London! Vale were forced to substitute Matt Walsh due to injury with Ben Clynshaw replacing him up front. It was a much more evenly contested game and Staines pulled a goal back after 58 minutes when the Vale goalkeeper was penalized for handling the ball outside of his area. The resulting free kick was cleverly worked to the far post where an unmarked attacker easily scored.

The game was much more physical now with a few heavy tackles taking place. Staines Town had a player cautioned when a crude tackle on Jeriah Simpson left him writhing on the ground.

Despite their deficit, Staines put together some promising moves but most of the attacks were easily handled by the Vale defense. Towards the end of the game both teams had a chance to score. Firstly, Staines had a deflected shot, which the Vale keeper Elliot Hind did well to stop with his legs. Then, in the dying seconds John Gardener raced clear for Vale, only to be stopped by a superb covering tackle, as he was about to shoot for goal.

1-4   Full time

MoM  - Matt Walsh - a hat trick in the first 23 minutes. Luckily for Staines Town he got injured and had to be substituted!

Raynes Park Vale Youth    0  -   Ashford Town    1
Sunday 22nd Sept   KO 10.30pm
West Surrey Youth League - U18 Premier Division

Vales first home game of the season saw them play hosts to Ashford Town who won the Surrey Cup for their age group last season. Ashford started confidently and were soon on the attack. A swinging low cross from the right was collected low down by Vale goalkeeper Elliot Hind who was crudely challenged by the onrushing Ashford centre forward who appeared to challenge with his foot high. Contact was made and Elliot sustained a painful blow to his ribs, which required extensive treatment before he could continue. The referee deemed the collision an accident and chose not to caution the Ashford Town player.

Vale settled down and started to mount some threatening attacks. Matt Walsh went close following good play from Gary Wells and John Gardener but after rounding the goalkeeper Matt found the angle too tight to get his shot on target.

The Vale defense snuffed out most of Ashford Town attacks with centre backs John Mooney, Richard Bayley, and Rob Hill easily dominating the Ashford forwards. Most of Ashfords attempts on goal were from long range, which rarely troubled the injured Vale keeper.

Vale again went close when Matt Walsh outpaced the Ashford defense but the Ashford goalkeeper easily collected his low shot.

Just prior to half time Ashford seemed to gain the ascendancy. A free kick from the left hand side saw a firm header produce a fine fingertip save from Elliot Hind who managed to turn the ball onto the post.

0-0 Half-time

The second half was evenly contested with both teams being limited to long-range efforts, which did not trouble either goalkeeper. The talking point of the game came 20 minutes into the second half. A long through ball from Vale was completely misjudged by the Ashford goalkeeper. As he advanced to the edge of the area to collect the ball over the heads of John Gardener and the challenging defender, he completely misread the flight of the ball, which passed about 4 feet over his head, and ended up in the goal. The referee somehow deemed that he had been fouled despite there being no contact on the keeper and absolutely no chance of him getting the ball!

It was a poor decision that was to cost Vale dearly and even seemed to surprise the Ashford Town players and supporters

That gift seemed to spur Ashford Town who broke the deadlock 10 minutes later. Vale failed to clear and a shot from 22 yards spun wickedly into the top right hand corner of the goal, leaving keeper Elliot Hind with no chance.

Vale put on substitutes Jeriah Simpson, Michael Bayley, and Ben Clynshaw in an attempt to get the equalizer. The game was now very open with Ashford looking dangerous on the counter attack, but neither team was able to create any clear-cut chances and Ashford hung on for a narrow victory.

0-1   Full time

MoM - Rob Hill. Faultless performance at the back for Vale.

 Horsley FC    4  -   Raynes Park Vale Youth   4
Sunday 15th Sept   KO 3.00pm
West Surrey Youth League - U18 Premier Division

The opening game of the season saw a seesaw battle with the lead changing hands on a number of occasions. Horsley started confidently but is was Vale who took the lead after 9 minutes when they won a corner after a break down the left hand side. John Gardener swung in the corner and wing back Gary Allen was at the far post to out jump his marker and place a firm header into the net. 0-1. Vale increased their lead 10 minutes later when Horsley failed to clear from another corner and Dean Brackstone was on hand to pounce and place a firm shot into the roof of the net from close range. 0-2.

Horsley were back into the game a few minutes later when they scored with a low powerful drive following good passing down the left hand side. The Vale keeper seemed to have the shot covered but a wicked bounce off of the uneven surface left him with no chance of making a save. 1-2.

Horsley now took the initiative and had Vale on the back foot. They deservedly got thier equalizer with a fine header following more good work down their left flank.

2-2 Half-time

Vale started the stronger in the second half and should have taken the lead when the Horsley keeper appeared to drop a cross over his own goal line. The Vale players appealed for the goal but the referee deemed that the ball did not cross the line. The game was now quite open and it was Horsley who took the lead when a cross from the right was tapped in from close range. 3-2.

Horsley went further ahead when another cross from the right was turned into his own net by Vale wing back Michael Bayley. 4-2.

Vale sent on striker Matt Walsh who was immediately in the action with some fine running up front. Vale was unlucky not to score when a powerful shot from Jeriah Simpson hit the angle of post and bar.

Vale pulled a goal back when a  long clearance from Elliot Hind bounced on the edge of the Horsley penalty area. Matt Walsh bravely challenged a defender and the on rushing goalkeeper and managed to loop his header into the net. 4-3.

Matt Walsh was at the heart of every Vale attack and they were awarded a penalty when he was brought down on the edge of the penalty area. Matt got up to take the penalty himself and coolly placed the spot kick to the keepers right hand side to level the match.

4-4 Full time

MoM - Supersub Matt Walsh. His energy and direct approach and not to mention his two goals rescued a point for Raynes Park Vale.

  Croydon Athletic   2   -   Raynes Park Vale Youth   5

Thursday 29th August   KO 6.45pm

A good crowd turned out to watch this pre-season friendly played at the Croydon MO ground. The first period was quite a physical but evenly contested affair with limited goal scoring opportunities at either end. A powerful long-range effort troubled the Vales stand-in keeper Michael Bayley, who did well to get his body behind the shot. The ball rebounded towards an oncoming attacker but Michael recovered quickly to dive and reclaim the ball.

At the other end Gary Wells found himself with a one on one with the Croydon keeper who did well to smother Garys shot. Moments later the ball found its way to the unmarked Jeriah Simpson at the far post but he blazed his shot over the bar.

0-0 Half-time

The youth team made 7 changes during the break including the introduction of goalkeeper Elliot Hind who has been out for 10 months following a broken leg. The game was now more open and Croydon took the lead following a quick break from defense, which was finished well with a powerful low shot. Croydon were now on the offensive and Vale keeper Elliot Hind was called upon to make a fine save, diving to his left to thwart another powerful effort. Croydons lead didnt last long though. Vale centre-back John Mooney intercepted a through ball and advanced forward into the Croydon half. His shot appeared to be going wide when Aaron Legget raced onto the ball and hit an unstoppable rising shot into the Croydon net. Croydon then regained the lead when an attack down the left flank was pulled back to find an unmarked striker who easily converted the chance with a low drilled shot. Soon afterwards the Vale were back on level terms after good work by Frank Okandju in midfield resulted in a pass to John Gardener who outpaced his marker to fire a low shot to the right of the advancing keeper.

With both teams having a large squad of players available many substitutions ensued. Vale took the lead for the first time in the game when Jeriah Simpson, now playing in a more advanced role, left the Croydon defense for dead and calmly lobbed the ball over the goalkeeper.

Number four followed minutes later when Matt Walsh scored with a well-placed shot. Croydon who always looked menacing at set pieces were unlucky not to score from a corner. The Vale goalkeeper parried a powerful header but the ball was still goal-bound until Vale defender John Watkins cleared from under the crossbar. 

Vale put the game beyond reach 5 minutes from time, when Joe Hill, now playing on the right hand side of midfield, was left with time and space to pick his spot with a well-placed right foot shot.

2-5 Final Score

Raynes Park Vale Youth   2   vs  Raynes Park Vale 2nd XI   2
Thursday 8th August   KO 7.00pm

Despite both teams coming from the same club, this pre-season friendly was played in a very competitive manner. Both teams were fielding new signings who were obviously eager to impress their respective management. The 2nd XI started confidently with some smart passing and lots of possession but it was the youth team that created the first chance when Joe Hill fired his shot wide. The youth team defense looked well organized and comfortable under pressure and limited the second XI to a couple of long-range efforts. The youth team took the lead when John Gardener latched onto a defensive mistake to calmly place the ball wide of the goalkeeper. The second XI equalized from a corner kick when poor marking left an attacker with a free header to score. The youth team regained the lead when Joe Hill fed John Gardener who outpaced his marker and scored with a fierce shot that the goalkeeper could only parry into his own net. It should have been 3-1 to the youth when John Gardener again raced free but his lob over the advancing goalkeeper was too strong and it easily cleared the crossbar.

2-1 after first period

The youth team made 5 changes during the break. Centre back Richard Bayley who suffered a hamstring strain was replaced by debutant John Mooney who was soon in the thick of the action as the second XI applied early pressure. The youth looked dangerous on the break and were awarded a free kick on the edge of the penalty area when full back Gary Allen was up ended. The resulting free kick saw Rob Hills low drive superbly tipped away by the second XI keeper. Soon afterwards the youth had an indirect free kick in the penalty area when the second XI keeper picked up a back pass. Gary Wells fierce shot cannoned into the wall and the second XI broke dangerously only to be thwarted by fine defending from John Watkins. The youth team looked vulnerable at set pieces and the second XI were unlucky not to score when a corner was headed onto the cross bar.

2-1 after second period

The second XI started to dominate the game and restricted the youth team to a few long-range efforts early on. The youth team could have gone further ahead when Frank Okandju broke from midfield but failed to control the ball inside the penalty area. Pressure from the second XI was rewarded a few minutes from time when an attack down the right flank saw a fine low cross, which was slid home by the centre forward. As tiredness crept in the youth gave away some needless free kicks but the youth team battled on to earn an honorable draw.

2-2 Final Score

Raynes Park Vale Youth   2   vs   Sutton United Youth   2
Wednesday 31st July   KO 7.00pm

This pre-season friendly provided the opportunity for both teams to try out new players in a game that was played in three 30 minutes sessions. With thier regular goalkeeper still sidelined by injury, Micheal Bayley took over in goal for RPV but was rarely troubled in the first period. The game was evenly contested but it was RPV who broke the deadlock when Marc Skinner moving in from the right hit an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net.

1-0 after first period

The second period saw numerous changes for both teams but Sutton Utd took advantage of the sloping pitch and kept RPV under pressure, which was rewarded with a superbly taken goal. The Sutton Utd centre forward coolly lobbed the advancing goalkeeper after cleverly controlling a long diagonal ball over the RPV central defence.

1-1 after second period

More changes for both teams but RPV took the early initiative and soon had Sutton under pressure. A neat move down the right hand side saw Jeriah Simpson pull the ball back for Ben Clynshaw to drive a low shot into the corner of the goal. Sutton fought back immediately and were soon back on level terms following another well-taken goal. Towards the end it was Sutton who looked the stronger and should have sewn the game up when a chance from 6 yards was blazed over the bar.

2-2 Final Score