Kinoulton Villa Vets 3 v 1 Sutton Bonington
Date: September 10th 2017
Starting Line Up
KVV Goal Scorers: Chapman (3)
Man of the Match: Chapman
A potential banana skin on paper, this fixture was one of only 2 games that Villa lost throughout the whole of last season. In the hope of putting that right, Villa manager Jeff Haywood was able to welcome another 2 new signings to the squad with competition for places now at an all-time high with a number of players still to make their first appearance on the season.
Again, one notable absentee was midfield maestro Jim Gardner. With the reasons behind his failure to show up for the previous game still shrouded in mystery, new evidence also came to light suggesting not only was he responsible for his own AWOL antics but also those of new signing Paul Watts who had been excitedly expecting to make his debut at Hemington.
Suffice to say, at an emergency convened meeting an appropriate penalty was decided, coupled with Gardner’s failure to return the “Special Medal” that was awarded to him in his absence last week. The size of the fine is as yet unknown but previous advice to visit a cashpoint prior to his next appearance has now been upgraded to taking out a small bank loan.
Whilst last season may have been the club’s most successful to date, it is clear that Haywood has some work to do within the club in terms of discipline with further fines being handed out to a number of senior squad members for blatant flaunting of club dress code rules. But whilst Gardner may have set a benchmark, the actual size of the fine looks set to be quickly surpassed. In an unprecedented turn of events, it was also revealed that Tom Clarke had managed to injure himself playing in an unauthorised game for another team. The summer tour fund is certainly looking good after only 2 games.
With the indiscipline dealt with, it was on with the game. With Tommo absent and Cliff injured, Haywood was forced into a makeshift forward line with Skinner and Chappo taking on more of an advanced role whilst Woody filled in in the centre of midfield and Simon dropped on to the right hand side. The rest of the team had a familiar look to it and Villa soon settled into their game with Sutton struggling to get the ball out of their own half.
However, without the clinical finishing of Tommo in the side, goals were seemingly a lot harder to come by. Despite Villa creating numerous chances, they just couldn’t get the ball in the net. Whilst unconventional, the Sutton keeper was effective at turning away a number of goal bound efforts whilst Deano, Woody and Skinner all missed good efforts to put Villa ahead.
The keeper’s luck eventually ran out though when Skinner put Chappo through and his scuffed shot seemed to carry enough top spin to spill out of the stopper’s hands and in to the net to make it 1-0. Villa failed to add to the score line for the remainder of the first half and what should have been a 5-0 advantage still left Villa with much work to do in the second half.
Villa grabbed a second goal relatively quickly with Chappo again finishing well before somewhat inexplicably being pulled off before being given the chance of a hat-trick. With Haywood keen to assess his new recruits, a number of changes were made prior to the end of the first half and continued throughout the second half. This unfortunately meant that Villa struggled to maintain momentum and shape allowing Sutton to slowly edge their way back into the game. With Nick and Paul taking their places in midfield and Rob holding the line up front, the Villa team certainly had a more youthful look but it was the ever reliable and experienced Wol that kept them in it with a string of fine saves and interceptions.
More tweaking from Haywood, bringing the tireless Paul Skinner back to centre half and pushing Mark to right wing had an immediate effect when Sutton were able to pull a goal back. For a while, Villa looked like they might be lucky to get away with a draw. This wasn’t helped by the fact that Sutton had clearly placed a sniper in the surrounding woodlands who was taking pot shots at Woody every time he got near the ball.
Woody gets taken out by a sniper!
With a little more tinkering and tweaking, normal service was eventually resumed and Villa began to regain control. Chappo was reintroduced up front and it was he, who fittingly put the game out of sight with his and Villa’s third after a great run down the right from Mark and a dubious lay off by Rob Oakden. Whilst the Sutton players stood and screamed for handball, Chappo simply stroked the ball into the back of the net to make it 3-1.
In his capacity of referee, Jeff seemed surprised that people were questioning his integrity. The first time in his life that the ex-police officer had had such accusations thrown at him.
Final score Villa 3 Sutton 1. A good result in all against a decent Bonington team but Haywood will be left wondering how manage his much more sizeable squad this season.