VWFC vs Royal Holloway XI
07/05/2016 Virginia Water 7 - 0 Royal Holloway XI
Report by Dan Basheer
Virginia Water's 3rd team played another end of season friendly at home, in order to further guage their status as a team next season. The opposition were a Royal Holloway University XI, and from the outset it was clear that the average ages of both sides were going to have a big say in which way the game was going to go. The Holloway side were mainly made up of veteran players, with one or two players younger than the 35 year veteran qualifying age. The home side, in contrast, fielded only 3 players over the age of 17. They do say if you are good enough you are old enough, and on this evidence the young players from Virginia Water are proving themselves good enough, and in the end the speed and youthfulness of the home side was the crucial difference in the game.
However, the opening goal came from some slack marking by the away side. Alex Ssenabulya was on his own 8 yards from goal and crashed in a completely unopposed header from a brilliant corner delivery by Nathan Clark. Clark himself scored Waters' second goal, lashing home a volley from an angle inside the penalty area, from a free kick delivered by full back Dan Basheer, after Jake Basheer was brought down turning away from the defender. Waters settled into the game and were rarely tested at the back, with Richard Banks mashalling the back line well and young debutant Daniel Stevens looking assured next to him.
Waters third goal came from some neat one-touch passing between Jake Basheer and Antonio Tenorio, with the latter playing in Matt Ashfield to slot past the goalkeeper. Tenorio was replaced midway through the half - despite feeling ill and under the weather the youngster certainly showed some nice touches and calmness on the ball that caught the eye of the watching senior management. The younger Basheer himself hit the bar with a shot from distance that goalkeeper could only watch and was causing problems for the away side's left back who in the end resorted to fouling him. Waters looked dangerous each time they went forward and Kemp added a fourth goal before half time, with a neat finish from just inside the area.
At halftime, Waters were firmly in control, with young goalkeeper Dan Roach only really having to deal with some backpasses and some not so subtle bobbles on the pitch. The second half started in similar fashion, however, with the scoreline as it was, Waters' took their foot off the pedal and allowed the visitors slightly into the game. However, The back four stood firm, and Stevens at centre half was showing a great maturity beyond his years, covering well on the right side and putting in some decisive tackles. The two Alex's, Lovell and Ssenabulya had a firm grip on the midfield battle, and Waters' youthful endeavour was telling throughout the game, particularly Nathan Clark giving the Holloway right back a torrid time down Waters' left hand side.
Pete Stevens came on to relieve some tired legs, and Jones made it 5-0 with a neat run and curling finish from outisde the area. Kemp added his second of the game, beating the goalkeeper to a teasing cross and flicking the ball into the unguarded net. Waters looked dangerous with Jake Basheer looking a threat on the right side Sean WIlks combining with Clark down the left to continually trouble the away side. The visitors did have a good chance to pull a goal back, their stiker Brad Mason outpacing Banks to get inside the area. However, his low shot was tipped onto the post by the fingertips of goalkeeper Roach. It was to be the only clear sight of goal for Holloway, and Nathan Clark wrapped up the win with his second, with a near carbon copy finish of his first - an unstoppable half volley inside the area.
It was a good win and a good performance from Virginia Water, in particular all the young players coming into the side and looking assured. The future for Waters looks bright.
MoM = Nathan Clark
Richard Banks (c)