VWFC vs Reigate Priory
10/09/2016 Virginia Water 5 - 1 Reigate Priory
Surrey Elite League Reserves Division
Report by Steve Cox
On paper, a strong looking Waters squad took on old rivals Reigate Priory on a pleasantly cool and sometimes rainy day at The Timbers. Reigate fielded an experienced and powerfully built team that looked up for the battle for the 3 points from the off. However they found it difficult to match the fluidity of Waters’ movement and their willingness to pass quickly and, most times, accurately to each other.
Luke Sperling and Sam Devoil were outstanding from start to finish in central midfield and are building up a fine partnership together in the engine room of the team. They linked up play well from defence into attack and chances were being created at will. A combination of decent goal keeping and lacklustre finishing meant that Levi Jefford’s quality finish after 20 minutes from just inside the penalty area, after being put through by Martin Peters fine pass, was all Waters had to show after 35 minutes of fine football. As often happens after dominating a game for long periods and missing chances the team on the back foot sneak up field and nick an equaliser with their first effort on goal. Reigate applied this maxim as an innocuous free kick was challenged by Waters defenders Mike Chambers and Dave Atkins, who got in each other’s way and unluckily the ball dropped to a Reigate player who smartly tucked under the body of the advancing Matt Hargreaves. The last 10 minutes of the first half were Waters’ worst of the match, the disappointment of conceding the equaliser seemed to knock confidence, and after looking capable of winning the game in style it now appeared that they were going to find it a tough game to win. Half time came as a welcome relief.
The halftime break helped Waters regain their composure. Although their opponents fought hard to keep hold of the point they were in possession of, Waters once more played some good football, especially down the right hand side with Steve Mills causing problems with his pacey runs and his ability to deliver a fine cross. There were a couple of anxious moments down Waters’ left flank but manager Rob Lamb remedied that by bringing on fresh legs in the form of Joe Moore, Jamie Kemp, and Alex Saunders.
The fresh legs turned the tide and it was one way traffic, but could waters score? Billy Cox had a powerful header half saved by the Reigate keeper as his defender finally cleared it off the line. Then a penalty awarded was missed by Jefford as his spotkick went the wrong side of the left hand post -was it going to be one of those days? The team had other ideas and finally with 15 minutes left Peters and Moore combined really well inside the left hand edge of the penalty box, Peters laid the ball back to the on-coming Devoil in a central position on the edge of the box and his powerful, low 20 yard strike beat the keeper and put Waters back in the lead at 2-1.
Reigate had nothing left in the tank now, Peters fine header from 12 yards from Kemp’s cross made it 3-1 then Devoil grabbed a well-deserved second goal as he tenaciously burst through two tackles to find himself one on one with the keeper and he made no mistake. Peters capped a fine second half display by out witting Reigate’s demoralised defenders as he wriggled his way into a shooting position in a crowded area a neatly tucked the ball into the far left hand corner to make the final score 5-1.
MoM = Sam Devoil