AFC varndeanians 4-1 Storrington
A solid performance
Before the match I went for a walk in the woods behind the stadium. I've always been intrigued as to what they were like and they were very pleasant indeed. There is lots of wildlife including a badger set so our president ('Badger') has a hideaway to go to at half time. It was interesting looking at the stadium from this angle so I took a photo. It's the closest I've managed to get my wife Jill to the Withdean and I commented on how beautiful the pitch looked in the sunshine through the trees. She just laughed and said I was mad. Fair point
What no Matt Waterman? How would we survive without our goalscoring talisman. Matt had an infected toe as a result of being trodden on by the rather robust Alfold centre half from last week's match. It did look sore. He said even droplets of water hitting his toe from the shower were painful... but then again he is a delicate flower. With Andy Pearson absent on leave in the Caribbean, Pearlo injured (again) and naughty boy Scott Packer banned after 5 bookings, it was a rather reshuffled team but still strong despite key players out.
Kev came into midfield and we replaced Matt with the electric pace of Joe Keehan or rather we had a pacemaker prepared for Joe.
A perfect azure blue sky, with a setting sun disappearing behing the trees, was the perfect autumnal scene at Withdean as we kicked off against Storrington, who have had a solid start winning 5, drawing 1 and losing 6.
The V's started brightly passing the ball well and had a couple of clear cut chances for the Keehan brothers. They couldn't have practised finishing in the garden too much when they were young boys as both missed. Kev thundered into the six yard box like a steam locomotive but saw his shot go past the post. Another flowing move saw a lovely cross from Luke land on Joe's head who rose like a souffle only to see his bullet header flew past the far post.
Storrington were having some success attacking down our left with their pacey winger but Luke was rock solid. The V's were mainly in control of the game until a beautiful through ball bisected our defence and Jordan Suter took full advantage and finished well to take the lead..
The response was immediate as Dom Hemblade jinked into the Storrington penalty box only to be tripped. Penalty. Joe made amends for the Keehan family and despatched the ball into the bottom corner. Within minutes Ollie Blackman scored a trademark header from a corner, quickly followed by a tidy finish from Joe Keehan for his brace. 3-1 at half time.
Storrington came out second half with good intent and Tom Bradford made an early smart save to prevent them from getting a foothold back into the game. The V's mainly had control of the second half and finally finished the game off when Kev proved that in fact, those endless nights playing Wembley against Joe in the Keehan back garden were not fruitless as he arrived in the six yard box to tuck the ball away with aplomb.
All the subs came on and it was good to see Luke Manley get some time and his pace looked threatening. Adam Stephenson also came on to make his debut and it's very satisfying to see the young players from the u18's come through and get 1st team experience. All in all it was a comfortable 4-1 victory.