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Tonbridge Black Knights 2 - Sutton Valence 2

The Black Knights excaped with a draw in a match where they were largely out thought and outplayed by a disciplined Sutton Valence side. Early on, the Knights looked comfortable and in good control of the match. Kitchenham hit the crossbar and Hadaway had several half chances up front so it seemed a matter of time before the Knights took the lead. However, the Sutton Valence defence was organised and committed and the Knights generally took one touch too many. Even so, Sands-Winsch excaped his marker and rifled an excellent shot on a tight angle through the goalkeeper.

This should have settled Knights nerves but it didn't. Passes went astray and there were some poor touches up front. Increasingly, Sutton Valence probed and the Knights defence became tentative and vulnerable. Even so, it took a clever manoeuvre and a calm finish from the Sutton Valence centre forward to round Pratt and fire beyond the diving Macgregor in goal.

One all at half time was disappointing for the Knights but a fair reflection on the first half. Things duly got worse when the marking allowed Sutton Valence to steal the lead early in the second half. This was hardly against the run of play, but some disciplined midfield play by them kept the Knights largely at bay, despite Valence ceding possession to the Knights for much of the remainder. The Knights found themselves closed down quickly and were unable to get good, fast ball up to the forwards, who were frequently out of position. Thus a lot of midfield energy was unable to be rewarded.

The final stages were as frantic as they were unpredictable. Sutton Valence defended increeasingly deeply, adding an extra defender to the back line to combat the Knights' somewhat desperate push for an equaliser. Two minutes from time, a loose ball cannoned off a Valence foot and Dyer's spin and snap shot finally broke the Valence resistance.

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