A day in Stokes Valley

Stokes Valley Bobcats 0 Tawa 2nds 2
Capital Division 1
Delaney Park, Stokes Valley
Saturday 11th June 2016
Attendance about 20 if you include the coaches and subs as well

Stokes Valley FC were formed at a public meeting on March 7th 1967 with the Reverend R Smith, the man who had suggested the meeting, being elected the clubs president. As a new club they had to start at the bottom of the Wellington leagues, but with 7 promotions in 9 years the club found themselves in Central League Division 3 South in 1976. The club stayed in the Central League until 1996, mainly moving between Division 2 & 3, they made it into the top division in 1980 but were unable to compete and were relegated after just 1 season.

In the early 90's the club got ambitious and employed 1982 All White, Grant Turner, as player coach. With him they won 2 promotions in 2 years but after he left in 1993 they struggled and in 1995 had the ignominious record of losing all 22 games in the season and having a goal difference of -110! The cost and struggle to find players for the higher level led the club to withdraw from the Central League in 1996 and concentrate on the junior and social side of football.
A Stokes Valley Corner
After finishing 3rd in Capital 2 last season and beating Seatoun 2-1 in a playoff the club find themselves in Capital 1. Going into today's game they were in 7th place 1 point behind their opposition Tawa reserves.

Delaney Park isn't what you could call a classic footballing venue, it has a slight slope and is also uneven although it seemed to have more grass on it than when I remember playing there (about 20 years ago!). 

The Stokes Valley team is nicknamed the Bobcats and weren't playing in the clubs traditional colours of Yellow & Red but in a Peru style White & Red kit. Tawa were in their change kit of blue and yellow.

A Tawa player taking a liking to the Bobcats Peru style top

Stokes Valley started playing down the slope but this advantage was countered by a reasonably strong wind blowing the opposite way, as a result alot of the game was played around the middle of the park. The teams were fairly evenly matched and it wasn't until the 69th minute when Tawa's Nathan Perkins, who had just come on, lifted the ball over Stokes Valley defender Joel Marshall and the ball found the back of the net. 3 minutes later it became 2-0 when Stokes Valley made the cardinal sin of not playing to the whistle and stopped while they called for a handball, allowing Tawa's Luke Martin space and time to fire in a shot from just outside the penalty area.

Tawa's Nathan Perkins lifts the ball over Joel Marshall for Tawa's 1st goal

Stokes Valley had enough possession and matched Tawa but they didn't really create many chances. Tawa didn't have many chances either but they took 2 that they did have and that proved to be the difference.

Click here to see the photos I took during the game