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HomeFOOTBALLAll aboard the Sevenoaks Town FA Cup train

All aboard the Sevenoaks Town FA Cup train

Sevenoaks Town’s recent FA Cup exploits read a little like a destination board on the Brighton line.

Last season it was Redhill who derailed their hopes of progressing in a come-from-behind 4-3 win – this time it was first Horley now Merstham to try and stop them in their tracks.

Oaks survived a difficult journey in this first meeting but grabbed a grateful replay ticket on their latest trip to East Surrey.

They lived dangerously at times – but were happy still to be in the competition at the end.

They were behind at half-time to Aziz Sankoh’s stunning 24th minute strike, before Duru levelled things up five minutes after the restart.

That triggered Oaks’ best spell of the game, going close twice, and having strong penalty claims turned down twice.

However it was backs-to-the-wall stuff for Oaks in the final 20 minutes.

Merstham missed from the spot – home skipper Michael Kamara blasting his effort against the underside of the bar, with the initial award angering Oaks –  following substitute Tola Jonah’s challenge on Ore Bello.

Tyler McCarthy produced a fine save to foil substitute Lorenzo Lewis, defender Matthew Weaire, 21 at the weekend, blocked another goal-bound effort, and another fizzed across the Oaks box with no home player getting a touch.

Earlier Sankoh tanked a free kick high into  the trees behind McCarthy’s goal, but made amends three minutes later, putting Merstham in front with a fine finish, after the ball fell to him following a throw in.

Dan Hector, facing one of his former clubs and Dami Olorunnisomo had Oaks’ best first half openings, before Hudson made a double change at half-time.

It brought immediate reward -Hector setting up left back Duru  – a curling far corner finish  with his least favoured right foot.

The 20-year-old Amsterdam born defender was on trial at Coventry City last season helping the Under-23s win the Development League Cup- having been at Fulham the season before.

He told us: “We went a goal down and kind of lost our heads, but we got ourselves back together again – and regrouped at half-time.

“As soon as we got the goal heads were lifted, and we literally stuck together – that’s one of the things about this team, we are trying to build a culture.

“I saw myself in on goal (put in by Dan Hector), took a touch, chopped it back inside hit it with my right foot (my least favoured one), and it landed in the back of the net, I was very happy.”

He added: “I am more of an assists man – getting a goal here and there keeps me happy.

“We were under pressure in the closing stages, but we dealt with it well, and kept a clean-sheet in the second half.

“Tyler kept us in it – he is an outstanding keeper, and saves us a lot, credit to him and to all the boys out there today.

Sevenoaks Town: Tyler McCarthy, Dami Olorunnisomo (Ryan Palmer 46 mins), Lesley Duru, Emmanuel Mensah, Matthew Weaire, Corey Holder, Ryan Gondoh, Kyle De Silva (Tola Jonah 46 mins), Omari Hibbert (Yahaya Bamba (67 mins), Daniel Hector, Freddie Parker.

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