Thursday, June 13, 2024
HomeFOOTBALLBath: The city where FA Cup dreams are made!

Bath: The city where FA Cup dreams are made!

It is fair to say that Sevenoaks Town Football Club have been struggling in the Pitching-In Isthmian League South East Division so far this season, with just one win and one draw in the five matches played so far. However, to get to the start of October having only played five league matches, means that the club are plying their trade elsewhere this season.

Welcome to the Emirates FA Cup and indeed the Isuzu FA Trophy. Sevenoaks started their FA Cup campaign in the Extra Preliminary Round at the start of August away at Horley Town, this was due to their final league standings from the 2021/22 season.

They saw off Horley Town that day, winning the match comfortably 5-0. Then came Merstham in the Preliminary Round, and after a hard fought replay which they won 2-0, Sevenoaks then hosted Isthmian Premier Division side Kingstonian in the first round of qualifying. Two goals from striker Ryan Gondoh that afternoon ensured Town’s progress to the next round where they would face Phoenix Sports.

With yet another strike from Gondoh in that match, it meant that Sevenoaks were now in the Third Qualifying Round for the first time in the club’s long history. And with a mouth-watering tie away at north Somerset club, and Vanarama National South side , Bath City, the players and fans alike were jubilant at the prospect of such a tie.

Town on the road at Bath City
The day of the Third Qualifying Round match started particularly early for the club as they embarked on a coach at 9.30am, leaving Greatness Park without their Manager Harry Hudson, following the arrival of his first baby.

On the coach were the players, coaching staff, committee members and supporters of the club, and after a somewhat quiet but extremely long road trip to north Somerset, arriving at 1.20pm, this meant that the team had minimal time to get themselves stretched out and match ready for the biggest day in the club’s history. What would unfold in the Bath sunshine though, would rewrite the history books.

Credit: Matt White/Sevenoaks Town FC.

How the afternoon unfolded
Jordy Ndozid’s first half winner maintained Sevenoaks Town’s history making run in the Emirates FA Cup knocking out National League South Bath City.

The midfielder’s first goal for the club 10 minutes before half-time, decided the Third Qualifying Round tie in front of a 1,000 plus crowd at Twerton Park on a sunny Somerset afternoon.

It was a deserved victory against a side two divisions above them – even the locals agreed – sportingly applauding the players as they left for the journey home.

Once again Oaks’ preparations proved spot on, the game plan working – frustrating Bath who lost for the fifth time in 14 years to Step 4 opponents.

The final whistle started the celebrations with the players face timing manager Hudson, the victory capping a memorable week for the Sevenoaks boss.

Ryan Gondoh’s free-kick was headed clear by home defender Jordan Dyson, only as far as Dan Hector whose effort was blocked. The ball fell to Ndozid who finished low inside Joe Wright’s right hand post – his first for the club.
Yahya Bamba missed out earlier one-on one against Wright who blocked with his legs.

Bath meanwhile were restricted to only a couple of first half efforts, with manager Jerry Gill making a double substitution at the break.

Scott Wilson went close soon after the break as the hosts attempted to up their game, but Oaks defended well – and looked to break on the counter.

Bamba beat a couple of defenders before firing over, Dan Hector saw his effort blocked, before Manny Mensah went on a great run hugging the far touchline to relieve the pressure.

McCarthy denied Wilson again late on – Oaks keeping out one final corner to complete another excellent result.
Matthew Weaire and skipper Corey Holder, back after a one match ban, were outstanding, winning the joint Sevenoaks Sport & Wellbeing Man of the Match award – a first on the road this season due to the special nature of the win.

Can history be rewritten again?
So Sevenoaks had made history in Bath, a courageous effort from every single member of the playing squad had spoken volumes about the attitude currently running through the veins of the club. Yes, they may only have four points from five league games, but Sevenoaks Town are through to the Fourth and final Qualifying Round of the FA Cup, and just one more win away from the First Round Proper.

On Monday 3rd October, talkSPORT announced the draw for the next round and Sevenoaks Town (ball number 32) were drawn away yet again, this time against National South side table-toppers Ebbsfleet United.
The short trip to Ebbsfleet will no doubt please Sevenoaks as it is an away fixture that will provide a decent gate receipt, but without the hassle of organising away travel for supporters.

Whatever happens in that match, we know for sure that the boys in blue and black will give 100% to the cause on the field once again, and that they will hopefully be in the hat with bigger prospects on the horizon.

Charlton, Derby County, Bolton or Portsmouth all await in the First Round Proper and could potentially host Sevenoaks if they do indeed progress even further on this magical cup run. It will be an absolute pleasure to follow them til the end of their FA Cup journey.



Most Popular