Friday, June 14, 2024
HomeHOCKEYLights out for Sevenoaks as they go down to Old Loughts

Lights out for Sevenoaks as they go down to Old Loughts

Saturday evening saw Sevenoaks travel to Old Loughtonians in what has always been a competitive fixture. Things got off to an interesting start, a possible first in Oaks’ history, as they were asked to play a National League fixture in near complete darkness due to four of the eight flood lights being out of action. After a quick consultation, the umpires deemed visibility sufficiently appropriate, and the game commenced on schedule.

Looking to make amends from last week, Oaks came out the blocks dominating the majority of the first quarter. Pinning Old Loughts in their own half through aggressive pressing, Oaks forced a string of early short corners. The first three corners were successfully charged down but a clever routine back to the injector gave Matt Morrey the time he needed to rifle one into the top corner.

The second quarter saw Old Loughts in the ascendancy as Oaks struggled to retain possession. Loughts pressed Sevenoaks well with plenty of energy, generating unforced errors and unsettling the away team throughout the second quarter. Oaks defended well but struggled to find any rhythm moving forwards. Loughts won a series of short corners towards the end of the second quarter, the last of which was intelligently won by a Loughts player placing the ball onto his own foot. A fool proof strategy which Loughts know would be very hard for Sevenoaks to defend. Following some exceptional penalty corner defensive work from the Oaks defensive unit, Loughts finally managed to find an equaliser with an unstoppable flick. 1-1 at half time.

The second half started better for Oaks with improved ball retention, more fluidity and the half backs of Beck and Walton looking to advance up the pitch. This enthusiasm paid off with James Beck giving Oaks the lead once again through a superb drag flick into the bottom left corner. Oaks weathered a series of Loughts attacks but couldn’t quite find the next crucial goal. Loughts eventually pulled one back scoring a short corner in the last play of the quarter following a counter attacking move. All to play for.

The final quarter resembled something of a tennis match with ample opportunity at both ends of the pitch. Both teams were not settling for a draw and continued to push for the winning goal. A running theme throughout the match, the umpires wanted to have their presence not go unnoticed and started to penalise innocuous challenges much to both team’s frustration. Five minutes from the final whistle, Oaks thought they had the winner but a fine save by the Loughts goalkeeper pushed James Beck’s effort onto the post. In cruel fashion Loughts swiftly launched a counter attacking move winning a penalty corner which was controversially upgraded to a penalty stroke by the umpire. Loughts scored the resulting stroke, the last of several gifts from the umpires, securing the three points much to the dismay of the Oaks players.  2-1.

Oaks go into the mid season break with some work to do in the New Year following a frustrating couple of results. Sevenoaks will commence their Premier League Indoor campaign on January 7th at the Whitgift school.

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