On a mild March Sunday, Sevenoaks Men’s 1st team hosted Brighton and Hove with just three league games remaining of the season. Following a 2-1 win earlier in the season, Sevenoaks wanted to continue their run of great performances. The visitors however were not to be taken lightly, recently naming themselves the ‘comeback kings’ after a few weeks of good results. This was set to be a cracker.
The first half followed an unusual pattern, with Brighton having most of the ball and even creating a few chances. Last week’s man of the match Rory Mylroi picked up where he left off and was happy to deny them the opener. Sevenoaks tried to get their foot in the game but with unforced errors and interesting decision making meant this was a tough ask.
As the half progressed, both teams started to get going but it was Brighton who took the lead through a penalty stroke following a lunging tackle from player/coach Ian Haley. This was the kick up the backside that Sevenoaks needed. From there, chances for the men in purple came quickly with a few good attacks down the right and left hand sides of the pitch from half backs Matt Morey and James Beck.
As the half was coming to a close, Sevenoaks won a short corner right before the half time whistle – a well executed routine from Paul Macleod required a save from both the goalkeeper and postman who ended up deflecting the ball onto the post and out for the break. 1-0 at half time.
With the resumption of the game and start of the second half, Sevenoaks came out the blocks flying, playing some fantastic hockey and zipping the ball around the pitch. This resulted in multiple circle entries and short corners, requiring the Brighton defence to make some great goal line clearances and saves.
Sevenoaks’s equalising goal came from Craig Morton, who pounced upon a rebound from the Brighton goalkeeper, following a slip left special from Ben Allberry. Sevenoaks continued to push on and unlike Brighton’s self-proclaimed nickname, it looked like the home side who were going to score next and claim the comeback. As the fourth quarter went on, Sevenoaks kept pushing for that winning goal.
A great attack down the left hand side of the pitch, starting from a Matt Morey wobble saw Ryan Mann receive the ball on the baseline and eliminated Brighton players left right and centre and finally with the goalkeeper approaching he lifted it over him to score Sevenoaks’s second goal and gave the home side a 2-1 lead.
As the final whistle loomed, Oaks kept pushing for a third. Corner after corner for the home team kept coming, but they were unable to extend their lead. The final whistle blew and it was the men in purple who took the 2-1 win.
With the final two games coming up against Southgate and Old Loughts, Sevenoaks will look to finish the season strongly.