Saturday evening saw Sevenoaks host local Kent rivals Canterbury in what is always a very competitive game. The hosts started slowly, conceding an early short corner which goalkeeper Richard Potton saved low to his right. The home side continued their sluggish start, struggling to find their usual rhythm.
Canterbury pressed Sevenoaks well with plenty of energy and intensity, generating turnovers and unsettling the home team throughout the first half. This along with some very contentious decisions led to multiple short corners being awarded for the away side.
The Sevenoaks defence stood firm though, with Chris Barker, James Beck and Craig Morton charging down the opposition. One such charge down was, somewhat bizarrely, deemed too aggressive and James Beck was shown a hotly disputed yellow card for blocking the shot. Despite Canterbury being the better team for most of it, the first half finished 0-0.
The second half started slightly better for the home side with better ball retention, more fluidity and the half backs of Beck, Walton and Lester looking to advance up the pitch. It was however Canterbury who took the lead through one of their many short corners, finishing low into the bottom corner.
Shortly after Canterbury won and scored a penalty stroke after a short corner was half saved and then hit the defender on the line, the home side were fairly adamant the direction of the ball wasn’t going into the goal, but were unable to change the umpires mind.
It took going 2-0 down for Sevenoaks to decide to turn up and to start playing with some intensity. The home side quickly won a couple of short corners, the first saw Paul Macleod’s effort well saved before James Beck stepped up and fired low into the bottom left corner to set up a dramatic late finish.
Sevenoaks pushed hard and thought they’d equalised after turning the ball into the back of the net with a couple of minutes remaining however, yet again, the umpire bizarrely blew and instead awarded Oaks a short corner much to the frustration of the large Hollybush crowd.
Oaks saw that effort charged down and as a result succumbed to a 2-1 loss. A disappointing day at the office and one which they’ll look to rectify next Sunday away at Teddington.