Sevenoaks were punished for their profligacy and handed a lesson in clinical finishing at the weekend as they succumbed to their heaviest defeat of the season, losing 6-1 away at Hampstead & Westminster.
Sevenoaks made a bright start, breaking through the full press of Hampstead on a couple of occasions, first as Chris Barker intercepted the ball and had a free run on goal, but caught in two minds whether to shoot or pass, he did neither and harmlessly pushed the ball wide of the goal. Shortly after Oaks had a three on two counter attack but failed to find the right pass to test the home keeper. Inevitably Hampstead, in their first meaningful attack, took the lead with a shot across goal tipped in at the far post to make it 1-0 after nine minutes.
A penalty corner three minutes later gave Hampstead an opportunity to extend the lead and a well-executed move saw the ball deflected high into the net passed Richard Potton to make it 2-0. Oaks continued to look threatening going forwards but now chasing the game they had to leave gaps at the back. On eighteen minutes Hampstead made it 3-0 when the forward bundled the ball into the goal, using his body in the process, but much to the frustration of the Sevenoaks defence the umpire awarded the goal. In spite of the 3-0 score line at half time Oaks had seen enough of the ball to feel that if they could get the next goal then they could claw their way back into the game. Alas, within one minutes of the restart Hampstead won a penalty corner and Great Britain international Harry Martin converted on the rebound to make it 4-0 and quash any chance of a comeback.
Ten minutes later Oaks did finally test the keeper when Andrew Ross fired a drag flick on goal and into the back of the net to make it 4-1. A swashbuckling run by man of the match Tom Samuel saw him break through on goal but his weak shot caused the keeper no problems. Ross saw a second penalty corner effort cannon back off the post, and it was obvious it wasn’t going to be Sevenoaks’s day. In the closing fifteen minutes Hampstead scored another two goals making the final score 6-1, and Oaks were left to rue missed opportunities which would at least have given a more respectable score line, even if they would unlikely have changed the end result.
Sevenoaks travel to Wimbledon next week to face last year’s league winners, who are surprisingly languishing in seventh place this season, in what will be another tough game on the road.