Sevenoaks Hockey Club Men’s 1st Xi made it three wins in a row with a dominant display against Havant on Saturday evening, winning 4-0. After shut outs against Canterbury and Fareham, it was also Sevenoaks’ third clean sheet in a row, and this defensive solidarity is providing the platform for Oaks to control proceedings and break down their opponents at the other end.
Oaks made a bright start to the game, and their first opportunity to open the scoring came within the opening ten minutes when a turnover on the top of the Havant D enables Tim Warrington to advance on goal, but his shot was smothered by the goalkeeper and scrambled to safety. Shortly after Warrington was involved again and he received the ball on the baseline and pulled it back for Ed Matts, whose goal bound effort deflected off the defender’s foot onto the foot of Jason Bigara, but inexplicably the umpire gave the decision in Havant’s direction.
Oaks we’re knocking on the door, and another opportunity came and went as Matts and Bigara combined again but couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net. As the first quarter drew to a close, Oaks did finally take the lead, when a slick attacking move involving Aaron Cheema and Lewis Wilcher, saw the ball worked into Warrington in the D, whose reverse pass was met by Matts who was able to slot underneath the keeper to make it 1-0. The second quarter saw Oaks continue to dominate possession, but they were unable to extend their lead, whilst Havant posed a threat on the counterattack, one of which led to a penalty corner for the visitors, but a combination of Richard Potton in goal and his defensive unit kept the ball out and maintained the 1-0 lead for Oaks going into the half-time break.
Sevenoaks came out after the interval with renewed energy and it wasn’t long before they doubled their lead, with Warrington receiving the ball in the D and laying it off to Sam George, who slapped across goal for man of the match Matts to convert his second of the game to make it 2-0. Less than two minutes later an attacking move involving Ali Taylor, Ian Haley and Warrington ended with the latter winning a penalty corner.
From the resulting set piece Taylor was able to coolly convert a loose ball after the initial shot at goal was saved to make it 3-0. That was how the score remained at the end of the third quarter. Havant briefly threatened with a penalty corner and Potton had to be on hand to make a fine save down low to his right from a deflection. Oaks added some gloss to the score line with a fourth goal with a few minutes left on the clock when Warrington fed the ball into Bigara, whose ball across goal was cruelly deflected by a defender past the goalkeeper and into the back of the net to make it 4-0.
It was an excellent display by Sevenoaks, and perhaps most pleasing was the clean sheet, with Havant having scored 13 goals in four games prior to this one. The win moves Oaks up to second in the table, one point behind Teddington, who they face in their next fixture on Sunday 10th November at Hollybush Lane, push back is at 2.00pm.