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HomeFOOTBALLThe History Makers - Part II

The History Makers – Part II

After their league heroics, in which they only lost four games all season, Sevenoaks Town Football Club will now start to plan for life in the Bostik South League and it’s something that they’ve been looking forward to for a very long time.

In February, Sevenoaks Sports magazine reported on the club’s dynamic duo of Manager Micky Collins and Chairman Paul Lansdale and the wonderful relationship they have built at the club in the last four years.

This was clearly evident on Saturday afternoon as they embraced each other knowing that their hard work and effort had finally paid off, and that they could start to celebrate Sevenoaks Town being a Step 4 club. We caught up with them both again at their clubhouse in Greatness Park, where the whole team had gone to celebrate their league heroics together.

Micky Collins was delighted with his sides success saying: “It’s been a long hard road and it’s fantastic. To get it over the line is incredible. I don’t think everyone here, including me, realises what we’ve done for the club. And not just for the club, the town as well. It’s not just me though, the whole club have done this, from Paul [Lansdale] the Chairman, right up through everybody, we’ve all pulled together and its taken us four years.

On a more personal note, Collins didn’t want it to go down to the last game away at Crowborough on Monday night, he said: “I didn’t want to have to go into the last game of the season and have to win. The boys did it today and Cray Valley did us a favour beating Whitstable, it’s nice to get it done Now we can look at the promotion and we can look at what’s involved for next season.

“I’ve been here before and I know what it takes, and I know what we need to do to be prepared for next season, there are some very good sides in the league who will be hard to beat.”

A particular highlight of next season fixtures will be an away tie versus Guernsey. Although it is hoped this match will not be arranged on Boxing day or New Years Day. Asked about the size of his squad and whether they can cope with the step up to the Bostik South, he commented that the next six weeks will be key as he looks to bring the right people in.

He said: “The last thing we want to do is be sitting here next season thinking we’ve just come back down. I know that Paul and the board will support me to bring in the right personnel to get the job done”.

Lansdale was obviously quite moved by the whole occasion as he looked around at his team; from the clubhouse staff to the players, the manager and his supporting committee members, all of whom have been with him all the way.

He put it simply when he said: “It’s great, I’m pleased for the guys and I’m very proud of everything we’ve achieved together. The hard work really does start now”.

Title winning match – Erith Town 1 Sevenoaks Town 2
Greg Benbow is Sevenoaks Town’s Mr Consistency. Other players may grab the headlines but Benbow continues to go about his business game in game out. The experienced left back set-up the late match winner to clinch promotion at Corinthian last week, and did the same on as Town claimed their first ever Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division title against his former club Erith Town.

Whitstable’s defeat at Cray Valley PM confirmed Town as champions, with Town skipper Corey Holder lifting the trophy presented by SCEFL chair Denise Richmond before the players celebrated.

The 58th minute winner though proved controversial, Benbow’s far post cross picked out Kenny Pogue whose header was stopped by home keeper Adam Molloy, but assistant referee Jerry Annandale ruled it had crossed the line.

Molloy led the complaints but they fell on deaf ears, and with Whitstable’s defeat confirmed already – Town knew the final whistle signalled the title was theirs with one game to spare.
Pogue headed Harrison Carnegie’s cross wide early on, before Town lost the latter with a hamstring injury after only 11 minutes.

Top scorer Pogue set up Frankie Sawyer to put the visitors ahead 13 minutes later, before Molloy denied him a rapid second with a good two-handed block. The keeper also denied Jason Thompson and Pogue then missed a great chance to double the lead. An Erith defensive mistake left him one-on-one against Molloy – only to blast it over the bar.

Billy Bennett then struck a post – Sawyer ruled offside from the rebound – before Town were hit by a touch of déjà vu, conceding an equaliser due to a defensive mistake in first half injury time for the second time in successive games, presenting Harrison Hume with his first goal for the hosts.

Ben Wilson put two chances wide in the second half – as most Town followers spent time keeping in touch with Whitstable’s progress, with their game running five minutes ahead.
Pogue’s winner then proved the decisive moment – his 18th goal in 18 games – one of many impressive statistics in a memorable season.

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