Potton reflex saves the day and a point for Oaks

MENS HOCKEY LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION: Sevenoaks 0 Reading 0

Sevenoaks earned their second point of the season after a tense encounter with Reading on Saturday evening at Hollybush Lane after the match ended scoreless.
In a game where chances were few and far between, the opening exchanges were cagey, with both teams having spells of possession but neither managing to fashion any threatening opportunities on goal.

Reading had the first penalty corner of the game but the effort went wide of goal, then the best chance of the half fell to the visitors when a mis-placed pass put their attacker through; an excellent save by Richard Potton kept out the first effort but the rebound fell to another Reading player who, with the goal gaping, hit the inside of the post and the ball ricocheted to safety.

It was a wake up call to Oaks, who had controlled most of the possession up to that point. Oaks had a couple of opportunities themselves, first when returning captain, Tim Warrington, received an Andrew Ross aerial pass and bore down on goal but saw his reverse stick effort saved by the goalkeeper. Oaks then won a penalty corner, but Ross’ effort was easily saved by the keeper. The sides went into the interval without a goal between them.

The second half became a slightly more open and end to end affair but attacking moves by both sides lacked a quality end product.
Sevenoaks orchestrated a good attack which ended with a loose ball falling to Ali Taylor, but his effort was slashed high and wide, before another attack ended with Warrington latching onto a rebound and firing through the keeper’s legs, but again, wide of the goal.

The visitors had a couple more penalty corners, with a re-award from the first, but they were unable to get past Sevenoaks’ defensive unit.

The home side then responded with a penalty corner of their own but couldn’t breach the Reading defence. As full time drew closer, Reading had a glorious chance to snatch a victory when a deflected ball fell to their forward five yards out on the volley, but man of the match Potton made a brilliant reflex save to turn the ball round the post.

Reading we’re pressing Oaks back into their defensive quarter and in the final minute they won a penalty corner, but fortunately for Oaks the move collapsed and the full time whistle went with the score remaining 0-0.

It was a useful point for Sevenoaks, and a first clean sheet in the Premier League since their promotion last year.

It takes them onto two points for the season, and will give them some confidence going into their crunch away game with fellow strugglers University of Exeter next weekend.