Sevenoaks’ Purple Army go all out – but fall just short!

England Hockey Mens Premier League: East Grinstead 3 Sevenoaks 2

Goalkeeper Richard Potton was named Man of the Match as Sevenoaks drew at home to Reading

Sevenoaks lost out to the odd goal in five on Saturday evening away to East Grinstead.

For the first time this season it was Sevenoaks who made a fast start to the game and took the lead in the opening 10 minutes. An aerial pass from Andrew Ross found it’s way through to Ali Taylor, and as he advanced on goal he lobbed the ball up and over the keeper and into the back of the net to make it 1-0 to Sevenoaks after eight minutes.  The lead would only last 6 minutes though, and East Grinstead hit back from a penalty corner, that was deflected in at the left post beyond goalkeeper Richard Potton to make it 1-1.  Four minutes later East Grinstead took the lead when another penalty corner was converted, this time directly from the top of the D into the bottom left corner, making it 2-1 to the hosts.

Oaks had a glorious opportunity to draw level when a good attacking move ended with a goal-mouth scramble; the ball fell loose to an unmarked Andrew Oxburgh, but with the goal gaping he flicked just wide of the right hand upright and the score remained 2-1. As half-time neared Oaks were looking threatening on the break, and with two minutes of the half remaining Ross got the ball into the attacking D, where Taylor shovelled it towards goal, the rebound came back out to Tom Chandler and he crashed a reverse stick strike between the keeper’s legs and into the backboard to draw the sides level at 2-2.

The second half was an even affair, with perhaps East Grinstead edging it due to winning a couple more penalty corners, and it was from one of those penalty corners that they re-took the lead in the 47th minute when GB International Liam Ansell powered in a drag-flick to make it 3-2.  Oaks pushed forwards in search of an equaliser and they earned their own penalty corner, but Ross didn’t get hold of his flick and it was easily saved.

In the final 10 minutes Oaks were twice reduced to 10 men as players were sin-binned for fouls as East Grinstead broke away on counter attacks, and ultimately this meant Oaks were unable to really apply sustained pressure on the hosts in the dying minutes, and the score remained 3-2 as the final whistle blew.

Next week Sevenoaks host Reading at Hollybush Lane on Saturday at 5.00pm and they will look to build on this performance in search of their first win of the season. All support would be very welcome!