Investec Womens Hockey League Conference East: Sevenoaks 5 Horsham 1
The first game of the season and Oaks were at home, looking to welcome Horsham into the league in true purple style. An emphatic 5-1 win for Sevenoaks was a great way to stamp their new season aims into the league.
The opening goal came early, new recruit Nikki Kidd scoring a corner that was well won by Maddie Thompson. Unfortunately, Sevenoaks’ hope to maintain a clean sheet status was not to be and Horsham scored a few minutes later in reply after a slightly unsettled period for the home side. Fortunately, Oaks switched back on and started to turn the screw and apply more pressure.
ventually, this inevitably boiled over and Susie Rowe found herself in the D believing to have won a short corner, but luckily kept going and managed to coolly reverse strike the ball into the top right hand corner from the left hand baseline. The next goal came when Kidd fired a ball at goal for Thompson to deflect into the back of the net- a nice reciprocating act for the earlier goal.
The final goal of the half came from some lovely interchange in midfield, Katy Warrington deftly lifting the ball over the Horsham defenders’ sticks into Jen Wilson, who nipped the ball to Pip Symes and then in to Kidd, who struck it fantastically to make it 4-1. Nikki’s two goal debut earned her the Savills’ Magic Moment of the Match.
Half time was a positive affair, the team keen to keep this level going and really tire out the opposition. Oaks continued to play sublimely, the ball whizzing round the park and some great passages of play built up. The only thing looking to prevent this from happening was the ball itself, the ball girls and boys using some initiative by adding in some choice hockey balls from the half time entertainment. This sort of tomfoolery did not elude Susie Rowe who quite literally ejected from the venue anything short of a Kookaburra, and these were thrown into the surrounding hedges at Holly Bush. After shocked cries from her teammates of the game could resume, balls intact.
The final goal of the game summed up the match for Oaks perfectly. A ball well-worked out of the back by new recruit Claire Wallace, she passed it on to Sophie Crosley, who then tipped it on to Kidd who swiftly offloaded the ball onto a racing Thompson who hurtled into the D and did what all centre forwards dread, pass it on to another forward, and Wilson dove to put that ball in the back of the goal. A great image to keep in the team’s mind as they press on to next week’s away game at Southgate, they will be keen to keep totting up the goal difference and hopefully a clean sheet.