Sevenoaks Town’s positive start to the season took a slight dent on Bank Holiday Monday after a cruel own goal was the only thing to separate them from hosts Cray Valley PM.
In searing heat in South East London, Sevenoaks started the match in Eltham in a positive manner. Brad Schafer was first to get going as he had a great opportunity to open the scoring in the fourth minute, after Tommy Whitnell had shown some superb foot-work on the edge of the box before laying it in for Schafer.
Oaks continued to pressure Cray Valley in all areas of the pitch, and utilised the speed of Ainsley Everett down the left flank to good affect. Chances kept on coming for the visitors, first for Whitnell and then Tyrell Richardson-Brown, who was unfortunate not to score in a one-on-one with the goalkeeper.
Sevenoaks were in control of the match now, keeping their hosts to minimal chances, however one such chance came crashing back off Ben Bridle-Card’s crossbar just before halftime.
Oaks started the second half in the same manner as the first, passing the ball across the pitch and holding it up in the final third, but goal-scoring opportunities started to dry up, so Town Manager, Micky Collins, brought on Frankie Sawyer and Louis Collins to provide them with more firepower.
Chances continued to ebb away from Sevenoaks as the match entered the last 10 minutes and it was all too likely that both teams would go home with a point. However, some good work down the right wing for Cray led to a cross into the box which was met by Sevenoaks defender Harry Kingdon. Unfortunately the ball hit his leg and slipped past Bridle-Card into the net.
Football can be a cruel game sometimes and Sevenoaks would have felt that too. After having the majority of the possession, and the way in which they controlled the game for such long periods of time, it will definitely have put a lump in their throats.
Collins commented after the match: “I thought first half we were on the money, but second half I don’t think we did enough. We’re playing well for 45 minutes at the moment, just not the 90, it’s early days though”.
He continued: “We didn’t make it too uncomfortable for them, yes we had moments of pressure where we got wide and we created chances and put some good crosses in, but we weren’t effective enough to get on the end of them. When you have moments like that in a game you have to make it work, you have to make it happen, because they’ll always come back at you.”
On the own goal he added: “We had to stop the cross, if we stopped the cross it doesn’t happen. Poor Harry’s took one on the leg and it’s gone in and it was all over. We were never going to get a goal today.”
Collins concluded: “We’ll go again against Whitstable next Saturday and try to get the three points”.
FA Cup news
Meanwhile, the FA Cup draw for the 1st Qualifying Round took place on Tuesday lunchtime and Sevenoaks have a trip to Corinthian Casuals in Tolworth to look forward to.
Corinthian Casuals play in the BetVictor Isthmian League Premier but have not had the greatest start to the season with two draws and three losses in their opening five matches.
Kingstonian FC have also been drawn at home in the Cup, and they share the same ground with Corinthian Casuals, so the match will have to be fixed for some point over the weekend of 6th/7th/8th September. The BBC would do well to set up their cameras at the ground and get two matches on air for the price of one!