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 Saturday 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 confirmed Town as champions, skipper Corey Holder lifting the trophy presented by SCEFL chair Denise Richmond before the players celebrated.
Club President Eddie Diplock joined Chairman Paul Lansdale, Manager Micky Collins and Holder on the pitch to be pictured with the trophy, the perfect end to a a memorable afternoon.
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.