Tornado’s first match of the season last week at Paddock Wood was postponed owing to Travellers taking over the opponents ground. This meant that they had to face the test of a Crowborough League cup match away to League A Rusthall without the benefit of a game behind them. It was always going to be a challenge but after their storming season last year, the match prove to be something of a reality check. This season was unlikely to be as comfortable as last year and so it proved in this match. Sevenoaks started quite well. They got forward confidently in the first few minutes but never looked particularly dangerous. Their opponents on the other hand were very sharp moving forward. Last season the Sevenoaks defence was the basis of their success but losses over the summer to other sports meant that a new back four lined up. They were worked hard by the Rusthall midfield and strikers who launched attack after attack. Tornado gave their opponents too much time on the ball or were second to the loose ball giving their opponents the advantage and their opening goal was inevitable. Small errors in position and giving up possession to easily enabled the host team to extend their league and by half time they were ahead 3-0. Tornados were putting in some good individual performances particularly Teddy Pearson but it was disjointed but they never really threatened the opposition goal.
The second half started promisingly. Sevenoaks pushed forward quickly and Marcus Overd having a good chance to maintain his usual habit of scoring a goal soon after the restart. However it was not to be and Rusthall soon began to exert control. Tornado had a better shape this time around and showed a bit more determination in their tussles with their opponents, Joe Benfield, now at Centre Back, in particular getting stuck in against a team containing two new classmates. Rusthall still had the upper hand and before long increased their lead. It began to look like a rout especially when their fifth goal went in as simple mistakes proved so costly. However, after that the tide began to turn slightly. Tornado began to get forward more and their attacks looked more convincing. The match was fairly even for the last 15 minutes. Mylo Wynter, making his debut on the right with instructions to make a nuisance of himself, did just that. He showed great tenacity in the tackle and then began to charge down the right wing with aplomb. He put in a couple of crosses but ahead of his teammates but his second cross bounced off a defender and into the net to give Sevenoaks a conciliation goal.
A disappointed Sevenoaks team trooped off the pitch after the final whistle but they now know that U12's is a different proposition to U11's and that will stand them in good stead for future matches. This game was a tough start and they are unlikely to face such impressive opposition in future games. If they remember todays performance, they can face their league opponents with greater confidence.