A closely matched first half of the game belied the ultimate result in this entertaining game played in perfect conditions at Seal Recreation Ground.
Tornado were finally beginning their league campaign and were keen to bounce back from last weeks heavy defeat in the cup. Tempest looked to add a second league victory to their opening day win.
The match was very evenly matched in the first half. Both sides had good chances to take the lead, Tornado had the most but Tempest had the best chances with excellent deliveries from corners. They almost took the lead when a looping kick from Donald had the Sevenoaks goalkeeper scurrying back towards his line only to see it bounce off the top of the bar. Sevenoaks spent a lot of time in their opponents half but were unable to make that possession count, their decisiveness in the final third was lacking and they rarely tested Noguchi in goal. Joe Benfield nearly caught him out as a speculative shot from near the half way line bounced narrowly wide. that though was the nearest they got to scoring. The midfield was hard fought over and the defenders had the measure of the strikers so the match was even after 30 minutes.
The mistakes in their game from the previous week were rarely repeated, the defence was much better organised, Oli Brooks was welcomed back and made a big difference, his comfort on the ball encouraging his teammates to play the same way. the midfield too had upped their game, tracking back more, keeping to their positions and getting forward better.
They team were encouraged after their half time team talk and returned to the pitch confident following their initial performance.
Very soon this confidence brought dividends. Mylo Wynter in only his second game broke down the right wing and slipped into the box before finishing instinctively to put his team into a lead to his and his sides delight. Tornado never looked back after that. Kai Okulaja now had the bit between his teeth. Released from defensive duties he was revelling in midfield, taking the ball whenever he could and testing the Tempest defence. A sharp shot appeared to be saved but as the goalie dived on it it rolled under him and into the goal to make it 2-0, shortly after the first goal.
A short water break to reflect the hot temperatures allowed Tornado to get their breath back after a busy first 15 minutes and they carried on where they left off. Joe Ryder was now seeing a lot of the ball and was bursting through the Tempest defence in the same manor as he did last season using his pace as a key weapon. He followed the coaches advice to take his chances and prepared the opposition goal whenever he could. Their goalkeeper was in good form and made a number of excellent saves to keep Ryder out and the score down. However the pressure finally told and he got his goal but from a stab over the line after a scramble rather than a sprint and shot on the run.
Okulaja, enjoying the match, got his second and the teams fourth with the best goal of the lot, a delightful chip cutting into the box. Tempest were overrun and could do little to take the pressure of their defence. Tornados second half performance was immense, they competed ferociously and didn’t allow their opponents a moment to settle. The ball kept coming back again and again but their goalkeeper saved them on a number of occasions. Tempest ran out winners in the end with a result that should stand them in good stead for the coming season. They are still unbeaten in league games for 2015. Long may that continue.