Another bright Sunday morning welcomed Tornado to a very busy Racecourse ground. The recent good weather meant the pitch was in great condition and a tight battle was expected given the close games we have had with the opposition in the past.
And so it proved. The first half was scrappy and few meaningful chances were created. Much of the game took place in the middle third as the ball bounced around, neither team were able to impose themselves on the match. Sevenoaks had some chances but were unable to capitalise Winter opting to shoot when a pass across the box might have been better. Joe Ryder had a shot come back off the post. Tonbridge had their moments too, nearly capitalising on a lack of communication between the centre-back and the goalkeeper but Will Ramage in goal smothered the chance. Sevenoaks felt they should have had a penalty right at the death when the ball hit a Ferrari defender’s hand but the referee blew for half time instead of the infringement.
So the first half ended 0-0.
The second half was also scrappy but very exciting. Five minutes into the half, Sevenoaks broke forward with intent. Kai Okulaja collecting the ball by the half way line and raced towards the penalty area. the defenders could not keep up with him and he smashed the ball over the goalkeeper to put Sevenoaks in front. It was end to end stuff after that. Ferrari saw a lot of the ball and were making numerous dangerous attacks as Sevenoaks were often sitting too deep and not clearing their lines allowing their opponents to keep coming back at them. The Tornado defence was also struggling with their shape and organisation and often had to make anxious tackles to deny the home side. Ramage, now on pitch, made a couple of well timed sliding tackles to save his team. Ferrari missed a couple of clear opportunities, shooting wide when a goal looked certain and they did manage to get the ball into the net but it was correctly ruled offside much to the frustration of the home supporters.
The final 15 minutes was a breathless period of Tonbridge attacks and Sevenoaks counter attacks. Tonbridge really took the game to the “Nerrazurri” desperate to get that single goal back and on another day they would have got on the scoresheet. Tornado had to work really hard to keep their lead , Cornell got some key tackles in as did Mike Lamstaes. The visitors had a host of chances to add to their score taking advantage of their pacey attack as Tonbridge pushed forward . Danny Knowles had a shot bounce back off the post, Ryder and Winter spurned good chances, the reluctance to shoot early again proving costly. If they had taken these chances it may have clamed the nerves but it wouldn’t have been a fair reflection on their attack minded opponents. The final score of 1-0 enabled Sevenoaks to maintain their 100% record for the season and their league lead and was deserved, they had more and better chances and for all their pressure, Tonbridge didn’t really test the goalkeeper.