At last, after a summer of preparation and a pre-season friendly win against Beckenham Town last week, our boys were ready for it.
We have faced our opponents Tunbridge Wells Foresters before and, like our team, the Foresters have a few new faces in their squad. Alex Pincott and Piers Fautley both missed out on selection through injury and Connor Horn was rested.
Foresters lost their first match against Maidstone last weekend and they obviously were keen to set the record straight. The weather was great and supporters from both sides turned out in great numbers.
Straight from the start, our boys dominated the game. Sevenoaks had most of the possession but we were not really creating any dangerous situations in front of goal.
The first opportunity came in the 6th minute when Sevenoaks were awarded a free kick just inside Foresters' half and as usual Harry Turpin was the man for the job. A good delivery but cleared by one of their defenders.
Only two minutes later, Tommy Higgins found George Mills-Packer on the right side of the pitch. George quickly moved forward and noticed that Floris Faulstich moved in to a gap. The superb pass found Floris and with only the goalkeeper in front of him, Floris made no mistake. 1-0
Foresters immediately responded and started to put some pressure on our defenders. A shot on goal was easily saved by Danny Varley. The counter attack that followed made Foresters realise that they could not take too many risks. With great speed and determination Tyrel Chambers managed to get in to a good position to deliver a cross, it deflected off a defender and the ball fell in front of Archie Ellam's left foot. His powerful shot was fantastically saved.
Still Sevenoaks had most of the possession but Foresters certainly started to make an impact. Half way through the first half, the first corner of the match was awarded. A long ball from the right side was cleared by Harry Turpin. The resulting second corner was calmly managed by Finn Richardson who found Tyrel. Via a quick set of passes Joe Hasler tried his luck with a well aimed shot on goal. Again the goalkeeper stood at the right spot.
With only ten more minutes to go in the first half, our lead by one goal was minimal. A somewhat controversial decision to allow a free kick for handball by Tristan Hayman just on the edge of the box sent some shivers down our spines. Luckily our defenders kept their heads cool and dealt with the situation professionally.
Three minutes before half time, Sevenoaks finally extended their lead. Tristan Hayman, managed to pass the ball to William Patrick, who immediately found Floris Faulstich. After a quick dribble past a defender, he again came face-to-face with the goalkeeper. Some quick moves and a calm finish with his left foot doubled the lead. 2-0
In the changing room smiles all over but Sam reminded the boys to keep concentrating. Some fresh legs made were introduced. Will and Floris were already substituted by Eddie Lane and Charlie Fisher just before the half time whistle and Archie made room for Reiss Skeen. Sam made some further tactical changes in midfield and the strategy was communicated to the players.
The first couple of minutes of the second half were promising. A good delivery from a corner by Reiss Skeen was narrowly shot over by Tyrel Chambers. However, the situation quickly changed for the worse. After some chaotic defending in the 9th minute of the half Foresters took advantage of our mistakes. 2-1
The goal created some extra energy and belief for Foresters and further chances followed. Only a few minutes later the equaliser was hit. Some headaches for the coaching staff. What to do?
At this stage of the game, the aim was not to lose. We needed to get the passion and fighting spirit back in to the team. The pitbull terrier of the team made a reappearance - William Patrick.
The first real chance came when Eddie Lane broke through the defence, his shot went narrowly wide.
In the 30th minute, Sam decided to make another, somewhat risky, substitution. Floris came back on and was going to play alongside Charlie. Foresters reacted straight away by putting some extra defence in place. The play, at last, in the opposition half once again.
In the 33rd minute, Charlie Fisher's shot at goal, after some fine dribbles, was deflected of a defender - Floris Faulstich did not hesitate and headed the ball between the posts. The first perfect hatrick (right, left, header) of the season.
Some very nervous moments followed. Not for long. William Patrick got the ball on the left side of the pitch and despite numerous challenges from some of their defenders, William's powerful shot with his left foot was impossible to save and well in to extra time the score line was finalised. 4-2
A well deserved first win after total domination in the first half. A credit to Tunbridge Wells for fighting back in the second half and capitalising upon our mistakes.
Some final words - a big thank you to the parents who helped with setting up and cheered on the boys!