Our first away match this season and confidence was high after our win against Tunbridge Wells Foresters last week. Alex Pincott and Piers Fautley were back from injury and Danny Varley and Tyrel Chambers were on duty with our Tandridge team.
We have played Danson Sports during a six-a-side tournament over the summer so we were aware of some of their excellent players. Danson Sports are known as one of the more physical sides in the Kent Youth League and Sam stressed this point during the pre-match briefing.
A clash of kit caused some initial nervousness, but all was sorted just in time for kick-off.
Danson Sports immediately took the initiative and our back four realised that they could not lose any focus. For Sevenoaks it was Eddie Lane who took the lead in the attack. His strength and pace caused some headaches for Danson’s defenders. His first shot on goal went wide, a few moments later his powerful shot hit the post. The tone was set.
Although the Danson boys are known as a strong physical team, the Sevenoaks boys showed some character as well. This resulted in a few clashes on both sides and various free kicks were awarded by referee Tony Woods - who, by the way, had a very good game.
It was in the 17th minute when our efforts were finally awarded. A free kick taken by Reiss Skeen, just inside the opponent's half, reached Joe Hasler. Joe calmly slotted the ball between the posts. 0-1
Sevenoaks kept the pressure going and a succession of corners kept the Danson defenders on their toes.
A Danson corner however, a few minutes later, caused some problems for our defence too. The ball was initially cleared but quickly found its way in to the box again. This time Danson consolidated their chance. 1-1
During the last couple of minutes of the first half it was Danson all over. The Sevenoaks supporters held their breath when a free kick , just outside the box, was awarded to Danson Sports. It was Connor Horn who showed his skills and saved the effort.
At half time, the atmosphere in the changing room was one of positivity. ‘We are the better side and we can win this!’ was Sam's message. Some additional changes were made.
The boys from Crayford quite clearly had their talk in the changing rooms too. Straight from the start of the second half they increased their efforts a notch. In a counter attack, after two minutes of play, a two against one situation created some significant danger. Piers Fautley, fortunately diverted the attack by showing his defending skills, combined with fantastic speed.
The corner as a result caused more problems. We couldn’t clear the ball well and a shot on goal hit the bar and bounced just behind the goal line. 2-1
The mourning did not last long. Eddie Lane again showed his skill and determination and superbly crossed the ball into the box with Floris Faulstich finishing the efforts with a great volley into the top corner of the Danson goal. 2-2
The smiles returned and with fifteen minutes to play we hoped to turn the match in our favour again. Sam made some further changes and put Alex Pincott in his familiar central midfield position. Instantly, Alex made an impression on the Danson defenders but the Danson goalkeeper kept his goal clean for the remaining minutes of the match.