With 69 minutes gone and a draw seeming likely, Joe Ryder burst through the defence and showed good strength and a lot of composure to round the goalkeeper and slip the ball into the net to give Sevenoaks a hard fought win.
Before the start Jay Craven was struck by a recurrence of a knee injury meaning the team were without a sub though this was an improvement over the previous week. It did mean another tough 70 minutes for the boys awaited, with little chance of respite.
The early skirmishes were quite even. Both teams showed good attacking intent but the play was quite scrappy and the goals were not really threatened. Sevenoaks had an early chance through Kai Okulaja following a super through ball from Joe Ashton. Charlie Karsak was called into action on a number of occasions and got in some very timely tackles. The defence as a whole was being put under a lot of pressure but just about coped with the visitor’s attacks. Dan Knowles had to save smartly on one occasion to keep the scores even.
Joe Ryder had to come off for a while as he was still suffering from an injury which has kept him out until now. The home team were then reduced to nine as Joe Benfield took a knock. They were really under the cosh and had to reorganise quickly but it was perhaps no surprise that they conceded the opener in that spell albeit to a rather soft goal. However, their heads didn’t drop and on fifteen minutes they were level. Kai picked the ball up on the halfway line and streaked clear of the defenders. He took a touch and buried the ball in the back off the net.
The rest of the half was fairly even and uneventful neither team making much headway but the best chance came to Marcus Overd. He showed quick feet and good skill to create an opening but his shot was just wide.
Coach Matt gave a clear and calm assessment of their play and that of their opponents at half time, identifying opportunities for the team to exploit and the lads took to the pitch for the second half confident of making progress.
Marcus had a great chance after five minutes. He drove forward from the halfway line, just like Kai earlier. The goalkeeper was out of position and Marcus shot into the gaping space however the ball drifted just wide at the last moment when it looked for the world that it was going in.
For the next fifteen minutes the game became an untidy affair. Neither side could impose themselves on the game and the ball pinged back and forth with few clear cut chances.
In the last ten minutes though, Sevenoaks picked up their game and began to create openings. Marcus worked hard down the left as ever and Kai did the same on the right. Riley Moore took a cracking free kick that was just headed away from the goal line and his follow up corner nearly got a result. Joe Ryder was getting into his stride and realised he had the measure of his opponent. He just missed a header from an Overd corner and had a chance snuffed out when almost through on the goalkeeper.
With the clock ticking down, Joe received the ball in the middle of the park, he held off the centre back and took on the goalkeeper, the ball fell to him again and he scored to his and the team's evident delight. There was only time for the kick off before the whistle blew to end the game and the win was Sevenoaks' to make it two out of two so far this season for this new team.