Holmesdale Youth FC, a side we have never played before. However, various Holmesdale players we know very well and we are aware of their great individual skills. The visitors struggled a bit in the beginning of the season but recently had a very good run against some of the top teams in our league. We are a bit behind regarding the number of matches played since Christmas, so we booked a 3G pitch at Knole Academy. At least we would beat the weather! It suits both sides, Holmesdale train and play on 3G, and we train on 3G every week, so expectations were high.
The first couple of minutes both sides had equal possession. Most of the play was in our half though but neither side was particularly dangerous. Our players struggled somewhat to deal with the rather physical way of playing by the Holmesdale players and it took some time before Sevenoaks settled in to the game.
Half way through the first half, James, Tommy and Archie showed some nice football between them. Some perfect one touch football left the visitors puzzled in midfield. Harry in the meantime pushed up a bit towards the half way line and Archie passed the ball back to him. With no clear passing options, Harry noticed the Holmesdale goalkeeper slightly off his line and powered a shot on goal. 1-0
Holmesdale immediately responded with some strong football and Sevenoaks could not avoid the equaliser. 1-1
Leading up to that goal, Will became the first victim of a strong tackle on the left side and lost part of his tooth in the process.
‘Why are we afraid to play?’ Sam asked our boys at half time. ‘Believe in your capabilities and the game plan!'
It was clear that the opposition had received a firm briefing from their coaches too and within the first five minutes of the second half Holmesdale scored two more goals. 1-3
The boys from Bromley kept coming, but our defenders, with Tristan playing a leading role, avoided further misery.
Just a couple of minutes later Sevenoaks were awarded an indirect free kick just inside the Holmesdale half. Both Conor and Harry behind the ball. A little pass from Conor to Harry, who had already picked his spot…high and in the far right corner. 2-3
Immediately confidence returned and with Finn and Conor in midfield the Holmesdale attackers had enormous difficulty breaking through. Only a few minutes later Finn was taken down and a free kick once more was granted. Only one boy was suitable for that job this Sunday and shortly after, Harry’s hat trick was a fact. 3-3
Sevenoaks clearly had the better play this moment in time. Eddie and Floris kept the Holmesdale defenders on their toes whilst doing their best to create opportunities. A slight loss in concentration from a set piece however and Holmesdale immediately grabbed the chance to change the score line again. 3-4
Holmesdale stepped up a notch and became more and more dangerous. In quick succesion, Danny defended his goal in his usual manner. Even in a one on one situation, the leopard from Sevenoaks proved to be the right boy in the right place.
Harry went down with a groin injury and needed treatment on the pitch. Apart from his scoring skills we needed him in defence as well and with only three more minutes on the clock he found the strength to continue.
Sevenoaks found some last minute energy and Piers received the ball on the right side of the pitch. Piers' long ball in the far right corner could not properly be controlled by Floris but he managed to get a corner. A good cross in the box was cleared by a Holmesdale defender but dropped in front of Eddie’s feet just outside the penalty box. We all know that he has got a good shot and with a his last bit of energy Eddie slotted the ball between the posts to wrap up the scoring. 4-4
An entertaining morning to say the least!