After the heavy defeat against Thamesview in the Viatex Challenge Cup last week, we were up for another challenge against Ebbsfleet United.
Ebbsfleet were unbeaten in the league with tall and physical players and their striker was top scorer in the league - so not a surprise to see the betting agencies putting the odds in favour for Ebbsfleet to win. As usual, Sam had spent time studying some of our opponent's matches and our training sessions focused on making sure our supporters would hopefully be pleasantly surprised with our efforts.
At 10:30 the match started and it was immediately clear the boys did not want to leave empty handed this morning. Ball possession was balanced and no side caused any real danger during the opening minutes of the match.
Alex Pincott and Tommy Higgins had their hands full dealing with their top striker and hence the leading scorer of the league could not make any significant impact yet. Meanwhile, Jack Fordyce had highlighted that Will Mullen could provide an interesting change in midfield. Although our ‘new’ midfield strategy certainly proved to be effective, our attackers could not make any impact in front of the Ebbsfleet goal yet.
Slowly Ebbsfleet started to put pressure on our defenders but, despite various shots on goal, Danny Varley avoided any change in the scoreline.
In the 24th minute, a long throw in from Ebbsfleet followed by a great shot just outside the box put the visitors ahead. 0-1
It was not long thereafter, when Ebbsfleet tried their luck with another long shot and despite great efforts the ball just deflected off Danny’s gloves onto the post and then into the net. 0-2
Back in the changing room at half time, Sam was more than happy with our drive for a result. He noticed that for the first time that when we went behind the belief to turn things around was still there. All boys were keen to get back on the pitch and show the supporters what they could do.
The first ten minutes are always crucial and our hearts stopped when our defenders could not stop the Ebbsfleet striker in his tracks. In the one-on-one situation, Danny Varley managed to spare us further misery. It increased our belief that things were going to go our way soon.
The following minutes, our attackers started to make some impact too. Half decent shots on goal by Will Mullen and Floris Faulstich went wide or over but the Ebbsfleet goalkeeper was warned. In the 11th minute of the second half, he had to come into action for the first time, when from a long throw in Joe Hasler headed the ball into his arms.
A few minutes later, William Patrick received the ball on the left side of the pitch. A nice pass to Floris Faulstich followed, who in turn dribbled past two defenders and crossed the ball to Charlie Fisher in the box. Charlie’s shot was fantastically saved by the Ebbsfleet goalkeeper.
It was now Sevenoaks all over and in the 25th minute after the ball was headed into the box by Alex Pincott, Charlie Fisher’s finishing shot was impossible to save. 1-2
Sevenoaks kept fighting until the last minute but unfortunately we could not get that second goal we probably deserved. But boys, we played as a real team and you should be proud of your efforts - Jack, Sam and I definitely are.