Following a disappointing run of defeats, the U13's Tandridge team took a trip up the A21 to Addiscombe and came away with a win against well organised opponents to progress into the next round of the Tandridge League Shield competition.
They started promisingly and within five minutes had the lead. Joe Ryder getting a toe to a loose ball and giving it just enough impetus to crawl over the line. Sevenoaks have done exactly the same in their last few games but have allowed their opponents back into games. The pattern seemed to be repeating itself as the away team could not build on that good start. Addiscombe looked dangerous coming forward whilst Sevenoaks looked nervous in defence. They created problems for themselves through poor passing and weak clearances so it wasn’t a surprise that the hosts equalised after about 15 minutes when the defence failed to get the ball away effectively.
Riley Moore skipped round the goalkeeper to score but his effort was flagged for offside and a long range shot passed an on-rushing goalkeeper but slipped agonisingly wide, so Sevenoaks were creating chances but it was Addiscombe who took the lead with a good finish by their determined and fast centre forward. After that Sevenoaks really had to knuckle down. The home team were out fighting them - they were first to loose balls and they were finding loads of room in midfield as the Sevenoaks midfielders were too often in the wrong place allowing the other team too much freedom.
It was a frustrated Sevenoaks team that came off at half time. They knew they could play better and knew they shouldn’t be losing. They play well when they are angry and went back with fire in their bellies to get the match back in their favour. And so it proved.
From the kick off they pushed forward with more aggression, confidence and accuracy and began to create chances. Jay Craven was putting some super long balls down the right for Joe Ryder to latch onto and Joe Ashton was becoming more involved as was Kai Okulaja who barely got a touch in the first half. The defence were coping with the ball when it came their way and the home team were well on the back foot.
A deserved equaliser came after about 15 minutes. Ryder and Moore burst through the defence and bore down on the advancing goalkeeper. He was stranded well outside the box and a simple ball from Ryder to Moore gave him the simplest of chances to put the ball into the net with the reward of a hug from his little brother. A few minutes later and it was 3-2 to Sevenoaks and it was Moore again. This time he pounced on a cross into the box from Cirvinskas.
It looked for a while that Sevenoaks would run riot as they had all the confidence and Addiscombe were shorn of it. Much to the team’s frustration, Moore was denied a perfect hat trick chance when clear on goal by the referee deciding to award a free kick rather than carry on with the clear advantage. A fourth goal would have settled the match but it wouldn’t come and Sevenoaks had to endure a nervous final ten minutes as the home team searched for an equaliser. Danny Varley dealt comfortably with everything that came his way and they held out for a deserved but hard fought victory.