First Team 5 Hollands & Blair 1

Monday, January 9, 2017

Three second half goals helped Sevenoaks Town clinch an impressive victory over Southern Counties East League Premier Division title rivals Hollands and Blair. It was the first league win in four meetings avenging the 1-0 defeat at Gillingham last month. 


The result keeps Town firmly in the hunt on a day when none of the other top-five clubs were in action. Leaders Crowborough were involved in the FA Vase while Ashford and Sheppey were both without games.


Harrison Carnegie went close twice, crashing his second effort against the bar, before Byron Walker continued his impressive recent goal scoring form, bursting past a couple of Blair defenders to put Town in front after 24 minutes. However, the lead lasted only six minutes as Jack Miles back header fell short of goalkeeper Rob French, allowing Blair striker Gary Lockyer to nip in and shoot home.


Midfielder Justin Ascheri then fired wide, before Blair boss Bryan Greenfield was sent from the dug-out and forced to watch the rest of the game from the visitors' dressing room following comments to referee Ben Bowles, frustrated by several decisions, with three players booked inside the opening half hour.


Town regained the lead in first half stoppage-time, Billy Bennett exchanging passes, before shooting home with a low right footed effort.


Joe Bingham replaced Jimmy Rogers at half-time, and Town were on the front foot almost from the start. Two minutes in Chris Edwards' corner was only half cleared to Carnegie who saw his low strike bounce off the far post.


The winger made it 3-1 five minutes later, put in by Bennett, leaving Blair goalkeeper Ronan Forde punching the turf in frustration.


Walker and McCann both had half chances to get a fourth, and Carnegie saw his shot blocked. Town were then on the wrong end of a baffling decision by Mr Bowles - after Miles looked to be kicked in the head by Lockyer in the box, members of the referee fraternity watching thought it was a penalty - but the man in the middle chose to award a drop ball.


Carnegie's last contribution before being substituted was to set up Keiron McCann to score Town's fourth after 66 minutes. Walker then set-up sub Yacine Ghanore for the fifth with 11 minutes left.


New signing Jack Richards - signed on a three month loan from Maidstone United who replaced Carnegie with 22 minutes left went close twice before the end, shooting wide, before seeing Forde block another effort. Moments earlier, Miles atoned for his earlier mistake, with a last ditch challenge to deny the always dangerous McDonald - with the game long over as a contest.

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