Sevenoaks and Orpington played out an entertaining draw in a front of an enthusiastic crowd at Greatness Park on Sunday morning.
It was a game where the lead kept changing hands with two evenly matched teams really going for it throughout the 70 minutes.
The home team started very brightly having a good chance in the first two minutes, Orpington were struggling to get into the game so it was no surprise when Sevenoaks opened the scoring. They were awarded a free kick about 20 yards out. Brandon Parsons stepped up and calmly lifted the ball over the wall and the goalkeeper into the net.
The game was very open with both teams playing well. Orpington moved the ball well and had some good chances themselves but were just lacking that final touch. Sevenoaks had the better chances for a goal and nearly extended their lead but Harvey Hollingsbee’s shot clipped the top of the bar.
The visitors began to exert some control and for a while the hosts couldn’t get into the game, the midfield were largely chasing shadows and the defenders having to work very hard to keep Sevenoaks ahead. Ultimately it would prove too difficult and on 30 minutes Rovers had a deserved equaliser. Sevenoaks failed to clear when they had the chance and the away side accepted the gift and got the goal their play deserved.
Three minutes later and they were in the lead. A quick break down the right, a cross over to the left and a smart finish to allow them to go into the half term break in the ascendancy.
Straight from the kick off, it became 3-1 and it looked like the game was lost. However Sevenoaks did not let their heads drop and came straight back in to the game, Harvey with a great finish to reduce the deficit and within a couple more minutes it was 3-3. Josh Penfold showing great strength and poise to hold of the defenders close attentions before smashing a shot in to the roof of the net.
It was now all Sevenoaks and Orpington couldn’t get a look in. more goals looked inevitable and one nearly came for a super fast counter attack with lovely one touch interplay between Brandon and Freddie Watkins cutting through the Orpington lines with ease. Only a desperate challenge brought that attack to an end. It was just a momentary breather. A few minutes later Kai Okulaja broke clear on the right and showed great skill and composure running half the length of the pitch twisting and turning the opposition inside out before bursting into the box and dispatching the ball to give Sevenoaks the lead again and completing a remarkable turnaround.
4-3 with 15 minutes still to go in this breathless encounter. It was looking good for the team in blue, they were dealing comfortably with the opposition’s play and had a few more chances to extend their lead. It looked good but an attack in the last minute broke through the resolute Sevenoaks defence. The forward still had a bit to do but he unselfishly laid the ball across the box for his teammate to slot home the equaliser to make it 4-4, which perhaps was a fair result given the entertainment the two teams provided.
It is still early days for this team. They are much changed from last year so they are still bonding but there is a good spirit amongst the boys and they are playing with confidence and intelligence which bodes well for future games.