Greatness Park looked immaculate and conditions were perfect for the first round of the Tandridge U14's League Cup with Sevenoaks taking on opponents Storm Thunder.
Sevenoaks started very brightly and were moving the ball around well but not quite getting through the visitor’s defence. Their first shot came after five minutes with Joe Benfield’s smart shot just drifting wide after a part clearance out of defence. They were closer still a couple of minutes later with Charlie Karsak playing the ball wide to Brandon Parsons running into the box and shooting just wide after a one two with Joe Ryder.
The match lost a bit of impetus for a while as the opposition found their feet and Sevenoaks couldn’t make much headway. Shortly after Storm’s first shot on goal, Sevenoaks took the lead on 21 minutes with a well taken goal by Joe Cole, shooting into the far corner with their goalkeeper unable to get down in time.
Again the game got a bit scrappy, Sevenoaks had some chances but were guilty of overplaying things rather than keeping it simple, the last pass often went missing so good opportunities would come to nothing.
For a team struggling in the league below Sevenoaks, Storm were looking good and were growing onto the game and their efforts paid dividends a couple of minutes from the end of the half. Play broke towards the home team’s goal, a tackle was missed and the ball came to a storm attacker who drove into the box and slipped the ball with relative ease into the goal at the near post to level the scores. 1-1 was how it ended at half time.
It was a disappointing end to that period of play but it was a fair scoreline given the host’s generosity in not taking the chances that came their way and the visitor’s determination.
The second half started well for the dark blues but again they were failing to capitalise on good scoring opportunities. Storm were finding the ball been given back to them by loose clearances and they appeared to have the numbers in midfield that Sevenoaks were lacking.
16 minutes into the half they were awarded a penalty after their striker was brought down in the box. It was put away cleanly and they had the lead. This was doubled just two minutes later with a classic counter attacking goal, a quick move out of their defence found their forward who managed to turn the centre back and curled a shot into the corner giving the goalkeeper no chance. So 1-3 it was for the second week, could the home team turn it around. It didn’t look too promising as the away team were very much in the ascendancy and Sevenoaks heads were down, they were lacking fluidity and they were not talking to each other.
But then the tide began to turn, chances were coming Sevenoaks' way and they were getting all number of corners. Brandon Parson’s excellent deliveries were very tempting but they just couldn’t get a head to them. Something would have to come from one of them. However, it was a cool striker’s goal on 28 minutes that brought the home team back into contention. Joe Ryder doing what he likes best in his first game of the season bursting through the middle to pick up the through ball then rounding the goalkeeper before slipping the ball into the net whilst under great pressure form the defender. Game on!
Two minutes later and it was back to all square! Now it was getting interesting! Kai Okulaja finishing well after receiving a smart flick form Joe Ryder, he wasn’t going to miss that chance.
Their heads were definitely up now and with five minutes to go Sevenoaks were sniffing a win but it could go the other way so easily if they lost concentration.
A corner to the home team. Could this be the chance they wanted? Another great delivery from Brandon to Ryder at the back post, he couldn’t quite get it back to the goals but it fell to Josh Penfold whose shot hit the side netting.
The final minute arrived and a free kick was awarded on the right. Last chance for Sevenoaks. Brandon was the man to take it and his superbly flighted cross was met by the head of Arran Donald and the ball was in the net and victory was theirs, stolen at the death after a stunning fight back when things looked lost.