The U14's Tandridge first match on the 3G surface at The Bourne Stadium produced a classic match and a superb victory after 70 minutes of breathless end to end stuff. No quarter was given by either team and they went toe to toe for the whole game, displaying skill and determination in equal measure. Sevenoaks led at half time but Lightning stormed back in the second half reflecting their status at the top of the league. The home team kept their heads and stole two goals at the end to earn a deserved win.
The visitors started fast and proved strong and skilful and Sevenoaks were put on the back foot immediately. They weathered the initial flurry and then took the lead after 5 minutes when the ball fell to Josh just outside the box - advancing he kept his composure to finish well. Lighting were quite surprised by this turn of events and they tried hard to get back into the game but good defending and confident goalkeeping kept them at bay.
It was nearly 2-0 on 18 minutes following tenacious play by Joe Cole in the middle of the park put Josh in on goal but for the opposition goalkeeper to save the shot. The game carried on in an end to end fashion but for all their pressure on the home goal, Sevenoaks rarely gave them a good sight of goal.
Then it was 2-0 and what a goal. Arran Donald pressed forward into the other half after winning the ball, he laid it off to Joe Cole who set up Harvey who let fly with a beauty of a shot from 20 yards which flew into the back of the net with the goalkeeper grasping at air.
That’s how it ended at half-time but the team knew their opponents would come back at them with a vengeance and so it proved. Sevenoaks have developed a habit of conceding straight from the kick off and this match was no exception. Within seconds of the kick-off Storm reduced the deficit and it seemed that the home team’s efforts in the first half could be lost.
Lightning sensed goals and looked dangerous every time they pressed forward, the home defence grew a bit ragged, they were paying for the hard work of the first 35 minutes as they tried to deal with the seemingly relentless attacks. However, it seemed the tide was stemmed when a few minutes later Joe Cole’s shot went in off the post to restore their two goal advantage.
The second half was proving as intense as the first and on 42 minutes it was 3-2 - the defence was out of shape and they failed to close down the winger. When they did, they all went for him and he was able to slip the ball to a team mate who couldn’t miss. Four minutes later and it was all square. The bounce of the ball ran for Storm and they took their chance to get right back into the game to the delight of their vociferous coaches.
The passes that worked for the hosts before the break were just not happening now and the away team had impetus and began to seek out more goals. As they pushed forward they created gaps at the back and the pacy Sevenoaks front line didn’t give up and on 65 minutes they retook the lead. Again, Arran started it with a charge through the middle, his pass to Brandon was laid into Harvey’s path and showing the coolness from the first half put the ball into the net.
They took heart from this and had further chances following a string of corners on 30 minutes but nothing came of those. Storm tried to capitalise on Sevenoaks’s sense of adventure but their luck held as a couple of shots just went outside the posts and they nearly suffered from careless defending allowing the other side's forwards to steal the ball in dangerous positions rather than clear decisively.
With a minute to go, the result was put beyond doubt when Harvey latched onto a great through ball and shot from an angle to make it 5-3 to Sevenoaks.
Within moments the referee blew his whistle to bring to an end this enthralling encounter and the boys rightfully celebrated this superb victory. Storm are the hosts next week which will be an interesting engagement after this game.