U14's Tandridge 2 Active 8 1

Monday, January 29, 2018

The away fixture resulted in a resounding victory for Sevenoaks but the return was a different matter entirely. The visitors looked different from the first time around and most certainly played differently. They were stronger, faster and more organised be-lying their lowly position in the league.


The match was fairly even to start with, any thoughts that the home team were going to get an easy ride were dispelled in those opening exchanges. Kai Okulaja was looking hungry. He wanted the ball and was prepared to take on the opposition defence, his pace and skill was troubling the other side but he just couldn't get his final cross or shot in.


Active 8 had chances early on to take the lead but Sevenoaks had a good spell of possession in the middle of the half but neither side could make the decisive breakthrough. The closest either side came in the first half was when Active 8 hit the post but half time came with the score as it was at the start, 0-0.


Sevenoaks ambled back into their positions after the break but Active 8, encouraged by their showing in the first 35 minutes ran back on, keen to get on with the game. Both teams started brightly playing at a much faster tempo than was seen before the break. It was attack followed by counter attack and it was Active 8 who struck first. It was not undeserved, they had had the better chances before that. Their two fleet-footed front men broke through the defence. Theo held them up but they got a shot away and although Dan Knowles got a foot to it, he couldn't divert it quite enough and it went in off the far post.


The game carried on in its end to end format though good chances were rare. Sevenoaks then got a corner. The team relies on Brandon's tempting crosses but on this occasion it went a little flat. However, the curl on it bamboozled the goalkeeper who fumbled the catch and it squirmed through his grasp and the scores were level.


Soon after it was nearly 2-1 following an attack by the home team. The ball came out to Joe Ashton who smashed it back in but the goalkeeper beat it away and scooped up the ball before Brandon could pounce. Other chances came the host's way but the ball just wasn't bouncing their way. The game appeared to be heading for a draw which would have been a fair result but in the closing minutes Sevenoaks contrived to fashion a winner. Tim Hill collected the ball in his left back position and he played it into Josh's path. He pushed into the box but couldn't get a shot away. However, the ball came back to Joe Ashton who passed it onto Kai poised on the edge of the box. He danced through a couple of challenges and shot past their excellent goalkeeper to make it 2-1. He had looked so dangerous throughout the match, he deserved to grab the winner and a well deserved Man of the Match award.


The whistle blew soon after and the team celebrated a victory rescued from an unlikely situation. They had to hold their nerve and keep positive when things weren't going their way and their determination and luck held to see them across the line and grab the three points.

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