Frankie Sawyer’s second half hat-trick capped Sevenoaks Town’s impressive comeback and complete a winning FA Trophy debut over twice champions Grays Athletic.
Sawyer made a quicker than expected recovery from an ankle injury suffered at East Grinstead the previous week, to score a 36 minute treble, and claim the match ball.
Oaks trailed 2-0 after a quarter of an hour, both scored by Portuguese winger Joao Carlos, and survived several more anxious moments early on.
They gradually created chances of their own but a tactical half-time change, and Sawyer’s clinical finishing, helped turn the Extra Preliminary Round tie at Aveley on it’s head.
Micky Collins and assistant John Wilfort sacrificed Leyton Orient youngster Ernold Maxium, making his first start, in favour of Alec Fiddis, and the substitute responded by scoring one and making another as Oaks earned a winners cheque of £3000.
Kenny Pogue missed out on an early chance at one end, and Ben Bridle-Card had already kept out one at the other, before Carlos put Grays in front after four minutes, firing home a long range free-kick from just inside the far touchline.
Bridle-Card kept out another Carlos effort, and scooped away another effort from beneath his own bar, with Oaks under the cosh, Carlos doubling the lead after only a with another left foot finish inside the area.
A third goal then might have killed the tie completely, but Oaks began to get a foothold in the game themselves.
Sawyer fired over the bar, William Johnson-Cole saw his shot blocked, and 17-year-old Maxium, a second year scholar with the East London club, had another effort deflected for a corner.
Johnson-Cole’s cross then just eluded Pogue, and Mikey Dalton fired over the bar.
Oaks were fortunate again on the half hour when Gillingham winger Dennis Oli’s effort was knocked onto a post.
They went close to pulling one back a minute before half-time - home goalkeeper Lloyd Anderson and a defender collided on the edge of the area, Johnson-Cole shrugged off his marker, but his header bounced wide of the empty net.
The second half though proved a very different story.
Dalton put Osman Proni who fired over the bar, before Sawyer pulled one back nine minutes after the break.
Johnson-Cole’s ball into the home box caused problems, and Proni knocked it back for Sawyer to sweep home.
Tom Ripley just missed out six minutes later, just failing to connect with Sawyer’s free kick, before scored twice in two minutes.
Fiddis made it 2-2 - after a swift four v two break - Johnson-Cole again involved - still managing to set-up the chance despite being on the ground.
Sawyer then got his second, chipping over Anderson after racing onto another long ball which bounced in his path off a defender.
Oaks dominated the final 10 minutes.
Johnson-Cole fired wide, Sawyer had a another effort blocked by Anderson, before substitute David Smith, signed from Dover last week, was through, only to be ruled offside.
Sawyer completed his second treble of the season in stoppage-time, running onto Fiddis’ long ball before a low finish.