For once a visit to Cockmannings Lane didn’t involve torrential rain and bitter wind and Sevenoaks took full advantage of the benign conditions to swat aside an Orpington team that last year were something of a nemesis.
The scoreline only tells part of the story which included red and yellow cards.
It could have been a struggle for Sevenoaks as they could only field a starting eleven as late withdrawals meant that no subs were available but they started at a rush, Josh had a good chance in the opening minute but over-complicated his finish but made up for that a minute later with a cracking half volley from the edge of the box that hit the left hand post before ricocheting of the other upright into the net.
As with the opening game, this team have discovered the confidence to move the ball and themselves around effectively, and these new qualities were in evidence with the second goal a few minutes later when Conor fed the ball down the left to Harvey who crossed to Floris for an easy finish.
Kai nearly made it three after 10 minutes but just couldn’t get the ball out of his feet. In the 18th minute Floris added to the scoreline with his second before completing a stunning first-half hat-trick two minute later.
The pressure form Sevenoaks was constant and there were surely more goals to come. An end to end move nearly resulted in a fifth goal when George Porter in goal launched a ball high and long putting Floris and Kai clear, Floris got there first and he played in Harvey who smashed a shot but the Orpington goalie saved well.
It wasn’t until the 34th minute that George was called into serious action and he reacted well to push a sharp shot over the bar but Sevenoaks were tiring after all the effort they had put in and they were giving their hosts a chance or two.
They were still getting forward as well and the impressive Joe Cole, who was working his socks off in the middle of the park, created a chance after riding a tackle or two but at this time they were down to 10 as Dan Knowles was off the field recovering from a knock.
This was giving Orpington space in the midfield and they took full opportunity to grab a goal back. Sevenoaks weren’t finished and nearly added to their score before the referee blew the whistle on a breathless first half when an increasingly frustrated Harvey placed a shot just wide.
The second half began much as the first ended with a chance to Sevenoaks and this set the tone for the next forty minutes. Soon it was five when Floris bagged his fourth following an assist from Conor.
Then it all went crazy. A commotion near the centre spot and the referee flashed a red card at the Orpington Centre back only then to issue one to Josh following a coming together between the two players.
After a few moments of uncertainly and confusion, the game settled down in the same mode as before just but with fewer players.
A sixth goal to the visitors and a rout was developing mainly at Floris’s hands. He got his fifth, twisting and turning in a tight spot to finish well.
It was all one way traffic now and the away team were creating a host of chances as the Orpington defence melted under the onslaught. It’s hard to be churlish given the result but it they could have had even more if there was more heads up play in the box.
A number of chances were spurned with teammates were in a better position when goal hunger took precedence.
The seventh goal was a fabulous team goal. The industrious Joe Cole got the ball to Floris who in turn fed the ball to Harvey. He broke into the box and down to the by-line and crossed to Kai in plenty of space. He chested the ball down and shot calmly low into the corner for a deserved goal.
The referee was called into action again shortly after when Harvey was penalised for a foul on an Orpington defender. Foolishly he kicked the ball away and was rightfully waved a yellow.
This became a second a few minutes later when he reacted badly to a poor tackle and got his marching order (although he was already on his way by then). He was shepherded off by a sporting Orpington player trying to calm his upset opponent.
The will had left the Orpington team by then though and they couldn’t raise themselves as the match was lost. Despite fewer numbers it was no surprise that Sevenoaks added to the scoreline in the last 10 minutes. Theo had a good chance after a long run from right back but it was Kai who made it eight accepting a pass from Floris for an easy finish past the somewhat dispirited goal keeper
That was the last meaningful action of the game as Sevenoaks continued their impressive start to the season showing composure and maturity in their play if not always in their behaviour. Today’s incidents were a first for the team in all the years they have been playing together and lessons will undoubtedly be learnt and not repeated
The boys are playing with an impressive cohesion that belies the lack of game time they have had and if it continues they can expect a successful season, solid at the back, diligent in midfield and decisive at the front