This week’s opponents were also one of Sevenoaks bogey teams last season and are now playing a league higher so it was with a degree of trepidation that Sevenoaks took the field in bright sunshine at the curiously named Menace Arena (well it is in Dulwich!)
Last weeks cards meant suspensions so the Blues again only had 11 to call upon which might have a freekick on the right of the box. proved a challenge on the full sized pitch. However ultimately quality proved more important quantity.
The opening minutes were competitive but inconclusive. The hosts had the early chances but the defence held firm, Arran Donald getting in some important challenges. Eddie Lane had Sevenoaks first sight of goal with a burst into the penalty box but his shot slid just wide.
On 15 minutes, they won a freekick on the right of the box. Eddie curled it round the wall, the goalkeeper appeared to have it covered but it spun out of his hands and crawled over line with Arran & Kai on hand to ensure it stayed there.
Peckham then took the initiative and Sevenoaks were struggling to deal with the pressure as the hosts pushed forward seeking the equaliser. As fast as they cleared the ball it was coming back as the visitors could not keep possession. The home team were getting close but could not find that vital last touch.
However, they rode this particular storm and looked dangerous on the break and on 30 minutes it became 2-0 with Floris showing great strength and composure to hold off a couple of defenders to double the lead.
A couple of minutes later Sevenoaks were down to 10 as Kai limped off and Peckham took advantage of the numerical advantage by pressing forward. Sevenoaks wavered as they were giving their hosts too much time and space. It seemed only a matter of time before they got a goal back but this never happened despite moments of desperate pinball in the box, George Porter always proving a safe pair of hands everytime the ball breached the back line.
Peckham started the second much as they finished the first by putting Sevenoaks under pressure, they probed and pushed but couldn’t get through as the back four held firm. Equally when the Blues attacked they looked dangerous, Kai had their right back on toast and kept getting through on goal but it was a super pass from midfield from him on 15 minutes that set up Floris for the third goal. By then injuries meant that reduced the visitors to nine as Dan Knowles & Joe Cole were suffering but still the team held together. They did so even when they were briefly eight when Kai joined them on the sidelines.
A classic smash and grab on 34 minutes finished the match off as a contest just after George had to deal with the one serious threat he had to deal with, a long range shot that he tipped round the post. As a Peckham attack broke down, Theo launched the ball down the line from his right back position for Floris to collect. He drove towards the line and crossed for Eddie to finish calmly as Peckham were caught out with too many in the wrong half.
That was game over though Sevenoaks did not entirely park the bus. They still had a chance or two to extend their lead and finished with 11 again as Danny made it back on for the last seconds.
An entertaining game and Sevenoaks comfortably progressed to the next round of the Challenge Cup . Peckham had their chances but the clear difference was in the quality of the finishes which this year has proved to be their strength with a stunning 17 goals in three games to date.