Blustery conditions and a bumpy undulating pitch made for a scrappy game but Sevenoaks just about coped better to edge past a physical but limited Blue stars team to return to the top of League C.
This was the teams first league match since November. Adverse weather, cup matches and Christmas has broken up the momentum they had built up through the first part of the season and a disappointing result in the Cup last week made this outing against the team keeping pace with them all the more important.
Sevenoaks appeared a little nervous in the opening minutes of the match and were struggling to put together any meaningful play. The wind was playing havoc with their passing but Blue Stars were looking keen, they were first to the ball and dominating the midfield so it was no surprise when they took the lead.
As the game progressed Sevenoaks got into the match a little more but were still being threatened by their hosts who had adopted a shoot on sight policy. A number flew over high and wide but other efforts put George Russell under pressure but he coped well despite carrying an injury to his hand.
It just wasn’t working for Sevenoaks however hard they tried but then a moment of brilliance from Eddie Lane levelled the match. He received the ball about 25 yards out and volleyed it straight into the back of the net leaving the goalkeeper grasping at the air.
It was a vital strike and it settled them down and the remainder of the half they played with more positivity but they still needed to show a little more determination in winning and keeping the ball.
A change was made at half time with Porter swapping with Lane as his hand injury proved too much of a hindrance, his physical presence upfront could beneficial under the match conditions.
And so it proved. Sevenoaks were threatening the opposition defence and had a couple of half chances. Porter got hold of the ball half way up the home team’s half, the pitch opened up and he took his chance from 25 yards out leaving the Blue Stars keeper without one, the resultant shot screamed into the top right hand corner. What a beauty!
The opposition were stunned, Sevenoaks were in control and looked set to add to their total but it was Blue Stars who hit back to make it 2-2. Their forward was given too much space and his shot caught the wind and floated high and up and over the despairing reach of Lane.
The opposition had been struggling for a while before that but took some encouragement from the equaliser. But as they pushed forward they were turned over by a super Sevenoaks counter attack. Theo Tite got hold of the ball near his own penalty box then laid the ball into Kai Okulaja’s path. He took off down the right wing with his opposite number trailing in his wake. Down into the corner, his low cross evades the defenders and goalkeeper and Harvey Hollingsbee was on hand for a simple tap-in.
Soon after it was 4-2 to the visitors, Kai with a solo goal breaking through the defence, rounding the keeper and walking the ball into the net.
That should have been game over and they had a fifth disallowed for a marginal offside but Sevenoaks put themselves under pressure by allowing Blue Stars back into the match when they scored a third. It made for a nervy last few minutes but fortunately their opponents did not have enough guile to create a chance so Sevenoaks deservedly grabbed the points to go clear at the top of the table.