Sevenoaks got their first win of the season with a 3-0 win over visitors Canterbury. Having started with a defeat and a draw, it was imperative that Sevenoaks got a win on the board to keep themselves in touch with those at the top of the table. It also represented a first league win for Sevenoaks for 2 years, having struggled in the Premier League, so it was an important milestone to break a negative cycle.
It was a game that Sevenoaks controlled from start to finish, where they limited Canterbury to very few opportunities. However, it took a while for the home team to break the deadlock. Oaks were on top for most of the opening quarter, winning a couple of penalty corners, but a combination of poor execution and good defence from Canterbury meant that Oaks couldn’t open the scoring. Canterbury had a penalty corner of their own but also couldn’t convert. Early in the second quarter a superb cross field pass by player-coach Ian Haley found James Thomas on the top of the D, whose shot on goal was deflected in by Ali Taylor (sponsored by MIDiA Research and The New Beacon school) to make it 1-0. Oaks earned another couple of penalty corners but were again unable to execute and the score remained 1-0 at half-time.
The second half followed a very similar pattern with Oaks enjoying plenty of possession and territory, whilst defending well when required, with man of the match Nick Barker (sponsored by Stratega Law) breaking up numerous Canterbury counter-attacks. Canterbury had a couple of penalty corners to give themselves a chance to draw level but Richard Potton in the Sevenoaks goal was equal to the Canterbury efforts. Oaks felt like they should have been awarded a penalty stroke on two occasions as first Sam George and then Ed Matts were felled when in the process of taking a shot, but no fouls were given. Late in the third quarter Oaks did finally manage to extend their lead when a pin-point through ball from Chris Barker (sponsored by Stratega Law) was deflected high into the net by Jason Bigara (sponsored by KallKwik Printers) to make the score 2-0. Oaks were unlucky not to extend their lead when a nice move ended with Tim Warrington (sponsored by Buckhurst House Dental Surgery) crashing a shot low towards the bottom corner but it was excellently saved by the visiting keeper. Sevenoaks did add some gloss to the score line with six minutes remaining, when an attack down the left hand baseline by James Thomas saw his shot saved by the keeper but the rebound was swept in on the reverse by Warrington to make it 3-0. That was how the score stayed until full time.
The win moves Sevenoaks up the table to 5th, and within 3 points of top spot, and they go away to Fareham next week to try and add to their points tally.