CROWS WILT IN THE SUMMER HEAT AT SEVENOAKS.
First league defeat of the season suffered by the Crows as the Oaks deserve the points.
Bad day at the office in the end.
There's not a lot to be said for this game as a spectacle for the watching public, except to say that the Oaks fans went home happier than the Crow's supporters just because their team took the three points in the end.
The first half was an even affair, both teams having half chances however, the home side were given an excellent opportunity in the 8th minute to take an early lead when they were awarded a penalty by the referee, this after Tear and Ellis, in the Crow's goal, got themselves in a mess and Bennett was sent tumbling to the ground. The forward got up and took the spot kick himself, hitting the ball firmly to Ellis' right hand side, however, the big stopper made amends by diving the same way and pulling off a great save to keep the score at 0-0.
The next 30 minutes was full of endeavour and effort, plenty of commitment and sweat on show but too many long balls from both sides and too many free kicks spoilt any chance of the game settling into any kind of rhythm so the quality was just not there.
The winning goal, as it turned out, in the 40th minute, summed up the game overall, as it was a scrappy one to say the least, Bennett scuffing his shot from inside the area, the ball travelling slowly to the right hand side of the goal, hitting the post and gently rolling over the line with Ellis going in the other intended direction of the shot.
Therefore, just before half time, the Oaks took a 1-0 lead and to most of us watching, the match had the look of one goal would probably be enough to take the points and that's how it turned out.
At the start of the second half Tear had to be replaced by Barton as he was suffering with a bad back and a slight knee injury. However, in truth the Crows never got going in the second half whilst the home side managed to up their tempo and dominated for large parts of the half.
They had chances to increase their lead and had it not been for Turner, Ellis and White, the winning margin would have been greater. Turner was a colossus at centre back and was always in the right place at the right time and fully deserved his Man of the Match award after the final whistle. When he didn't manage to cut the ball out, Ellis was there to save the ball from going in the net.
Going forward though the Crows didn't really trouble Holloway in the Oaks goal too much. There was a marked lack of creativity in the midfield area from the Crows and Attwood was left isolated and chasing hopeful balls far too many times to be effective where he was needed the most, in the penalty area.
A further difference between the first and second half was the decisions made by the referee, in the first period any 50-50 challenges if deemed fouls were evenly awarded, however, in the second period, these challenges seemed to go the way of the home side more often than not, although this didn't contribute to the end result or our poor performance.
As normal for the second period substitutions from both sides through the half disturbed the flow of the game, as did the sending off of one of the Oaks substitutes near the end of the game for two yellow cards. It didn't make any difference in the end and when the final whistle blew no one could argue that the better team on the day won and the Crows could have no complaints. Thus the red kit had suffered its first defeat and we now have to prepare to play Sevenoaks Town again this coming Saturday at the Gallagher Stadium in the FA Cup First Qualifying Round.
If any encouragement is needed to turn in a better performance in this game, then it's an early opportunity to avenge this league defeat and to progress in the Emirates FA Cup and claim the prize money on offer.