Sunday 31st October 2004

The Kent Website
Supporting Kentish Football

Half time blast inspires Sevenoaks to victory

SEVENOAKS TOWN manager John James revealed a passionate half time team talk, with his side 3-1 down, inspired his team to come back to win 4-3 at Bourne Park against Maidstone United on Saturday, writes Stephen McCartney.

James, in his first season as Sevenoaks Town first team manager, admitted he was bitterly disappointed with last week, having lost two home games against Hythe Town (1-2) and Erith Town (2-5).

Had they won those two games, then the Greatness Park outfit would have been top of the Go Travel Kent League table going into the game against the Stones.

James, however, made several changes to his side, and played Gary Wood, Richard Bryce and Andy Constable together up front for the first time this season, and this had the desired effect with Sevenoaks coming back to win the game to go third in the table and leave the Stones sitting uncomfortably with only Deal Town, Thamesmead Town, Lordswood, Slade Green and Greenwich Borough below them in the table.

"It was a good day, and after dropping our points at home against Hythe Town and Erith Town, we needed to put in a good performance," admitted James.

"We played extremely well for 40 minutes and were 1-0 up from Dave Forster's goal and had six horrible minutes when Maidstone scored three goals."

But the hair-dryer treatment during the interval, where a few harsh words were said, gave the visiting players the inspiration to go onto win the game thanks to strikes from Bryce, substitute Lee Aldridge and Forster.

James added: "Went in at half time and said a few harsh words to the players about pride and commitment and asked them to play how they did in the first 40 minutes in the game and they really had a magnificent second half.

"We basically proved on our day we can play if we can believe strong enough."

James, however, revealed the two home defeats hurt him and he made sure his players knew how he was feeling.

"I had a long week of disappointment, dropping the six points at the home games and we needed a good second half, being 3-1 down, for our confidence for the rest of the season.

"The three points was a massive bonus to us really.  Anybody who saw the performance know we were justified taking the points."

Forster's performance at Bourne Park has earnt him the reward of Sevenoaks Town player of the month for October.  He will be presented with a bottle of champagne before next Saturday's home Premier Division Cup tie against Sporting Bengal United - a side they thrashed 7-0 in the league away from home in September.

James added: "Very pleased as well with one of our new boys, Jamie Muldowney, who played as sweeper and looked very comfortable.

"He was at Egham Town in the Ryman League and played his first full game and brought a bit of experience to the side."