|www.yourcounty.co.uk - The Kent Website - Supporting Kentish Football|
|PEPSI FA Youth Cup
First Qualifying Round
|Stephen McCartney reports from Greatness Park|
|Aldershot Town||2 (aet)||Mark French 91
James Field 98
Sevenoaks shot down in extra time
ALDERSHOT TOWN needed extra time to beat Sevenoaks Town to progress into the next round of the Pepsi FA Youth Cup at Greatness Park.
Neither side could break the deadlock in ninety minutes so the game went into an extra half-an-hour. However, the Hampshire side only needed 48 seconds to open the scoring when substitute Mark French stroked the ball home from 14 yards into the bottom far corner of the net.
Aldershot wrapped up the victory in the 98th minute through James Fields' right-footed 22-yard crisp shot that found the net after going through Ben Fitzer's legs.
The visitors were reduced to ten men in the 120th minute of the game when skipper Phil Turrell - who was booked in the 105th minute - was sent off by referee Mr C Hatzidakis.
Earlier in the game, however, Sevenoaks' lively striker Daniel Powell, fired a 25-yard shot narrowly wide of the left upright.
Home defender Fred Marsters almost poked into his own net and from the resulting flag kick Robert Symes nipped in at the near post, going close to breaking the deadlock.
Shots' Michael Lee struck a 25-yarder inches wide of the post, as it was the Hampshire side that came closest to scoring in the first half.
However, Sevenoaks stopper Fitzer was equal to Jason Milittis' fierce shot that the impressive goalkeeper pushed over.
In the final ten minutes of the half, a surging run through the middle from Lee set up a chance for striker Carl Dallaway but he rolled his shot well wide.
Just before the interval, home stopper Fitzer strangely decided to kick clear Ryan Scott's low drive from outside the penalty area, when it appeared he had time to use his hands.
Another Aldershot chance went begging when Dallaway beat home defenders Reece Nicol - who has had successful trials with Kent - and captain Michael Cook, but he screwed his shot wide.
Both sides created early chances after the interval with Mark Sutton failing to find the Sevenoaks net when he ball dropped to him inside the six-yard box but his shot lacked conviction allowing Fitzer to comfortably collect.
Scott then hooked the ball for half-time substitute French down the left, who flighted the ball over from an acute angle.
Sandwiched between these Aldershot chances, came a chance for lively Sevenoaks' striker Powell, whose break saw him charge towards the penalty area, only for his shot to be deflected out for a corner.
The Kent side had a number of free kicks outside the penalty area but on each occasion they were blazed over instead of giving Chris Foster some action.
Sevenoaks went agonisingly close to scoring in the 61st minute - their best chance in the entire game.
Cook's hanging corner was retrieved by Andrew Hart on the left hand side and he centred for Richard Pearcy but the player - watched by Millwall scouts having played for their reserve side last Saturday - fired the wrong side of the far post.
Another good chance was wasted when Cook's powerful header - following Matt Bungay's long throw into the penalty area - was off target.
At the other end, Lee's near post corner was powerfully headed wide by Field.
Sevenoaks goalkeeper Fitzer delayed his side elimination from the competition saving Scott's free kick but he made a breathtaking save at the death, clawing Scott's close range far post header over the bar.
In between these Aldershot chances, Powell had another chance to hand the Kent side victory but Foster got down low to his left to save the low shot towards the far corner of the net, after the striker only had the goalkeeper to beat.
The Shots players were arguing amongst themselves during the short break before extra time began. However, this had the desired effect with French's strike within 48 seconds of the re-start finding the corner of the net, having stolen the ball off right-back Marsters.
Seconds before French wrapped up the victory he crashed an eighteen-yard-shot against the angle of post and crossbar.
Facing a mountain to climb, there was no way back for the home side and Hart and Ross Treleaven blazed late free kick's over the crossbar.
Strangely, Aldershot were still arguing during the next break but this spurred them on to keep out the home side to seal their passage into the next round.
Sevenoaks Town: Ben Fitzer, William Barnett, Michael Cook (Capt), Fred Marsters (Liam Simmonds 92), Andrew Hart, Richard Pearcy. Ross Treleaven, Daniel Powell, Tim Iles (Ollie Scott 29, Aaron Mengett 88), Matt Bungay. Subs: Liam Jennings, Mark Cannings
Aldershot Town: Chris Foster, Josh Lewington (Lee Page 115), Ryan Gibson, Mark Sutton, Phil Turrell (Capt), sent off 120, Michael Lee, James Field, Ryan Scott, Carl Dallaway (Bahar Laksamba 117), Robert Symes, Jason Militti (Mark French 46). Subs: Nectra Sherchan, Joe Hughes
Referee: Mr C Hatzidakis
Assistans: D Wilson, A Rawlings