Sevenoaks Town 2-4 Aylesbury United - We've actually opened doors for them and you can't do that at this level or any level, says Sevenoaks Town boss Micky Collins

Tuesday 15th October 2019
Sevenoaks Town 2 – 4 Aylesbury United
Location Greatness Park, Mill Lane, Seal Road, Sevenoaks, Kent TN14 5BX
Kickoff 15/10/2019 19:45

The Buildbase FA Trophy Preliminary Round Replay
Tuesday 15 October 2019
Stephen McCartney reports from Greatness Park

SEVENOAKS TOWN manager Micky Collins admits his side were ripped apart by an impressive Aylesbury United side after exiting The Buildbase FA Trophy at the first hurdle.

The Oaks went into this Preliminary Round Replay in second-place in the Isthmian League South East Division with 16 points from eight games and unbeaten on their 3G pitch at Greatness Park.

Ben Williams’ side were in fourth-place in the Southern League Central Division table, also with 16 points on the board from their eight league outings.

Saturday’s game finished all-square at 2-2 at Chesham United’s Amy Lane ground to set up tonight’s replay.

Sevenoaks Town grabbed an early lead through Kyle De Silva’s penalty before the Ducks scored three goals in 138 seconds to give Collins’ men a mountain to climb as left-winger David Manu, right-winger Ben Seaton and right-back Anthony Ball scored.

A tactical switch at the break and Sevenoaks Town were the dominant force and struck the crossbar twice before De Silva scored again to take his tally for the season to seven goals.

With The Oaks pressing for an equaliser, Aylesbury United scored a late fourth goal, slotted home on the break by Manu to book a trip to Isthmian League South East Division side Haywards Heath Town in the next round on Saturday 26 October 2019.

“The game was really dead first half to be honest. We killed ourselves for a spell of like four or five minutes or whatever where we conceded three goals,” admitted Collins.

“You can’t do that at any level, especially against a good side like them and they punished us, but we came out second half and showed character and gave it a go and you can’t do any more than that.

“A bit more lady luck and we might’ve managed to get an equaliser but it wasn’t to be and good luck to them, they deserved it and I wish them all the best in the next round.

“They’re a good side, a very good side, very lively and they were on Saturday. They were unlucky on Saturday.

“They should’ve been more goals up in the first half (tonight) really. It never happened but you can’t defend like that in the five-minute spell and expect to come away from a game against quality like that and get something out of it. 

“We’ve got 45 minutes to repair it and we’ve tried, we’ve tried.”

Sevenoaks Town created their first opening with only five minutes and 15 seconds on the clock when Ryan Fowler played in Frankie Sawyer but his drilled right-footed shot brought a low save out of visiting keeper Jack Hopgood, the ball bouncing off the 23-year-old and looping up and landing on to the roof of the net for a corner.

Sevenoaks Town opened the scoring from the penalty spot with seven minutes and three seconds on the clock.

Bradley Schafer swung in a corner, which was headed back across goal by Ben Gorham and his central-defensive partner Tom Ripley hooked his shot towards goal which was handballed on the line by Seaton beside the left-hand post.

Referee Conall Bartlett pointed to the spot and Collins was furious that the Aylesbury United midfielder escaped punishment.

“Handball on the line, we had exactly the same thing against Hastings (losing 3-1 on 5 October).  Our player (De Silva) gets sent off and they get the penalty, straight red.

“Tonight the ref gives nothing, gives a penalty but doesn’t punish the guy at all, not even a yellow or anything. I don’t understand it! Where’s the consistency?”

De Silva held his nerve from the spot, driving his left-footed penalty into the bottom right-hand corner, despite Hopgood getting his hand to the ball.

Aylesbury United then tore Sevenoaks Town to shreds with some sublime attacking football.

Seaton played the ball out to Manu, who cut in from the left before teeing up tall striker Sydney Ibie, who rolled his shot through a crowd of players and past the far post from 12-yards.

Aylesbury United’s left-back Jake Bewley was given acres of space by Fraser Walker to whip in a deep cross, which was smacked on the volley by Seaton at the far post, which only just screamed past the near post.

But Sevenoaks Town missed a glorious chance to increase their lead with 18 minutes and 25 seconds on the clock through centre-half Ripley, who was then substituted due to picking up a knock to the back of his knee.

De Silva, who started the game in a midfield three before switching to left-wing in the second half, floated in a deep corner from the right and Ripley planted his free header across goal and just past the far post.

“Pivotal moments. If that goes in and you’re 2-0 up, all off a sudden it’s a little bit different isn’t it? But that’s not to be. At the end of the day you just have to take it on the chin and move on,” added Collins.

It all started to go downhill from that moment on as Aylesbury United dominated for the rest of the first half.

A pacey run down the right saw Ibie scare the Sevenoaks defence and Walker cut across towards the near post to play the ball away.

Second later, Sonny French teed up Ibie, whose powerful right-footed low drive from 15-yards forced goalkeeper Patrick Lee to get down low to his right to parry.

Aylesbury United deservedly equalised with 23 minutes and 28 seconds on the clock, courtesy of a sublime finish from Manu.

Aylesbury skipper Jack Wood played the ball into the wingers feet, who turned and saw Lee was well off his line and lobbed his right-footed shot high into the air and watched the ball drop over the flat-footed keeper underneath the crossbar.

Collins said: “I thought we started alright and then we got done.  The first goal Pat’s off his line and he’s got lobbed. What can you do? It’s 30-yards out, a harmless shot, it goes in. Pat’s made a mistake and then we’ve just lost our heads for three minutes and they’ve capitalised and put it on us.

“It’s not even a big shot, it’s just a lob.  Pat’s got to be disappointed, he’s just too far out, just miles out of his goal and he’s got done.”

Aylesbury United deservedly took the lead just 57 seconds later when a ball out of defence from Bewley caught out the Sevenoaks Town defence and Seaton skipped around Lee to slot the ball into the bottom left-hand corner from 15-yards.

“And the second one,” added Collins.  “The two centre-halves between Jack (Miles) and Nathan (Gordon) have just switched off. Nathan hasn’t tucked round and picked the guy up and the guys gone in and Pat’s come steaming out and the guy’s gone round him and slotted it.

“Just those moments you need to clear your head and we haven’t and then all off a sudden another minute later we’re out of the tie!”

Sevenoaks Town faced a mountain to climb when Aylesbury United raced into a 3-1 lead with 26 minutes and 18 seconds on the clock.

Right-back Anthony Ball unleashed a low angled drive which was parried by Lee and as substitute centre-half Jack Miles went to close him down, Ball just wanted it more and got a lucky break as the ball flashed across the keeper and nestled into the bottom far corner.

Collins said: “Jack’s gone to clear his lines and instead of just kicking it off the park or just banging it behind for a corner, he’s gone to kick it up the pitch straight against the guy and it’s gone back in the goal!

“You can’t legislate for that. It’s just not good enough! If you want to be serious and go and contend for things you need to be better than that!”

Another chance came the Ducks way on the half-hour mark when Bewley’s ball down the line was dummied by Manu and Ibie cut into the box and done some step-overs before cutting the ball into Manu, whose deflected drive was parried by Lee, diving to his right at his near post.

There were too many holes in the middle of the pitch as Sevenoaks Town’s midfield three of Schafer, Fowler and De Silva were not winning the ball and when the home side did win the ball back, they failed to keep hold of it for long.

“For me it wasn’t because they had more men in there, it was just the simple fact that their full-backs were getting out and overloading that midfield area and once we changed the formation we stopped that and then we pinned them in,” explained Collins.

Ball liked pushing forward and the Ducks’ right-back had desire to pick up a loose ball in the middle of the park and stride forward before dragging his shot across the keeper and past the far post.

All five of Aylesbury United’s corners came in the first half and Bewley swung in a deep corner from the right, which was knocked back across goal by Wood and striker Ty Decon steered his header over the crossbar in the middle.

Fowler was lost in the midfield engine room and he was turned by Ibie, who released Manu down the left and Sevenoaks were let off as the winger drilled his left-footed shot into the side netting.

There was still time for Manu to unleash a rasping right-footed drive from the edge of the box, which forced Lee to dive to his right to push the stinging drive away.

Somehow, Sevenoaks Town kept the score down to 3-1 at the break, especially when the game should have been out of sight as Aylesbury United were a very impressive outfit.

Collins said: “Luckily we got in at half-time only 3-1 down and we’ve just got to repair it and try to get it back together. We changed the system and the boys brought into it and then we got the ball down and passed it a lot better and we were by far the better team second half.”

Collins earned his corn during the interval as some inspired words and a tactical change and his side were a much more dominant force during the second half.

“It just wasn’t good enough really. It’s difficult because you don’t want to kill people and put them in their shell but you can’t legislate for individual errors that bad and that’s what happened,” said Collins.

“We’ve actually opened doors for them and you can’t do that at this level or at any level but you have to be positive because you’re still in the tie and if it gets back to 3-2 then you’ve got half a sniff, so you’ve got to try to be positive, change something and have a little gamble up and see how it goes from there.”

Aylesbury United were a threat on the counter-attack as Deacon skipped past Sawyer in midfield and released Ibie down the right and he cut past his man to drag his shot across the keeper and past the far post from a tight angle inside the opening seven minutes.

Sevenoaks Town’s luck was out when the crossbar denied them a second goal with 56 minutes on the clock.

Right-back Walker fed the ball into Ainsley Everett and the winger sprinted forward with the ball and from a couple of yards inside the box drilled a right-footed shot which smashed against the crossbar and dropped over for a goal-kick, which were being taken by right-back Ball.

“That’s how it goes! It’s one of them goes in early and we bring it back to 3-2, I think it’s a different game,” said Collins.

“I think we’ll probably go and win it but we didn’t. They defended resolutely and in the end, it took a bit of trickery from Kyle but we’re still wide open as well.  We pushed both full-backs on, we’ve gone for it, we haven’t sat back.”

Aylesbury United wasted a good opportunity to kill the game off when Ibie played a low ball in from the left for Deacon, whose left-footed shot rolled towards the bottom far corner, which was comfortably saved by Lee, diving to his right.

Sevenoaks Town pushed men forward for the final 25 minutes and pressed and attacked to give themselves a lifeline.

Collins said: “We’ll fight on, we’ve had a go, I can’t say any more than that, we had a right go.  It could’ve been four or five-one and you look for a response from your players and they’ve given me one and they’ve gone in there at half-time and they’ve listened and took on board exactly what we wanted and then come out and had a go.  You can’t do any more than that!”

Having started as an ineffective central striker, Tyrell Richardson-Brown was more lively playing in his more natural position down the right flank and his pace scared Bewley during the second half.

The former Horsham winger cut the ball onto his left foot and smacked the crossbar from 25-yards out in the 69th minute.

“We went 4-42 and pushed it on them.  They couldn’t get out and those overloads they were getting in the middle of the park weren’t happening,” said Collins.

“The only thing I will say, I’m really proud of them second half. The character that they showed as a group to actually come out and have a proper, proper go was excellent. You can’t argue with that.  Unfortunately, we fell short.”

De Silva whipped in an excellent low cross from the left channel which was met first time by Richardson-Brown at the near post but visiting keeper Hopgood stuck out his right leg to make a vital save.

Sevenoaks Town deservedly pulled a second goal back with 27 minutes and 18 seconds on the clock.

Not for the first time, centre-half Gorham – who scored twice on Saturday – ventured forward to hit a superb diagonal pass towards a crowded penalty area and De Silva controlled the ball, cut along the edge of the 18-yard line and swept his right-footed shot into the bottom far corner.

“We said it because we knew we’d overloaded on one side,” explained Collins.

“Ben Gorham’s good at that. He’ll step into an area, pick the pass, quality diag and he done it probably four or five times tonight and all off a sudden then in the final third we’ve pinned them in and we’re two-on-one or two-on-two at times and it gives us another dimension but we just didn’t do that in the first half. We were too deep as a defence in the first half and we did rectify it at half-time.”

De Silva wasted a glorious chance to test the Aylesbury United keeper in the 75th minute as the home side remained on the front foot.

De Silva released substitute striker Louis Collins down the left and he played the ball across the face of the penalty area for De Silva, who hit a first time left-footed drive high over the crossbar from 18-yards.

“I really thought we’d get one more chance and it will drop and we’d get something out of it and then we’d go to extra-time and then it would just be a bit of a lottery,” added Collins.

Sevenoaks Town continued to knock on the door as they had the momentum with them but a mistake cost them as Aylesbury notched a fourth goal on a counter-attack, just 37 seconds into stoppage time.

Fowler was sloppy defensively on the touchline close to the halfway line and lost a header against Deacon, who easily cut past the Sevenoaks holding midfielder and Deacon played a 20-yard diagonal pass to put French through on goal. He controlled the pass before hitting a left-footed shot which was palmed away by Lee but the ball fell to Manu, whose shot trickled into the bottom left-hand corner, despite the keeper’s efforts to keep it out.

“I don’t blame Fowler for it because we’ve got all our joy by playing football and we’ve got joy by passing it out from the back and then getting it wide and causing them problems from the back,” said Collins.

“We’ve got an opportunity to do that, roll the ball to Ryan Fowler and we’re out and we haven’t so we’ve kicked it long, we’ve kicked it straight down the throat, they’ve won the header, it’s come straight back, we’re two-on-two, we’ve been ripped apart that’s it.

“But again it’s a poor decision. If we don’t kick it straight down the middle and you actually keep the ball and build something with a bit of momentum, all off a sudden we’re in the final third again. It’s just one of those, another bad decision!”

Collins added: “At times we were fragile, at times we are and you can’t play games like that and self-inflict it but I did think second half when we came out we rolled our sleeves up and had a proper go, I thought we were excellent. I thought we were really good and I’m pleased with them for that and the character they showed was excellent.

“I can’t argue with that, it’s just a shame that we had such a mountain to climb and it was self-inflicted.”

Tommy Warrilow’s Ashford United will host Barton Rovers in the First Qualifying Round of The Buildbase FA Trophy on 26 October after two extra-time goals from super-sub Hassan Ibrahiym sent them through at Witham Town tonight.

Sevenoaks Town welcome Ashford United to Greatness Park in the league on Saturday with Warrilow’s men sitting in third-place in the table with 15 points from six games.

“Tough game, another tough game. Tom’s got them firing down there,” said Collins.

“We have to turn up on Saturday and be in the game for a lot longer than we were tonight. We can’t afford lapses like that, that’s just not acceptable.  I think the boys know that. We’ll have a look at it on Thursday and push it all together and then we’ll stick it all together and see where we are on Saturday.

“It’s been a great start; we’ve done really well. There’s just been moments where we’ve just haven’t been at the races and that consistency has just not been there and they’re the moments that are actually killing us at the moment.  They’re the bits we need to address so we’ll look at it.

Sevenoaks Town: Patrick Lee, Fraser Walker, Nathan Gordon, Ryan Fowler, Tom Ripley (Jack Miles 20), Ben Gorham, Kyle De Silva, Bradley Schafer, Tyrell Richardson-Brown, Frankie Sawyer, Ainsley Everett (Louis Collins 72).
Subs: Adrian Stone, Alec Fiddes, Daniel Cumber, Renford Tenyue

Goals: Kyle De Silva 8 (penalty), 73

Booked: Ben Gorham 87

Aylesbury United: Jack Hopgood, Anthony Ball (Lewis Osbourne 80), Jake Bewley, Sonny French, Jordan Jenkins, Jack Wood, Ben Seaton (Mark Riddick 68), Ollie Hogg, Ty Decon, Sydney Ibie (Dave O’Connor 73), David Manu.
Sub: Ben Williams

Goals: David Manu 24, 90, Ben Seaton 25, Anthony Ball 27

Booked: Anthony Ball 61, David Manu 90

Attendance: 145
Referee: Mr Conall Bartlett (Hassocks, West Sussex)
Assistants: Mr David Ellis (Brighton, East Sussex) &
Mr Dominic Barrow (Pevensey, East Sussex)