Sevenoaks Town 4-2 Horsham - It's great for little Sevenoaks Town to go and play Lewes who are a massive club, says Micky Collins

Saturday 20th August 2016
Sevenoaks Town 4 – 2 Horsham
Location Greatness Park, Mill Lane, Seal Road, Sevenoaks, Kent TN14 5BX
Kickoff 20/08/2016 15:00

The Emirates FA Cup Preliminary Round
Saturday 20th August 2016
Stephen McCartney reports from Greatness Park

SEVENOAKS TOWN manager Micky Collins hailed his players after they reached The FA Cup First Qualifying Round for the second time in the club's 12-year history in the competition.

The Oaks knocked out Sporting Club Thamesmead 2-1 in the Extra Preliminary Round (after losing to the same club 4-2 on penalties in a replay at the same hurdle last season) and they have now banked a total of £3,475 in prize money after today’s comfortable victory over a poor Horsham side.

Collins’ side went into this game in tenth-place in the Southern Counties East Football League table having beaten newly-promoted side Sheppey United 2-0, before losing their 17 match unbeaten run by losing 2-1 at Crowborough Athletic in midweek.

Newly-promoted Horsham have suffered defeats to Carshalton Athletic (3-1) and Greenwich Borough (4-1) and sit at the foot of the Ryman League Division One South table, one level above Sevenoaks.

But the pressure will be on Hornets’ manager Dominic Di Paola in the comfortable manner that Sevenoaks Town sent his club crashing out here today.

Sevenoaks Town opened the floodgates through Joe Bingham’s finish inside the opening 11 minutes before Adam Marsh headed in from a corner.

Horsham keeper Josh Pelling then conceded two penalties in exactly the same place and was booked for bringing down Harrison Carneige – but escaped a second yellow for tripping Byron Walker. He saved Edwards’ first penalty but couldn’t keep out Bingham’s second spot-kick.

Yacine Gnahore came off the bench to add a fourth goal before Horsham pulled two goals back inside the final seven minutes, a penalty from Terry Dodds and Charlie Farmer’s header.

Sevenoaks Town will travel to Ryman League Division One South side Lewes in two weeks’ time, looking to reach the Second Qualifying Round for the first time.  Lewes beat Redhill 6-1 at The Dripping Pan.

“Great to progress, I love the competition, I always have and I felt we were the better side and deserved it,” said Collins afterwards.

“I’ve done my homework on them, paid them massive respect, went to watch them twice, came up with a game plan and the boys executed it well.”

When asked what today’s victory means to a club of Sevenoaks Town’s size, Collins replied: “Financially, it’s the most important thing.  For us to get through two rounds probably brings us nearly three and a half thousand and it’s massive for us.  We haven’t got a kit sponsor at the moment so every penny helps, not only that, it helps to keep it alive.

“We’ve got a great game now against Lewes away and again you’ve got to keep your wits against a higher club and try to see how good we are, see how good our players are. 

“I’m really pleased, I’m pleased for the club. That’s a club record today, which is funny really, we’ve got through two games and it’s a club record equalled and we’re still in the mix.”

A crowd of 101 watched the game at Greatness Park and Horsham must start putting a better team on the pitch for their brilliant fans.

It could have been a different story inside 52 seconds when Dodd swept the ball out to right-back Alex Duncan, who hit a first time drive across Rob French, who got down low to his right to hold.

French came off his line to hold onto Darren Boswell’s wind assisted cross, despite being under pressure from striker Dodd.

Horsham played the ball out from the back and Sevenoaks pressed and forced a mistake from central midfielder Scott Harris in the final third, which led to Oaks’ 11th minute opener.

Harris lost the ball to Gary Stock on the right flank, Stock played the ball inside to Bingham, some 30-yards from goal. He cut into the penalty area and found himself in behind Ashley Jones and stroked his right-footed angled drive across the keeper, the ball going in off the foot of the far post.

“It was a great finish,” said Collins, who was pleased that Bingham has listed to his advice.

“Bings’ has got that in his locker to score goals. We worked out what we wanted to do against them and we know that we could if we pressed them at the right time, win the ball back higher and by winning it back higher it’s given him the opportunity.  Normally Joe wants to pass and I have moaned at him for passing too much at times and today he’s taken it on his own. It’s a great goal and well deserved.

“I think the boys were disappointed from Tuesday night. We went down to Crowborough and we know we didn’t perform. I know we had quite a few missing but we didn’t perform well and squandered three points and I expected a reaction and 100% I got it!”

Horsham missed a great chance in the 20th minute.

Brad Lewis clipped the ball in between Jack Miles and Corey Holder to put Dodd through on goal, but the striker watched the ball drop over his shoulder to slice his first time shot past the far post.

“It was quite difficult because the conditions, it was very, very windy,” said Collins.

“The ball’s been played up and it’s just dropped out of the sky, off the wind and I think they both got caught under it. Yes, we got away with that one.”

Horsham started to grow into the game and dominate possession but failed to trouble French in goal.

Collins certainly done his homework on Horsham, finding out that their left-back George Bradford and left-centre half Farmer were their weak links in defence.

Horsham almost gifted Sevenoaks a second after Harrison Carnegie twisted and turned Bradford on the by-line and his cross was headed just past his near post by relieved central defender Ashley Jones.

Horsham also got in behind Sevenoaks’ defence as Bradford whipped in a cross towards the far post where Joe Shelley planted his free header straight at French from 15-yards.

“I don’t remember seeing Frenchy make a save,” said Collins.  “They’re going to get chances, they’re a league above us. They’re going to make things happen but I didn’t really look at it and think ‘we’re in trouble here, they’re going to score’, I never thought that at all!”

But Sevenoaks Town doubled their lead in the 41st minute through Marsh’s second goal of the season.

Edwards’ floated in an inch-perfect corner from the left, which caught out goalkeeper Josh Pelling and Marsh guided his free header into the far corner from four-yards out.

“It’s always nice to score from a set-piece.  I’ve been moaning at them about the deliveries and some of the positioning’s,” said Collins.

“We worked on it before the game and finally one drops exactly where we wanted it and a great goal from Marshy, pleased with him as well.”

Referee John Hyde pointed to the spot when Pelling came out to the left corner of his penalty area and sent Carnegie falling to the ground and brandished the keeper a yellow card.

Pelling dived to his left to palm Edwards’ resulting penalty onto the right-hand post and Sevenoaks just couldn’t tuck home the rebound.

Collins said; “Disappointing because 3-0 then and you’re thinking ‘well, it’s almost game over’,  unluckily for Chrissy, he’s missed the pen!

Again, blonde haired left-back Bradford was at fault in Carnegie getting in behind him.

Collins certainly done his homework, adding, “Again, it’s the way we got in. We’ve worked on how to get in and how to open them up and that’s how we got in and the goalie’s brought him down. It’s definitely not a red because he was going away from goal, it’s certainly a yellow.”

So when striker Byron Walker was tripped in exactly the same location as his team-mate just minutes later, Pelling should have been issued with a second yellow card, but referee Mr Hyde controversially kept his card in his pocket.

Bingham took the resulting penalty and despite Pelling diving to his right to get his hand to the ball, it clipped the inside of the left-hand post and went in to give Sevenoaks a commanding three goal lead on the stroke of half-time.

“It’s an identical foul 100%,” added Collins, who was right to demand a second yellow card for the goalkeeper.

“I questioned him why he’s not given it and he claims it wasn’t cynical. If it’s not cynical you’ve made a foul inside the box and it’s another second yellow and for me he’s got overawed by the occasion and not given it and that’s a totally different game then, they’re down to ten-men, (sub keeper Anthony Ender in goal) and luckily Bingham’s taken the penalty off Chris and tucked it away.

“He stuck it well. He did manage to get a hand to it but he shouldn’t be in there, it should be someone else in goal!

“Even their guys walking off said ‘you’ve got to be aggrieved with that? - yes we are because that should be ten-men. It’s never a straight red either one of them but it was both yellows, 100%.”

Collins revealed he wasn’t happy with his side at the break, despite their commanding 3-0 lead.

He said: “I’ve got to be honest, I had a moan! I went in even through we’re 3-0 up, it’s great, but there’s certain things we haven’t done and there’s certain bits I wasn’t happy with.

“Last season we had Haywards Heath here (in the FA Vase Second Qualifying Round) and we were 3-0 up at half-time and coasting and probably psychologically wise I got it wrong and we went out and we folded and we ended up losing 4-3!

“I made sure today we came out with the right attitude second half – and we did that! There were bits I needed to pull on because if you don’t and you don’t address it, it becomes bigger problems. The boys took it and the way we started the second half proved it.”

French dropped to his knees to his right to ensure Lee Carney’s floated free-kick from midfield was gathered before sailing into the far corner.

Sevenoaks were dangerous on the break.  Carnegie’s sublime diagonal pass sailed over to Kieron McCann, who released Greg Benbow on the overlap and his low centre was put behind by Jones at the near post.

Edwards’ swung in the home side’s sixth and final corner in the 58th minute, which was cleared out to Carnegie, who took a touch to lash his shot over the bar from 25-yards.

Horsham, who threw four men up top, squandered an excellent chance when Shelley shrugged past Holder to get in behind but lashed his shot over the crossbar with only French to beat.

Collins said: “He’s got to do better, the lad. He’s in there, he’s got to hit the target at least.

“But they’re going for it, they’re 3-0 down.  They’re a league above, they’ve got to chuck something at it. Fair play to them. They were competitive right to the last. Fortunately, he didn’t hit the target.”

Horsham’s poor day was summed up at the halfway point of the second half.

Sub Liam McDevitt launched a long throw from the right, Holder’s poor header out wasn’t cleared properly by Carnegie and fell at Boswell’s feet. He swept a one-touch-one-two with Carney to curl his right-footed shot around French. The ball clipped the inside of the right-hand post, clipped the left-hand post before French pounced on the ball on his goal-line.

“That could’ve been the comedy minute of the game but you’ve got to ride your luck at every level of football,” admitted Collins.

“On Tuesday night we were unlucky and today we rode our luck with that one.

“They’re going to get chances, they’re up the pyramid, we are vying to get there and they’re already there. They had a great season last season and I never thought it would be an easy game today. We had to be totally on it otherwise we would’ve been knocked out of the Cup.”

Collins threw on two new strikers in the shape of Gnahore and the returning Andy Constable, 36, and the pair combined in the 71st minute.

McCann’s deep cross from the left was brought under control by Gnahore at the far post and he set-up the unmarked Constable, to scuff a poor low shot towards the bottom left-hand corner, which was cleared away by Jones.

Collins said: “I think Andy’s going to be disappointed with that one, I think we all were because Yacine has given him a great set and if he sticks his foot through it, he scores!

“I’m having my house on Andy scoring them because he’s scored so many for me (at Erith & Belvedere) and he’s tried to place it and he’s got caught in two minds and the guy’s managed to clear it.

“Again, we’ve opened them up and we’ve got ourselves in that position and sometimes you’re going to take your chances and sometimes you’re not and that’s what it’s about and for me I’m pleased with the way we set up and got at them.”

Collins revealed Constable will play a key role off the bench this season after signing from league rivals Sheppey United.

“Andy’s on the cusp of his last season or maybe last two seasons. He’s fully aware he’s not going to start many games and play 90 minutes, we know that.  He's in great shape for how he has been but I know he’s a threat and he always has been.  He knows how I play, he knows what I demand and he nearly scored today on his debut. It’s a no brainer for me, when he’s available and happy to play and come in and be a part of it, he’s a great asset.”

French was then forced into making a smart low save at his near post to prevent Boswell’s deflected shot creeping into the bottom corner.

Sevenoaks Town scored their fourth goal in the 79th minute, hitting Horsham on the break.

Bingham picked a hole in behind Bradford and Farmer to put Carnegie through on goal and the winger lashed his shot against the crossbar.  The ball landed at Gnahore’s feet, his first shot came back down off the crossbar, was blocked on the line before he poked the ball into the net.

“Yacine loves a second attempt, he had one last week exactly the same but I’m pleased for him, that’s two goals in two games and at 4-0, it’s dead and buried, it's game over,” said Collins.

“Anyone that knows me both clubs I’ve been at, I’ve always run with four or five strikers because it’s competition for places. You’re going to have off days and they’re not going to score goals and if you can offer something from the bench and come on, today Marshy’s got one, Byron Walker’s unlucky, he’s played really well today and Yacine has come on and got one and Andy could’ve got one, so if you look at your four strikers today, they’ve all delivered.”

Horsham were awarded a consolation with 83 minutes on the clock when referee Hyde spotted a nudge by Benbow at the far post after Carney floated in a deep free-kick from the halfway line.

Dodd stepped up to get off the mark for the season by finding the right-hand corner from the spot, despite French going the same way.

Collins was clearly annoyed, adding: “It’s a joke, it’s a joke decision. Their guy’s grabbed hold of our player and pushed him on the floor.  He missed a head injury just two minutes before it so I addressed it and told him.  He’s missed a head injury. I don’t think he’s happy that I’ve pointed it out to him, 30 seconds later he gives a penalty against us! I’m not happy with that. It was never a penalty in a million years!”

Horsham scored a flattering second, 50 seconds before the end of normal time.

Dodd swung in a free-kick from close to the right corner flag towards the near post where Farmer glanced his header into the bottom corner.

“I’m more annoyed about that than all of it and I let my feelings known at the end because that’s poor,” admitted Collins.

“That’s a good delivery from the guy, but we haven’t picked it up and it’s a free header and we’ve still got five minutes to play and against a team at that level, well if we play Lewes and do that we might be in trouble.  I’m not happy about that! That’s a lack of discipline and I certainly made my feelings known to the guys that’s not good enough!”

Horsham almost grabbed an undeserved third but French smothered the ball at McDevitt’s feet after Duncan’s cross from the right was flicked on by Shelley at the near post.

Sevenoaks Town travel to Deal Town next Saturday and host local rivals Tunbridge Wells on Bank Holiday Monday (29 August) before travelling down to The Dripping Pan to play Lewes in the next round on 3 September.

Lewes were playing Conference football in season 2008-09 and have been on the downward spiral in six of their last seven seasons and suffered relegation from the Ryman Premier League last season.

The Rooks started their Division One South campaign with a 2-1 win at Chipstead, but went down to a 2-0 home defeat to Walton Casuals in midweek.

“Tough, very tough. Today was tough but that’s going to be tougher,” said Collins.

“They’re a good side, they’re a big club. It’s just lovely for us to do down there and for me to put my wits against a higher level club with bigger status and probably more financial clout than us.

“We’re punching above our weight, we know that, but to go there, what can we get out of it? We’re the underdogs and it’s great for the club, for little Sevenoaks Town and go and play Lewes who are a massive club.”

Sevenoaks Town: Rob French, Chris Edwards, Greg Benbow, Gary Stock (Jim Rogers 87), Jack Miles, Corey Holder, Harrison Carnegie, Joe Bingham, Adam Marsh (Andy Constable 66), Byron Walker (Yacine Gnahore 60), Kieron McCann.
Subs: Stephen Camacho, John Brown, John Lord, Tom Menditta

Goals: Joe Bingham 11, 45 (penalty), Adam Marsh 41, Yacine Gnahore 79

Booked: Jack Miles 90

Horsham: Josh Pelling, Alex Duncan, George Bradford, Scott Harris (Charlie Pitcher 58), Ashley Jones, Charlie Farmer, Joe Shelley, Lee Carney, Terry Dodd, Brad Lewis (Liam McDevitt 58), Darren Boswell (Tom Lawley 73).
Subs: Luis Felipe Lira De Andrade, Lewis Hyde, Dan Spackman, Anthony Ender

Goals: Terry Dodd 83 (penalty), Charlie Farmer 90

Booked: Josh Pelling 43

Attendance: 101
Referee: Mr John Hyde (Hackney, London E9)
Assistants: Mr Charlie Acton (Chingford, London E4) & Mr Edward Andrews (Canning Town, London E16)

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