Platt beaten by extra time goals
Reserves 4 Platt 3 (aet)
Report courtesy of Derek Hodge.
Two goals in quick succession by substitute Mickey Bourne and John Mantle midway through the first period of extra time swayed the fortunes of the Sevenoaks Charity Junior Cup Final in favour of Sevenoaks Reserves, who went on to to win by the narrow margin of 4-3 despite a torrid onslaught by Platt in the last 10 minutes.
During this period Gerald Durrant netted to reduce the arrears, Trevor Whiffen struck a shot against the upright, right full back Mark Lovelock hit a vicious shot from 30 yards which keeper Julian Leigh pushed over the crossbar for a corner and then Ian De'ath thumped a shot against the crossbar.
As the tension mounted, Sevenoaks central defender Andy Manktelow went into referee Reddick's notebook for a clumsy tackle, an offence that was out of context since the tie, although competitive, was contested in a sportsmanlike fashion.
Towards the end of the first quarter, Sevenoaks began to stamp their authority on the game particularly in midfield, where Steve Crush was dominant. Platt's defence looked square at the back and, the Sevenoaks policy of throwing long high balls forward created problems for the mid Kent side. Holmes found David Tye in a good scoring position but the winger wasted the opportunity. Soon afterwards a cross by Mantle found Tye who outjumped the tall Platt central defenders to head past keeper Paul Peacock and into goal.
On 20 minutes Platt were back on level terms when a throw in on the right by Lovelock was headed on by Rob Webb to striker Durrant whose hard shot clipped the upright before entering the net. This was virtually Durrant's first touch of the ball and generally the free scoring Platt forward line had been well checked by the Sevenoaks defence. However, this goal helped Platt's confidence and they began to pressure their opponents.
A foul on Michael Bowen brought about a fierce free kick from 35 yards by De'ath which crashed into the side netting. Minutes later another free kick from almost an identical position saw a well judged cross by De'ath find Durrant whose header just went wide with Leigh watching the ball anxiously. Five minutes before the interval, a long ball out of defence by Graham Pope found Tye on the right but Webb in contention won the tackle and pushed the ball out of play. From the throw-in Sevenoaks built an attack and a low cross from the right forced Peacock off his goal line but he failed to hold the ball and Pope was on hand to knock the ball into the net.
More good work by Sevenoaks, this time down the left with Trevor Hailes and Holmes prominent put Platt on the defensive but Mantle's shot was off target.
Platt came out for the second half in determined mood and applied early pressure. An attack between Durrant and Green down the left hand side forced Manktelow to give away a corner but the Sevenoaks defence cleared the resultant kick. The Sevenoaks side appeared to get more midfield possession with Webb coming from the back and De'ath prompting their forwards with the result that the hitherto subdued Neil Bowen and Whiffen were at long last showing signs of their true potential.
A spell of scrappy play for some five minutes was followed by more Platt pressure and a goal by Neil Bowen from just outside the six yard area which again clipped the inside of the upright to beat Leigh. Brazil at full back was having a fine game for Sevenoaks and up front Tye worked tirelessly and often threatened in front of goal.
After 25 minutes of play, Sevenoaks had the chance to go ahead when a long through ball split the Platt defence but Hailes, with only keeper Peacock to beat thrashed his shot into the side netting. Soon after, Hailes received treatment for a knock on the head sustained in a collision on the half way line. Both sides looked for the winning goal and despite a remarkable number of games played recently by the Platt team they attacked in numbers in an effort to settle the tie.
Leigh beat away a Neil Bowen shot, Hollebon's shot was deflected for a corner and a Neil Bowen free kick from twenty five yards went wide to give Leigh and his defenders some respite from the pressure. However, Sevenoaks despite losing some of their earlier authority still looked dangerous particularly on the break and Tye had a shot flash past the upright. Alex Hamilton thumped a shot over the crossbar from close range and then with 10 minutes play of normal time left, Bourne came on for Holmes.
Platt were desperately unlucky not to be awarded a penalty for handball and as gaps began to appear in midfield, another Tye shot went wide of the target. A good move between De'ath and Whiffen put Durrant through but the ball ran away from him on the slippery playing surface. Sevenoaks counter attacked down their left and Hollebon made a timely tackle to rob Bourne of the ball. As the half drew to its close Dave Green cleared off his goal line to stop another Sevenoaks onslaught and at the other end the limping Graham Pope prevented Whiffen from making progress in a last ditch effort to clear the ball.
Team: P.Peacock, M.Westwell, R.Webb, D.Green, M.Lovelock, I.De'ath, T.Hollebon, M.Bowen, N.Bowen, T.Whiffen, G.Durrant, D.Fisher, M.Broad.