Platt make it three in a row!
Knockholt 0 Platt Utd 3
Report courtesy of Paul Hart.
Platt United completed a remarkable hat-trick of Sevenoaks Charity (Senior) Cup final victories at Stonehouse Field on Saturday to become only the third team in the competition's 100 year history to achieve this feat. In doing so the Mid Kent side emulated Borough Green's achievement of three successive victories in the early 60's and Oakwood who won it four times on the trot in the late 80's.
The Nuclear Electric Kent County League Division outfit's victory could have been even more emphatic had they converted a hatful of second-half chances having outclassed their Premier Division opponents.
Platt were first to threaten in the eighth minute when a perfectly weighted cross-field pass by Andrew Bennett found Steve Arnold at the far post who was let down by a poor finish. Moments later Bennett showed neat control on the edge of the box firing just past the far post.
Knockholt forced a succession of corners in the first-half without ever looking threatening, although Platt keeper Matt Clark made a good save from an Alf Hines free-kick, while at the other end the dangerous Steve Davies went close on several occasions.
Platt took the lead on the stroke of half-time when Andrew Bennett's raking cross found Arnold at the far post who thumped the ball high into the roof of the net. Knockholt replied with a Mark Collins shot which flashed past the post.
United almost added a second at the start of the second-half. Arnold found himself in a one-on-one situation with Knockholt keeper Tony Diment who blocked the first shot with the Platt player's follow-up effort cleared off the line.
The game's turning point came in the 54th minute when Platt made it 2-0 with a stunning strike by Darren Fisher. Winning an aerial challenge on the corner of the penalty area he turned and unleashed an unstoppable shot into the top right hand corner of the net beyond Diment's reach.
Knockholt's Lee May almost pulled a goal back with a spectacular strike while Platt survived a scare when the ball was hacked off the line during a goalmouth scramble following a free-kick. At the other end Arnold failed by inches to apply the finishing touch to another Bennett cross. Moments later Arnold was again put clear but Diment blocked his shot and the rebound went wide. The keeper then excelled himself producing a finger-tip save to deflect a powerful Arnold shot on to the crossbar.
There then followed a bizarre scenario when Knockholt attempted to make a second substitution. Tony Hazell came on as the reserve goalkeeper and immediately exchanged jerseys with Diment. Having dealt with a corner the two swapped back and Hazell took his place outfield.
Platt almost made it 3-0 when Arnold's shot beat Diment but was cleared off the line by Hines. The ball came back to Bennett who struck the post. However, Platt underlined their superiority in the 89th minute with a third goal when Arnold was left with a simple tap-in at the far post after a pinpoint cross by Dean Woodward.
In an otherwise sporting contest Knockholt duo Ian Hare and Kevin Crickett, together with Platt's Michael Slade, Peter Green and Steve Davies were all shown yellow cards.
Team: M.Clark, M.Slade, C.Cable, P.Green, R.Bedford, S.Davies, S.Arnold, L.Gill, D.Fisher, A.Bennett, D.Woodward, D.Prowse, T.Shaw.